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Wednesday, 08 March 2017 15:41

Symptoms of Toenail Fungus

If you are experiencing symptoms such as the thickening and yellowing of your toenails, you may be suffering from toenail fungus. Toenail fungus thrives on dead tissues, dead skin cells, and keratin in our nails. Infections occur when our toenails are subjected to a moist environment, such as sweaty shoes. Toenail fungus often starts in the toenails first, and if left untreated, can spread to your fingernails as well. Treatment can involve antifungal drugs and laser therapy. If you have a case of toenail fungus, be sure to maintain proper foot hygiene and to dry properly after washing.

For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Clifton Barretta of Associated Foot Health Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus is a problem which affects many people and is hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating toenail fungus.

Antibiotics & Treatments 

Lamisil – The most commonly effective treatment for toenail fungus. It is available as an antibiotic: Terbinafine tablet and cream. Terbinafine is a chemical component which kills fungal growth on the body. Applying regular doses will gradually kill the fungal growth. It is important to keep the area clean.

Talcum powder – Applying powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.

Sandals or open toed shoes – Wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well.

Alternative Treatments

There are surgical procedures that are available for toenail fungus. Some people would prefer the immediate and quick removal of toenail fungus through laser surgery. Consult with yOur doctor about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Meadville, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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The Oakland Athletics young starting pitcher Daniel Mengden will likely be out of commision for the start of the 2017 season.  The right-hander broke a bone in his right big toe and recently underwent surgery.  The A’s have a pretty deep roster of starting pitchers, so Mengden will probably not be starting anytime soon.  The team has said that he’ll be in a walking boot until the end of March and then he will need time to rehab.  Though successful in the minors, Mengden just had a rough year in the majors.  Of 14 games started, he won 2, lost 9 and had an earned run average of 6.5.  With those numbers, and now recovering from this broken toe, it looks like Mengden will be watching from the dugout until he heals up.

A broken toe can be very painful and lead to complications if not properly fixed. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Clifton Barretta from Associated Foot Health Center. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What to Know About a Broken Toe

Although most people try to avoid foot trauma such as banging, stubbing, or dropping heavy objects on their feet, the unfortunate fact is that it is a common occurrence. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break (fracture).

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Throbbing pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising on the skin and toenail
  • The inability to move the toe
  • Toe appears crooked or disfigured
  • Tingling or numbness in the toe

Generally, it is best to stay off of the injured toe with the affected foot elevated.

Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery. Due to its position and the pressure it endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if the big toe is not properly treated.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our office located in Meadville, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 21 February 2017 21:14

How Not to Get Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are growths on the feet caused by a virus.  The virus can be contracted in moist, warm environments like gym locker rooms or around an indoor pool.  If you have cuts on your feet take extra special care to avoid any contact with these surfaces.  Make sure to change your socks everyday and never share them with others.  Plantar warts are typically not painful at first, but as they grow they can hurt when you walk.  If you notice the wart while it is small, there are various types of home remedies that may be effective.  However, once the plantar wart grows larger, a podiatrist will be your best option.  

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Clifton Barretta from Associated Foot Health Center. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Legions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Meadville, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Wednesday, 15 February 2017 15:27

Study Shows Exercise May Help Arthritis

According to a Northwest University Study, even small amounts of exercise can have a positive impact on the health of those living with arthritis.  The federal guidelines suggest that arthritic patients should practice “150 minutes of moderate activity per week,” and that this will help ease the pain and stiffness associated with the disease.  The study, however, which consisted of 1600 adults aged 49 or older, showed that even subjects who did only 45 minutes of brisk walking a week were “80 percent more likely to improve or sustain physical function and gait speed.”  If you are suffering from arthritis in the feet or anywhere else, a little walking may go a long way.  

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Clifton Barretta from Associated Foot Health Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves the inflammation of different joints in your body, such as those in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. In addition to this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Meadville, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 07 February 2017 21:03

Avoid High Heels Taller Than 2-3 Inches

It is a common fact that high heels are bad for you, with prolonged wearing leading to both a multitude of short-term problems such as corns and long-term problems such as bunions and back pain. Although women’s shoes like high heels are a popular fashion staple, they are actually considered improperly-fitting shoes that are bad for your heels, arches, and overall foot health. It is suggested to avoid heels that are higher than 2 to 3 inches, and to look for heels that have enough room in the front so that you are able to move your toes.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Clifton Barretta from Associated Foot Health Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which parts of my body will be affected by high heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What kinds of foot problems can develop from wearing high heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How can I still wear high heels and maintain foot health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Meadville, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 31 January 2017 19:26

