White Plains Podiatrists Discuss Five Facts About Slippers You Probably Didn’t Know

Posted by 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.

Shopping for slippers this holiday season? Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Shopping for slippers this holiday season? Here are a few things to keep in mind. Image Source: Pixabay user FotoEmotions.

Winter Foot Injuries: Tips For Treating and Preventing Chilblains

Posted by on Friday, December 2nd, 2016

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.

pernio
Are your toes red, inflamed, and itchy? It could be chilblains. Image Source: Wikimedia user Ian Dunster.

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:

  • Autoimmune diseases like lupus
  • Blood disorders like viral hepatitis
  • Tight clothing in damp, cold weather
  • Female gender
  • Poor circulation
  • Smoking
  • Raynaud’s Syndrome
  • Being sedentary
  • Working outside in the cold
  • Wearing ill-fitting boots
  • Being underweight (by about 20%)
  • 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.

 

Is There Such Thing as Podiatrist-Recommended Flip-flops?

Posted by on Monday, August 8th, 2016

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.

podiatrist recommended flip-flops
Do podiatrist-approved flip-flops really exist? Yes, but it depends on the brand. (Image credit: Flickr CC user betsy)

Beware Fish Hook Foot Puncture Wounds This Summer, Warn NY Podiatrists

Posted by on Monday, August 10th, 2015

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!

foot puncture wound
Be careful out on the beach, warn NY doctors. Don’t get hooked like this poor fish! Image Source: Wikimedia.org

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1. http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/04/16/hundreds-of-condoms-thousands-of-tampon-applicators-found-among-nj-beach-trash/