DMFA Blog

Posts for tag: prevention

By Dr. Diana Emini
March 31, 2015
Category: Pedicures

While the fashions are always debated, as podiatrists, we know for sure that sporting Oscar-style shoes on a regular basis is a less-than-glamorous way to treat your feet. But sometimes there are occasions that call for these types of shoes. This is why celebrities prep their feet to make sure they’re looking and feeling great before a long night in heels or dress shoes.

So what is the key? Foot Spa’s and Pedicures! When you renew your feet with these kinds of treatments, they feel rejuvenated and refreshed.

Celebrities only go to the highest quality salons where the nail technician uses sterile equipment and disposes of it properly, so make sure that the environment and tools are sterile before choosing a salon.

The process starts with a foot soak, which softens the skin and conditions the cuticles to prepare them for treatment. After soaking the feet, a foot scrub is used to exfoliate and treat callused, aging, or dry feet. Be sure to avoid using a foot razor to scrub off the dead skin, this can be damaging to the skin. The scrub is intended to soften and revives the skin while stimulating blood flow. The dead skin is taken off and the cuticles are then cut so that your skin is left looking healthy!

Following the scrub, a foot masque is used to help hydrate and detoxify the feet. Masques help to draw out dirt and to make the skin soft. After the mask is removed, be sure to slather on a foot cream. This will ensure lasting hydration and helps to repair dry, cracked skin. Finally, if you are going to wear polish, bringing your own color to the salon is the safest way to make sure that fungus and other infections aren’t spread. 

It is important to take care of your feet and an occasional pampering is necessary. So now that you know how to pamper your feet like the celebrities do, you can feel like a star too!

By Michelle Kim
January 20, 2014
Category: warts

It's January, and that means many folks around Lemont are likely working on New Year's resolutions that include getting in shape and incorporating exercise into their routines.

This time of year is often busy at gyms and fitness centers, so if you're spending the winter burning calories at the Lemont Park District's CORE fitness facility or at gyms such as Cardinal Fitness or Curves, don't forget to take care of your feet to avoid ending up with something such as a wart.

One way people tend to get warts is by going barefoot in public places such as showers, pools, gyms and locker rooms. A wart is a non-cancerous skin growth caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) that gets into the skin through small cuts, cracks or abrasions.

Over time, warts develop into hard, rough growths on the surface of the skin. They have their own blood supply and nerves, which is why a wart can be painful when there's pressure. The most common warts are those on the bottom of the foot – called a plantar wart – but they can grow on top of the foot as well.

If left untreated, warts can spread to other parts of the feet and hands. They can be hard to treat and can often come back, but fortunately, my partner, Dr. Diana Emini, and I offer a variety of options at DM Foot and Ankle.
 

Treatment options include:

  • Topical medication: These attempt to break down the wart by applying strong acid. This treatment may need to be repeated every few weeks until the wart is gone.

  • Oral medication: Vitamins that boost the immune system can also be recommended as part of treatment.

  • Laser: We offer a laser in-house to remove stubborn warts. To lessen the pain, a local anesthetic is typically used.

  • Cryotherapy: This freezes the wart with nitrous dioxide to help destroy wart tissue.

  • Surgical excision: The wart can be removed surgically under local anesthetic.

    To prevent warts from happening in the first place, remember to change your shoes and socks daily, keep your feet clean and dry and disinfect your shoes and shower after each use.

    Don't hesitate to seek the help of a podiatrist if you notice any suspicious growths. At DM Foot and Ankle, we can diagnose such problems and get you on the path to health.

 

           By Michelle Kim

Let's face it, the weather has been near-Arctic (remember those single-digit temps during the recent Bears-Cowboys game at Soldier Field?) And you're probably not going to hit North Avenue Beach anytime soon. But even when you are swaddled in Uggs and slippers, you still need to take measures to avoid toenail fungus.

Even during the cold months, fungi can invade your skin.

Here are a few daily habits that can go a long way in preventing fungus and other infections on the feet:

  • Carefully wash and dry your feet every day, and dry them completely after a bath or shower. Be sure to pay careful attention to the area between the toes. Foot powders, deodorants and soaks can reduce moisture and balance the pH of your skin.

  • Change socks daily. Try socks with Dri-Max fiber to wick away sweat or antimicrobial socks with silver and copper.

  • Switch shoes so you don't wear the same pair every day. Try shoes made of breathable materials such as leather or canvas. Disinfect your shoes each day with sprays or UV lighting.

  • Beware of bare feet. Wear flip-flops in public places such as pools or locker rooms – never go barefoot. And don't forget to disinfect these shoes as well.

  • Polishes and pedicures: Nails need to breathe, so keeping them constantly polished means a fungal infection could flourish. We suggest keeping nails bare or using anti-fungal polish (our nail tech uses this in the mani-pedis offered at our office. Our nail treatments are designed to avoid the spread of fungus or infections!) When getting pedicures, whirpool tubs should cleaned with medical-grade disinfectant and instruments should be properly sterilized (we follow these guidelines with our pedicures as well.)

Remember, a fungal toenail can take up to a year to grow out after treatment. At DM Foot and Ankle, Dr. Michelle Kim and I help many patients with fungal nails – we offer a top-of-the-line laser with a success rate of 85 percent, a figure that's much higher than that of topical or oral treatments.

If you suspect you have a fungal nail, don't keep hiding your feet. Call our office and we will be happy to start you on a path to having fungus-free feet.

 

By Diana Emini

On Sunday, Oct. 13, roughly 40,000 runners will lace their athletic shoes and cross the start line as the sold-out Bank of America Chicago Marathon gets underway. (Remember to avoid driving into downtown that morning!)

Thousands of spectators are expected to watch as runners pass through Chicago's neighborhoods – the Loop, Boystown, Pilsen, Chinatown, Old Town and more – as the masses make their way toward the finish line in Grant Park.

The race is sure to leave many runners with feelings of pride and accomplishment – and likely, plenty of sore muscles and feet. One common foot pain issue Dr. Diana Emini and Dr. Michelle Kim see among runners and others at DM Foot and Ankle Associates is plantar fasciitis – commonly known as heel pain.

For more than 2 million folks – runners to everyday Joes – the first steps in the morning can result in shooting pain in the heel or arch.

The plantar fascia – a band on the bottom of the foot – connects the heel bone to the toes. It works like a rubber band to support the arch. When this band gets irritated, pain under the heel can result.  A heel spur may or may not be present and is not the cause of your foot pain, but it definitely can contribute.

There are several causes of the condition. Among them:

·         Activity overload: Too much physical activity can stress the heel bone and surrounding tissue, especially with prolonged activity on hard surfaces.

·         Improper shoes: Footwear with think soles doesn't properly absorb shock. Force goes into the foot as a result.

·         Sports with quick turns: Cutting movements in activities such as tennis and basketball can place increased stress on the heel and surrounding tissue.

·         Pregnancy: Hormones released during pregnancy relax the ligaments, which reduces support in the feel.

·         Age: The plantar fascia loses elasticity as people age and can't always bounce back.

·         Being overweight. Extra pounds cause breakdown of the heel padding and flattening of the arch.

Fortunately, there are many treatment options available.

·         Medication to reduce inflammation

·         Custom arch supports and supportive shoes

·         Nigh splints that hold the band in a fixed position

·         Cortisone injections

·         Physical therapy

·         Shockwave therapy

The majority of patients can get back on their feet with DM Foot and Ankle's personalized treatment plan WITHOUT surgery.  Early treatment can help you get back to walking, shopping, or whatever activities make you happy much sooner. You should never live with foot pain – choose to be pain free.

By Diana Emini