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By Ankle and Foot Institute
June 27, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Ingrown Toenails  

Ingrown toenails are nails whose sides or corners dig into the skin often causing pain and/or infection. They are caused by shoe ingrown toenailpressure, injury, fungal infection, improper nail trimming, genetics or just poor foot structure. Dr. Richard Wittock in St. Louis, MO, can offer several helpful tips to help his patients reduce their chances of ingrown toenails in the future.

Prevention Tips

Toenails should always be trimmed straight across and slightly longer at the end of the toe with toenail clippers only. Never curve your nails. Keep the toenails the proper length as too short can lead to an immediate toenail issue and increased risk of ingrown nails. If you have a condition where you have poor circulation to your feet, seek help from a St. Louis podiatrist for proper toe trimming.

Also, always wear shoes that fit. Shoes that place too much pressure on the toes can cause the nail to grow into the tissue around it. Protective footwear is also important for individuals who may be at risk for hurting their feet or toes at work.

For individuals with ingrown toenails, soak your feet several times a day to reduce tenderness and swelling. Place cotton or dental floss under the toenail edge that is ingrown to help it to grow properly. Over-the-counter pain relievers also help ease the pain. Never avoid treatment whether you are diabetic or not as it can lead to more serious foot problems later in life and even infection. Diabetic patients should check their feet daily for any issues including the risk of ingrown toenails that can lead to more serious problems for them because of their medical condition.

A podiatrist can evaluate the nails and determine the proper course of treatment to prevent infection. To schedule this important appointment today, call our St. Louis, MO, podiatry office at (636) 717-1100.

By Ankle and Foot Institute
May 16, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Athlete's Foot  

Find out what you can do to prevent athlete’s foot from happening to you.athlete's foot

While athlete’s foot is not a serious problem, we can probably all agree that no one wants to deal with it if they don’t have to. If you find yourself dealing with athlete’s foot, then you may be wondering why this keeps happening to you and what you can do to keep it at arm’s length. Luckily our St. Louis, MO, podiatrist Dr. Richard Wittock offers up some handy little tips for keeping your feet athlete’s foot-free.

Keep Feet Clean

While it might not come as much of surprise that you should be washing your feet everyday, you may just hop out of the shower and let your feet dry on their own. Of course, fungus thrives in areas that are moist and damp so if you want to prevent athlete’s foot then try and keep your feet thoroughly dry at all times. This means toweling off completely and between the toes after bathing. If you deal with particularly sweaty feet, apply an antifungal powder in your shoes prior to wearing them.

Wear the Proper Shoes

It’s also a good idea to wear shoes that are breathable, especially if you are prone to sweaty feet. You may even be able to find work-appropriate shoes that are also well fitted and waterproof. If you are having trouble finding shoes that provide enough breathability then talk to our St. Louis foot doctor or turn to an athletic shoe store for additional help.

Change Your Socks and Shoes

Most people just shove their feet into the same shoes day in and day out. You may even think that socks can be worn more than once, but if you are concerned about putting your feet at risk for athlete’s foot then you’ll want to shove those socks right into your hamper after using them. Give your shoes a day to air out before wearing them again. In the interim, you can spray or powder your shoes with an over-the-counter antifungal.

Don’t Share with Others

Regardless of whether someone has athlete’s foot or not, which can easily spread from one person to another, it’s important to keep things like towels or shoes to yourself. Sharing these items, especially with someone who has this fungal infection can make you prone to infection, too. If a member of your household has athlete’s foot make sure to disinfect the tub or shower after each use and make sure bath mats are properly laundered and stored away until athlete’s foot is completely gone.

Keep Feet Covered in Public Areas

Whether you love frequenting the community pool in the summer or you use your gym shower everyday, remember that these areas are hotbeds for athlete’s foot. If you want full protection, make sure to at least wear a pair of sandals in these public areas at all times.

If you are dealing with a nasty case of athlete’s foot or you just have questions about caring for your feet, you know you can always turn to the Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, MO. Call our office today!

By Ankle and Foot Institute
March 01, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Orthotics  

Orthotics are a device that is inserted into a shoe and are used to help people to walk, run or stand better and with comfort. These orthoticscustom-made shoe inserts are just one treatment method that your Saint Louis area podiatrist in Fenton, MO, Dr. Richard Wittock, can recommend for patients of all ages. Determining the best type of orthotics for your particular foot health is important.

