COMMON AILMENTS TREATED BY
DR. DAVID PARKER PODIATRY
Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the foot mainly caused by organisms called dermatophytes. These fungi live on dead skin cells. The medical name for athlete’s foot is Tinea Pedis. This infection occurs mainly between the toes. These fungi live in warm, moist, dark environments so it occurs in warm temperatures more frequently. Symptoms of Tinea Pedis include: burning, itching, red bumps and white blisters. Sometimes there is an odor associated with the scaly itching redness.
Treatment includes a foot soak in warm water and white vinegar-one part white vinegar to three parts of water. Soak your feet for 5-10 minutes twice daily in severe cases or once daily for mild cases. Use 30 % Tea tree oil directly on the rash or bumps. Powder the foot using corn starch baby powder. Wear only white socks when possible. Usually this treatment this treatment takes 2-3 weeks for complete relief of symptoms. If this does not work a prescription anti fungal may be required. There is also a diet that can help speed treatment results See or call Dr. Parker for any questions you may have.
A bunion is an enlargement or outgrowth of bone on the first metatarsal-phalangeal- MTP (or big toe) joint. The symptoms include: redness, swelling or pain at the 1st MTP joint, restricted or painful range of motion at the MTP joint and painful overlapping of the first and second toes.
Conservative treatments for bunions include: padding of the bunion; wear wider shoes with a deep toe box; avoid high heels over 1 inch; medication with anti inflammatory drugs; orthotics that provide support and prevent pressure on the 1st MTP; and physical therapy to reduce inflammation in the irritated bunion area.
When conservative methods of treatment fail or the bunion worsens so conservative treatments are no longer effective, surgical options may be required. Surgical options may range from simple bunionectomy where only the bony prominence is removed to a couple of procedures to cut the bone and realign the joint. Call Dr. Parker for all your treatment options.
Corns and Calluses
Corns are areas of thick, hardened skin. Hard corns are usually found on the tops of toes or on the side of the 5th toe. They form to protect tissue and bone under the skin. They are caused by shoe pressure or friction. A soft corn can form between the toes caused by the irritation of toes rubbing together. A callus is thickened skin caused by pressure and irritation on the bottom or side of the foot.
Treatment of corns and calluses include wearing wider shoes, corn and callus pads and podiatric trimming of the offending corns or calluses. Using lanolin or aloe skin creams will soften the skin and help smooth the area and prevent friction on the area. Do not use acidic corn plasters as they can lead to damage to healthy skin. Corn plasters should never be used by diabetics or patients with poor circulation as it may lead to ulcers.
Diabetic Foot Care
About one in five people with diabetes enters the hospital for foot problems. Many people with diabetes have mild to severe nerve damage. This can cause diminished feeling in the feet. As a result, you may not feel cuts, scratches, and breaks in the skin on your feet. These wounds can lead to unnoticed infection and to hospitalization. Specific foot problems include: Calluses, Ulcers, Loss of feeling (Neuropathy), and Poor Circulation to mention a few. Dr. Parker can give you advice and treatment for all of your diabetic foot care needs.
Gout is an arthritis that presents most commonly in the big toe joints in the feet, but can also affect the other joints in the feet as well as the ankles and knees. The symptoms of gout include sudden onset of burning, redness, pain, swelling and stiffness in the joint it affects. These attacks can occur over and over unless the gout is treated properly. Gout is caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood. These high levels of uric acid may form joint damaging crystals which can permanently damage joints, ligaments and tendons.
Gout is diagnosed by clinical exam and a blood test to measure uric acid levels. The definitive test is joint aspiration to see if crystals are present. The most common reason for high uric acid levels is certain high blood pressure medicines and water pills. Eating certain foods such as shellfish or red meats and drinking too much alcohol will increase your chances of getting gout.
Treatment of gout includes taking anti inflammatory drugs such as Indocin or Ibuprofen. A prescription for colchine will help in some cases. The use of Black Cherry extract has been proven effective in most cases of gout in appropriate doses. Rest the joint that is affected. Do not take aspirin or aspirin products as low doses of these can make gout worse. Pay attention to what you eat and stay away from foods such as shellfish, red and organ meats and alcohol (especially beer and red wines) Drink plenty of other fluids.
Treatment for gout usually takes about two weeks to feel better. Call Dr. Parker for any questions you may have.
Heel Pain or Heel Spur Syndrome
Heel Spur is a generic or common term for plantar fascitis. This is an inflammation of the tendon that crosses the bottom of the foot from the calcaneus (heel bone) to the metatarsal heads (ball of the foot). The pain is usually worse in the morning upon getting out of bed and improves with walking. The pain can come back during the day as excess walking or standing occurs. The pain comes back after sitting for a period of 20 or 30 minutes.
Treatment of plantar fascitis can require shoe inserts called orthotics to prevent the foot from flattening out and overstretching the plantar fascia. Physical Therapy including ultrasound and ice therapy can be beneficial to alleviate the pain symptoms. Anti inflammatory drugs can help to reduce the inflammation over a period of time. If the pain is severe and not helped by anti inflammatory agents a shot of Cortisone may be needed. Dr. Parker will make herbal and homeopathic recommendations to help with pain relief.
Heel pain in children can be caused by calcaneal Apophysitis or Sever’s disease. It is prevalent between ages 8 and 16. It happens when the growth plate in the calcaneus (heel bone) gets traumatized during physical activity. This can be treated easily with heel cups and appropriate padding in the shoes. Moderating physical activities for a period of time will also help. Homeopathic pain relievers are available in Dr. Parker’s office to help calm symptoms without worries about medication interactions.
Orthotics are foot supports or inserts which are used to treat foot pain and biomechanical imbalances in the foot. These can be either pre-fabricated or custom made. Foot pain is not normal and should not be ignored. Foot pain can create problems in other parts of the body such as the ankles, knees, hips and back. Some foot pain can be relieved by correct shoe gear and inexpensive prefab appliances that are available in Dr. Parker’s office. Not everyone needs custom orthotics. A consultation with Dr. Parker will help decide what exactly you need.
Plantar Warts are a viral skin infection that is caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Warts can be problematic because they can be painful and resistant to treatment. Diagnosis can be accomplished by physical exam and can be easily differentiated from a callus because of the wart’s blood supply. A wart will show pinpoint bleeding on scraping with a scalpel. There will also be pain on pinching where a callus will exhibit pain on direct pressure.
Treatment of warts is optional. Warts will go away on their own but most people prefer to treat them. Most people try over the counter remedies such as Wart remover and acid plasters. If these fail then they go to a podiatrist. Dr. Parker uses a combination of natural treatments that increase the immune system resistance and gets the wart to drop off and go away.
Dr. David A. Parker - Podiatric Medicine and Surgery - Verona, NJ - Kingston, NJ - Home Visits
Verona, NJ Location - 741 Bloomfield Avenue - Verona, NJ 07044 - (973) 239-8849
Kingston, NJ Location - 4491 Route 27 - Princeton, NJ 08540 - (609) 921-2944