Posts for: July, 2016
Have you noticed that one of your toes is bent or curled? If so, then this abnormality might just be the result of a hammertoe. While a hammertoe can occur in any toe, it most often happens to the second or third toe. This condition usually occurs as a person ages, but there are some people who are born with this problem. From the office of your Sparta, NJ podiatrist, Dr. Philip Caswell, find out more about the cause and solution for your hammertoe.
What are the symptoms of a hammertoe?
If you have a hammertoe, one of the most obvious symptoms is pain when you walk. You may also notice pain when stretching or moving the toe. Symptoms can range from mild to severe. Mild symptoms include:
- The development of a corn or callus on the toe
- Problems walking
- A toe that is curled or bend downward
- The inability to move the affected toe
What causes a hammertoe?
There are two joints present in each toe and when the middle joint is dislocated a hammertoe occurs. Joint dislocation causes include:
- Traumatic injury
- Very high arches
- Wearing ill-fitted shoe
- A bunion
- Tight tendons or ligaments in the foot
What can I do?
There are many ways to treat a hammertoe, and a lot will depend on the severity of your symptoms. Common treatment options include:
- Wearing bunion or corn pads
- Wearing shoe inserts or custom orthotics (ask your Sparta, NJ foot doctor about whether orthotics could improve your condition)
- Wearing properly fitted shoes that give your toes room to move
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin or ibuprofen
- Performing gentle toe stretches
If your hammertoe is so severe that you are unable to move it then surgery is the only treatment option that will be able to restore movement back into the affected toe. Surgery is used to reposition the toe and to realign any ligaments or tendons in the foot that might be causing your hammertoe.
A hammertoe can be easy to treat if you take care of the problem as soon as possible. If you are dealing with any foot problems turn to the foot care experts at Family Foot & Ankle Care in Sparta, NJ.
The feet have more sweat glands than any other part of the body, which means they have the ability to sweat profusely. With your feet encased in your shoes all day and the sweat unable to evaporate, bacteria will begin to grow rapidly. Bacteria then begins to break down the sweat, generating an unpleasant odor. Other factors can contribute to increased perspiration, including anxiety, hormonal changes, medications and various skin conditions.
Foot odor is a common problem, especially among those who perspire excessively, but it can be both embarrassing and physically uncomfortable. If you suffer from foot odor, rest assured that simple lifestyle changes and improved personal hygiene can help reduce and eliminate the smell.
Easy Ways to Eliminate Foot Odor
Since most foot odor is caused from excess sweat and the growth of odor-causing bacteria, it's relatively easy to control and reduce foot odor on your own. Start by taking the following preventative steps:
- Keep your feet clean by washing them with an antibacterial soap on a regular basis to minimize bacteria.
- Keep feet dry as moisture enables the growth of bacteria.
- Alternate shoes and avoid wearing the same pair for multiple days in a row.
- Choose open shoes such as sandals when possible, allowing air onto the feet which evaporates sweat and slows the growth of bacteria.
- Wear cotton socks which wick away moisture and absorb perspiration.
- Apply foot sprays and powders to the feet. Ask your podiatrist for recommended products.
- Disinfect, wash and discard foul smelling shoes as necessary.
The causes of foot odor are typically not harmful to your health, but do create an environment for the growth of fungus and bacteria. It's not unusual for infections such as toenail fungus and athlete's foot to develop as a result.
When improving your foot hygiene doesn't help reduce the smell, you may need to visit your podiatrist, as persistent foot odor can indicate an infection or a severe case of hereditary sweating. In these cases, a prescription ointment may be required to treat the problem. Visit our office, and we'll work with you to determine the cause and most effective treatment for your condition!