Types of Orthotics

Ultimately, orthotics are designed to change foot function and can be protective. There are a few types to choose from and your Saint Louis area podiatrist can help determine which suits you best. Rigid orthotics are designed to help with walking and dress shoes and to aid function. They are usually made of a firm material. They help to control motion in foot joints that lie below the ankle joint. This helps to improve aches, pains and strains in the lower back, thighs or legs.

Soft orthotics are a type that is used to increase balance, take pressure off sore spots or the foot as a whole and/or to absorb shock. These are great for those with arthritis, diabetes or deformities. They are usually made of soft materials that can be worn against the sole of the tooth. They are custom-made with a plaster cast of each patient’s foot.

Semi-rigid orthotics offer balance to patients. They are made of a combination of both soft materials and reinforced with rigid materials. These are especially great for children with flat feet or other toe disorders. They also can help athletes with pain as they are training.

To determine which orthotics would fit your particular foot pain or injury the best, contact your Saint Louis area podiatrist, Dr. Wittock. To schedule an examination with him in his Fenton, MO, office, call (636) 717-1100 today.

By Ankle and Foot Institute
January 11, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Toenail Fungus  

Don’t let unsightly toenail fungus ruin the appearance of your feet!

You may think a toenail fungal infection could never happen to you, but it certainly can. There are many things that can increase your toenail funguschances of developing a fungal infection such as walking barefoot at the local gym or pool. Luckily, if this does happen to you, our St. Louis, MO podiatrist Dr. Richard Wittock can help. Here are some common treatment options to consider when it comes to treating your fungal infection.

Most people’s first course of action when they find out that they have a fungal infection is to head to their local pharmacy or drugstore and pick out an over-the-counter medication. This can certainly be helpful for some people but not everyone. If you've tried to treat the issue yourself but have found no relief with over the counter solutions, you'll want to turn to our St. Louis foot doctor for treatment.

There are laser therapies that can be used to treat more serious and stubborn infections. Since some topical medications cannot easily penetrate through the nail to target the fungus, this treatment option is more effective. When the laser is directed at the infected nail, it can safely penetrate through the nail to break up and kill the fungus living underneath. Laser fungal treatment is completely safe and won’t affect healthy skin or nails. Laser therapy will require up to three treatment sessions. After treatment, you won’t actually see results until the infection has grown out completely. It can take several months to see a clearer nail, so patience is key to successful treatment of fungal infections.

If you’ve been unsuccessful in treating your toenail fungal infection, then turn to Dr. Wittock at Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, MO, to get the proper, effective care you need to say goodbye to fungus infected nails and say hello to beautiful clear nails again.

By Ankle and Foot Institute
November 08, 2016
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Heel Pain  

Don’t let heel pain disrupt your daily life. Find out how we can help you!

You are getting up and getting ready to face the day but your feet have other plans. The first thing you’ve noticed is that your foot hurts. heel painThe pain is originating from the heel but it’s pretty unbearable and it’s making it difficult to even get around the house let alone go for your daily run. If this scenario sounds familiar, our St. Louis, MO podiatrist Dr. Richard Wittock is here to provide some useful advice for treating your heel pain.

The good news is that heel pain can sometimes go away on its own, but you’ll need to take some precautions in your daily life to promote faster healing. Some things you can do to speed up the process include:

Rest

For people who are physically active most days of the week this rule can be a major challenge, but if you want to get back on that running trail right away then you’ll need to let your foot heal fully. High-impact activities will just prolong the pain. If you must exercise talk to our St. Louis, MO foot doctor about safe activities you can do while your foot heals. Popular low-impact exercises include swimming and riding a stationary bicycle.

Heat Therapy

Heat therapy can be used to temporarily reduce the symptoms of heel pain. You can use a heat pad, or a towel dipped in hot water or simply soak your foot in hot water. If your pain continues or if your symptoms get worse, it's important to visit us so that we can provide additional treatment options.

Stretching Exercises

It’s important to stretch and strengthen the muscles and ligaments in your feet to reduce inflammation and improve mobility. Plantar fasciitis is certainly a condition that benefits the most from these stretches. It can even improve biomechanical issues, which could be to blame for your heel pain in the first place. We are always happy to provide you with a list of exercises that you can perform each day at home.

If your heel pain doesn’t respond to these treatments we may also recommend orthotics, corticosteroid injections, ultrasonic therapy and other treatment options for easing your symptoms and boosting your recovery time.

Don’t let heel pain ruin your activities and put a damper on your quality of life. Turn to Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, MO if you are noticing that your heel pain isn’t getting better with at-home care.





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