The new year is rapidly approaching, and soon many of us will renew our desires to increase physical fitness, get back into exercising, or start a new winter running routine. “This is a great idea, but you need to take extra care of your feet as you start a new running routine, especially while running in the cold,” says Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, the Doctor of Podiatric Medicine at the Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in New York City. We encourage patients to follow these winter running tips to keep your feet in peak condition this winter.
Jenn F. on
Wednesday, December 13th, 2017
Slippers are commonly given as presents for the holidays. Like a plush spa robe, slippers convey the sentiment that the giver wants the recipient to feel comfortable and pampered. Yet, shopping for slippers isn’t always so easy. You’ll find they run the gamut from $11 Isotoners to Guccis topping $1,000, and everything in between. Today, White Plains podiatrists have five interesting facts about slippers you should know before you hit the shops looking for the perfect pair.
You’ve been outside in the cold, and as you’re on your way in the house, you can’t wait to get your boots off. It feels like someone’s rubbed sandpaper on the tops of your toes—ouch! Upon closer inspection, you notice your toes are red, inflamed, and sore. They throb and itch uncontrollably. Is it a blister? Frostbite? Trench foot? It could actually be a common winter condition called chilblains (or pernio). Today, NYC podiatrists from The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine share important facts about this cold weather affliction and how to treat it.
What Causes Chilblains?
Essentially, chilblains are caused by an inflammatory response. “Chilblain flare-ups occur when the tiny blood vessels in your toes shut down to conserve heat,” explains Dr. Josef Geldwert, a board-certified foot surgeon in Manhattan. “Normally, these capillaries open up again when we go inside and warm up, but with chilblains sufferers, there is a 30-minute delay.” Without sufficient circulation and blood supply to gradually warm us, the skin becomes overheated and damaged. The hot, red, itchy inflammatory response occurs once the blood runs across the injured soft tissue.
Who Is At Risk?
We have seen chilblains in old people. We have seen them in children as young as six—often hours after they play in the snow. We have seen them in people who are otherwise completely healthy. Little is known about the precise cause of chilblains, but we believe there is an undiscovered genetic link. Approximately 1 out of 10 people are affected by chilblains, and there are certain risk factors that may predispose a person to get chilblains in the winter:
A location that has high humidity and cold temperatures but is not freezing
Treatments and Preventative Measures
You may be able to prevent chilblains by doing foot exercises to increase circulation. Make sure you are wearing loose wool socks (ideally two pairs of socks) and waterproof boots that have been professionally sized to fit your feet. Avoid a hot shower right away after coming inside. Instead, allow the feet time to gradually warm up or put them into a basin of warm water. Before you go outside, put on a moisturizing cream or a menthol ointment like Zambuk that is specially formulated to open up the blood vessels. Avoid smoking, eat a healthy diet, and be sure you are getting enough calcium, vitamin D, and B vitamins!
If you have chilblains, avoid scratching the site. Instead, you can apply calamine lotion to reduce itching and use lanolin to bring down the swelling. Although it may seem tempting, do not apply heat packs to the affected area. The best course of home treatment is to soak your feet in Epsom salt and lukewarm water for 20 minutes. The chilblains should heal completely on their own within 7-14 days, and, in most cases, they do not cause long-term damage. However, serious cases may turn into weepy ulcers. If you are diabetic, you should see your doctor immediately, as any small sore on the foot runs the risk of becoming a non-healing, infected ulcer. Infections can threaten life or limb, so if you are not seeing progress within two weeks or if the situation seems to be worsening with every passing day, seek medical attention from a NYC podiatrist.
A Podiatrist Can Help
One of the main reasons people seek a doctor’s opinion is to rule out something more serious like Raynaud’s Syndrome or lupus. Even if it is just a particularly severe case of chilblains, your doctor can prescribe a medicine such as nifedipine to dilate blood vessels or a topical steroid to expedite healing. UV light therapy or ultrasound may also increase circulation and natural healing factors while alleviating some of the pain. Additionally, we have special dressings to treat ulcers or broken skin and prevent infection. Whatever your exact situation, we’re happy to help you come up with a strategy to prevent recurring chilblains. Don’t suffer this winter; contact Manhattan podiatrists here.
Flip-flops are one of the most maligned types of footwear – right up there with unfashionable Crocs and ankle-breaking stilettos. In the UK, flip-flops reportedly injure 200,000 people a year (mostly with shin splints, ankle sprains, fractures, and hammertoes), and studies conducted in the US reveal additional risks, such as bacterial infections, contusions from dropped items, stubbed toes, blisters, and stress fractures. However, the news isn’t all bad, says Dr. Mariola Rivera, DPM from The Center For Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in NYC.
Summer is a great time for fishing, whether you frequent one of the beautiful local New York beaches or head down south for more competitive sport fishing. New York podiatrists recommend wearing thick-soled water shoes when out on the beach and taking special care to watch where you’re walking. “A foot puncture wound is a very, very nasty thing,” states Dr. Ryan Minara from The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in NYC. “Fishing hooks don’t just hit the surface-level skin. By design, these tools are made to hang on and not let go. They often tangle up in nerves, tendons, ligaments and even bones to make for a really painful, tricky situation,” he explains. We can’t tell you the exact specifics on NY beaches, but CBS News reports retrieving 81 fishing hooks from the neighboring New Jersey shoreline.1http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/04/16/hundreds-of-condoms-thousands-of-tampon-applicators-found-among-nj-beach-trash/ That’s a lot of potential foot injuries!
“I am so grateful for having had Dr. Geldwert perform bunion surgery on both of my feet. I have complete confidence in him and continue to see him for other sports related injuries. I was cautious about having surgery for the first time, but his knowledge, patience, and skill made me completely comfortable in trusting him. And I couldn’t be any happier with the results!! When anything else feels wrong with my feet, I love that I now know to go immediately to him. He is my top choice for anyone searching for the best foot fixer/surgeon/sports doctor in NYC! Thank you, Dr. Geldwert!!!”
– J. M., Manhattan, NY
Manhattan Office 111 East 88th Street New York, NY 10128 (212) 996-1900 See map here
Westchester Office 10 Mitchell Place Suite 105 White Plains, NY 10601 (914) 328-3400 See map here
Manhattan Orthopedic and Sports Medicine 57 West 57th Street New York, NY 10019 (212) 996-1900 See map here
Dr. Josef J. Geldwert DPM, Dr. Katherine Lai DPM, Dr. Ryan Minara, DPM, and Dr. Mariola Rivera DPM serving Westchester County, White Plains, Ardsley, Bronxville, Harrison NY, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Rye, Scarsdale, Rye Brook, Chappaqua, and the surrounding area.
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