A research study by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) found that about 77 percent of Americans have problems with their feet, yet only a small portion ask for help from a podiatrist. Common foot problems include deformities, growths, oppressive odors, and ligament tears that cause pain. Discover more about the most common foot issues that are treated by Dr. Richard Wittock at Ankle and Foot Institute in the Fenton and St. Louis, MO, area each year.
A bunion is a foot deformity that causes an inward protrusion of the bottom of the bone that supports your big toe. The top of the big toe then presses against the other toes, causing them to crowd. It’s caused by years of wearing shoes that press the toes together unnaturally.
Corns are an embarrassing and sometimes painful problem. They are layered growths of skin that usually form on the first and second knuckles of the toes. They are a sign that you do a lot of walking and physical activity—especially in shoes that are not good for your feet.
Athlete’s foot is an odorous and embarrassing problem that develops mostly in runners and athletes. Because their feet are often sweaty and hot in their sneakers or cleats, fungus infections are common. Athlete’s Foot can be contagious and recurrent, but there are basic treatments for it available from your Fenton and St. Louis podiatrist.
A callus is similar to a corn, except for the location where it forms. A callus usually develops on the bottom or side of the foot. The skin layers as a form of protection due to constant contact with a hard surface (usually your shoe) and gets hard.
The Achilles tendon runs along the back of your foot, attaching your heel to your calf. It’s crucial for athletic activities. When this tendon is stretched or inflamed, the problem is called Achilles Tendonitis. It causes swelling and discomfort in the heel.
Let a Foot Doctor Fix Your Feet
Are you struggling with one or more of these foot ailments? If so, Dr. Richard Wittock at the Ankle and Foot Institute in Fenton, MO and serving St. Louis, MO, can help. Call 636-717-1100 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Richard Wittock.
Ingrown toenails are nails whose sides or corners dig into the skin often causing pain and/or infection. They are caused by shoe pressure, 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.
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.
Find out what you can do to prevent athlete’s foot from happening to you.
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!
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 custom-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.
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 chances 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.
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