Posts for: February, 2018
Could that rash on your feet be caused by athlete's foot? Vineland, NJ, podiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Belancio shares common symptoms and explains what you can do to treat the uncomfortable condition.
Athlete's foot symptoms
The fungal infection responsible for athlete's foot causes a red, itchy, burning rash that typically forms on the soles of your feet and between your toes. You may also notice a few small blisters in the itchy area. These blisters tend to leak and may form painful sores when they break open. A bad smell can also be a symptom of athlete's foot.
Athlete's foot doesn't always cause a red, itchy rash. In some cases, you may only notice dry, flaky skin on your feet.
Athlete's foot is contagious
Tinea pedis, the fungus that causes athlete's foot, thrives in dark, damp spaces and can be spread from person to person easily. You may have caught it by walking barefoot on a locker room floor or pool deck or through direct contact with an infected person.
Sharing towels, sheets, socks or shoes with someone who has athlete's foot will increase your risk of developing the fungal infection. You may be more likely to develop athlete's foot if you have cuts or breaks in your skin, have eczema or have diabetes or a condition that affects your immune system.
Athlete's foot isn't always easy to treat at home
Mild cases of athlete's foot may well respond well to over-the-counter treatments. Unfortunately, if you have a stubborn or severe infection, drugstore store products might not clear up the rash and relieve the itching. If your symptoms don't improve with home treatment, we can prescribe prescription topical or oral anti-fungal medication during your visit to our Vineland office.
Do you still have athlete's foot despite weeks of home treatment? Call Vineland, NJ, podiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Belancio at (856) 839-0579 to schedule an appointment.
The Achilles tendon is the strong band of tissue that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. This lower leg tendon enables you to walk, jump, stand on your toes and climb stairs. You rely on it virtually every time you move your foot.
When the tendon is stretched beyond its normal capacity, a complete or partial tear may occur. Most Achilles tendon ruptures occur as a result of sport-related injuries when forceful jumping or sudden accelerations of running overstretch the tendon and cause a tear. Individuals with Achilles tendinitis -- weak and inflamed tendons -- are also more susceptible to tendon tears.
Signs of a torn Achilles tendon include:
- Sudden, sharp pain in the back of the ankle and lower leg
- Snapping or popping sensation at the time of the injury
- Swelling down the back side of the leg or near the heel
- Difficulty walking or rising up on the toes
The best treatment for a torn Achilles tendon is prevention. Avoiding this injury could save yourself months of rehab and extended time away from your game. Help prevent injury to your Achilles tendon by:
- stretching your calf muscles regularly
- limiting hill running and jumping activities that place excess stress on the Achilles tendons
- resting during exercise when you experience pain
- maintaining a healthy weight
- alternating high impact sports, such as running with low-impact sports, such as walking or biking
- wearing appropriate, supportive shoes with proper heel cushioning
If you suspect a ruptured Achilles tendon, visit our practice as soon as possible. Until you can seek professional care, avoid walking on the injured tendon and keep it elevated. Ice the affected area to reduce pain and swelling and, if possible, wrap the injured foot and ankle. For partial tears, swelling and pain may be less severe, but prompt treatment should still be administered.
Treatment for an Achilles tendon rupture can be surgical or non-surgical. Surgery to reattach the tendon is generally recommended, followed by rehabilitation, especially for individuals who want to return to recreational sports. Our pracitce can evaluate the severity of your tear and suggest the best treatment plan. With proper care, most people return to their former level of performance within six months.
How to Maximize Your Game with Good Foot Health
When it comes to exercise, your feet are one of the most overlooked parts of the body, enduring tremendous strain and stress during a hard workout. It's no surprise that an athlete's foot and ankle are prime candidates for injuries. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), poor foot care during physical activity is a contributing factor to some of the more than 300-foot ailments.
The following tips may help prevent foot and ankle injuries to keep you in the game.
Get a check-up
Visit our practice and your regular physician before starting any sport or fitness activity. This should include a complete foot and physical exam. During a foot exam, a podiatrist can identify whether your previously injured ankle is vulnerable to sprains, and recommend supportive ankle braces for increased stability.
Pre-workout warm up and stretch
Jogging before a competition or workout can help reduce the risk for foot and ankle injuries by warming up muscles, ligaments and blood vessels. Proper stretching before beginning a workout is also important. When muscles are properly stretched, the strain on joints, tendons and muscles is greatly reduced.
Treat foot and ankle injuries immediately
It's possible to injure bones in the foot or ankle without knowing it. What may seem like a sprain at the time may actually be a fracture. See a podiatrist at the first onset of ankle pain. The sooner you start treatment, the better your chance of preventing long-term problems like instability, and the sooner you can get back in the game.
Wear shoes specific to your sport
Different fitness programs require different footwear. Wearing the appropriate type of athletic shoe for your unique foot type and needs can help prevent foot problems while keeping you at your best performance. Remember to replace old, worn shoes in order to ensure optimal stability and support.
Pay attention to what your feet are telling you and remember to rest and consult our office when you first notice pain. Exercising is a great way to stay energized and fit, but if you're neglecting the health of your feet, you may be setting yourself up for serious injury.