Relieving Cracked Heels

If you have dried, cracked heels, you may also suffer from pain, especially when wearing tight footwear that puts stress on the heels. The following are some home remedies that can be used to treat cracked heels. Cocoa butter and shea butter can both be applied and left on overnight to help nourish dry skin. Additionally, castor oil, another natural moisturizer, contains omega fatty acids that help provide extra hydration. Coconut oil is another remedy that is ideal for any type of dry skin. Vitamin E oil and petroleum jelly are also great for hydrating cracked skin.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Clifton Barretta from Associated Foot Health Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How do you get them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our office located in Meadville, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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In a recent study focusing on the effects of shoes on women’s feet, 88% of the women included were wearing shoes that were too small for their feet. 356 women were included in the study. Most of the women had not re-measured their feet in over ten years, and over 50% stated that they experienced daily foot pain from their shoes. Wearing shoes that are too tight can make way for the development of foot conditions such as bunions, hammertoes, corns, and calluses, and can even result in surgery for the treatment or removal of such conditions. Surgery is often seen as the final option for the treatment of many of these conditions; to lessen the possibility of surgery and the development of these conditions in general, always wear shoes of the proper size.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Dr. Clifton Barretta of Associated Foot Health Center. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Meadville, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Foot Surgery
Monday, 16 January 2017 18:58

Virtual Reality Technology Helping Seniors

elderly feetThe use of technology has drastically transformed the way we do lots of things, particularly in the world of medicine. With a combination of virtual reality and treadmill training, an Israeli study shows that this may be an effective way to prevent dangerous falls associated with aging. Currently, this collaboration of virtual reality and treadmill techniques focuses on improving muscle strength, balance, and gait. The Israeli research team, in cooperation with partners across Europe, has found that physical mobility and cognition are important for safe walking. Participants reduced their risk of falling for at least six months post-training.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Clifton Barretta from Associated Foot Health Center. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs and answer any of your related questions.  

The Elderly and their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions

Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet, and can hide many life threating medical conditions.

Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.

Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:

Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe

Shoes that don’t fit properly

Pressure sores

Loss of circulation in legs & feet

Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Meadville, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 09 January 2017 00:16

Proper Winter Footwear

shoes2According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS), it’s important to keep your feet safe during the winter months with proper footwear. Proper winter footwear should provide traction against the snow and icy surfaces. The footwear should also keep your feet warm, insulated, and be water-resistant. Proper protection can help ward off against poor blood circulation caused by the cold. Wearing breathable, moisture-resistant socks can also offer greater protection, as keeping the feet dry is just as important as keeping them warm.

Finding a properly-fitting shoe is important in reducing injuries and preventing foot problems. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Clifton Barretta from Associated Foot Health Center. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs and answer any of your related questions.

Proper Shoe Fitting

A common concern when it comes to foot health, having properly fitted shoes can help prevent injuries to the foot. Out feet affect our posture and gait, which in turn affects the biomechanics and overall bodily structure. With 33 joints, 26 bones, and over 100 ligaments, the potential for serious injury is much greater than one realizes. Although the feet cease growth in adulthood, they still change shape as they mature. Here are some factors to consider when it comes to investing in proper fitting shoes:

  • Be sure the shoes fit correctly right away
  • Ensure the ball of your foot fits comfortably in the widest portion of the shoes
  • Even though they may look fashionable, improper fitting shoes can either create adverse conditions or exacerbate existing ones you may already have
  • Walk along a carpeted surface to ensure the shoes comfortably fit during normal activity

Keeping in mind how shoes fit the biomechanics of your body, properly-fitting shoes are vitally important. Fortunately, it is not difficult to acquire footwear that fits correctly. Be sure to wear shoes that support the overall structure of your body. Do your feet a favor and invest in several pairs of well-fitted shoes today.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Meadville, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 02 January 2017 20:34

Diabetes Could Lead To Amputations

elderly feet 3For those who have been diagnosed with diabetes, or those with family members who have diabetes, taking care of your feet is something that should be taken very seriously.  Because of the lack of circulation in the feet and legs, numbness or loss of feeling can occur. This could prevent detection of problems such as an ulcer. That, coupled with inordinately slow healing, can cause infections to persist, spread, and even lead to amputation. Make sure to look out for signs of foot problems. If you have numbness or loss of feeling, sores, or any type of slow-healing wound, see a doctor immediately.

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Clifton Barretta from Associated Foot Health Center. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. Diabetes can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, including the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels because blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office in Meadville, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Hours / Location

Monday: 9am - 5pm
Tuesday: 9am - 5pm
Wednesday: 9am - 5pm
Thursday: 9am - 5pm
Friday: 9am - 1pm

Associated Foot Health Center
105 Mead Ave
Meadville, PA, 16335

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