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     We should be able to make it through the day without having our feet making us aware of them. Itching or painful feet can be quite a distraction. Furthermore, It these symptoms often result in a change in our gait. A change in gait puts undue stresses on multiple joints and can over work muscles. This can gradually lead to other areas of the body becoming injured and painful such as our knees, hips or back. Today, I would like to focus on causes of dryness and itching that are not related to athlete's foot. The most common condition I see in my office that presents this way besides athlete's foot is eczema. Eczema is not contagious. It will usually present as dry and scaling skin. It is generally considered to be an inherited condition. Any factors that seem to promote dryness will likely aggravate this condition. Over washing the skin or using harsh soaps can contribute to this condition as well. Low humidity is another factor. At East Avenue Podiatry, I have noticed that often this condition is worse in the winter. The appearance can also include a rash and sometimes various bumps on the skin. If scratched, these areas may ooze liquid. One of the best treatments for eczema is the use of topical hydrocortisone steroids. Steroids reduce itching and inflammation. Steroids come in many strengths and can be purchased over-the-counter or by prescription. Once the patient is improved, I will often recommend emollient type creams or lotions to help prevent dryness.
     There are other reasond feet can become dry and itchy such as allergic reactions which may be caused by an ingredient in the laundry detergent being used to clean the patient's clothes. This type of condition can also be relieved by steroid creams. However it is essential to eliminate the cause of the allergy as well. Psoriasis is a another condition to consider which often presents as scaling patches. This condition is best treated by prescription medications prescribed by either a dermatologist or podiatrist.
     The bottom line is that we generally do not have to live with these discomforting conditions. There are treatments and I encourage seeking professional help if you are suffering with these symptoms. We can be reached at East Avenue Podiatry by calling 203 – 853 – 6570 or at [email protected] Enjoy the summer.
Lonnie N Resnick DPM

July 17, 2017
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Did you ever wonder whether it is normal for your feet to itch?  Well it is not and we can take actions to prevent it.  First, it is important to understand why our feet sometimes itch.  There are multiple causes.  The most common cause during the summer months is a condition called tinea pedis, commonly known as "athletes foot".  This is a condition that results most often in skin that appears to be red and scaling.  The areas most often involved are the bottom of the feet and between the toes.   Fungal spores are virtually everywhere.  They are on the floor, inbedded in carpets and likely in our shoes.  Fungus loves dark, moist areas which explains why our feet are so susceptible.  It is not a coincidence that the areas of our feet with the greatest concentration of sweat glands is most affected.  So how do we prevent athletes foot.  We need to try to create an environment that fungus does not do well in.  The more we dry our feet well and allow them to breath, the lower the odds of contracting athletes foot.  It is worth taking the time to dry your feet thoroughly with a towel after showering or bathing and include the areas between your toes.  When home and relaxing, taking your shoes and socks off is also beneficial.  At East Avenue Podiatry, we often recommend our patients lightly powder their feet before putting socks on.  By the way, wearing most types of socks is beneficial while in shoes.  Cotton socks allow for good breathing, while nylons do not.  If you do contract athletes foot, treating with antifungal creams is usually effective.  Applying the cream 2-3 times a day for a few weeks will do the trick in most cases.  Lamasil and lotrimin cream are the two most popular over the counter creams and there are many that can be prescribed by a doctor.  In chronic cases, an oral antifungal may be utilized. The oral medicines available are somewhat toxic to the liver and therefore the patient needs to be monitored for liver function before starting the medicine and again if on them for any length of time.  Once the fungal infection is cleared, preventing a reoccurance is key.  My office carries an antifungal spray that can be used in shoes at the end of the day to kill off the fungal spores that are present.  So you see, there is no reason to suffer with the itching and discomfort of athletes foot.  Take these precautions and certainly call East Avenue Podiatry at 203-853-6570 for an appointment if symptoms continue.  Tune in next for other causes of itchy feet.

June 30, 2015
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After he long and hard winter, summer is here!  It is time to take advantage of the good weather and enjoy the many outdoor activities.  It is quite common for people to wear sandals in the warm weather and sometimes even go barefoot.  There has been an emphasis in recent years on utilizing sunblock to protect from skin damage and potential development of skin cancer.  A cream with a 30 SPF is recommended.  If swimming is involved, reapplication is important.  The tops of our feet are often ignored when applying sunblock.  It is crucial that this area of our bodies are protected.  The top of the feet are exposed to direct sunlight.  A sunburn is one of the quickest ways to inhibit the enjoyment of the summer. A severe sunburn can result in blistering and the risk of infection.  I would also like to take the time to remind everyone that even though it is summer, good, supportive type shoes should still be a priority.  When wearing sandals, stay away from flip-flops.  There are plenty of good quality sandals with arch support.  Teeva and Birkenstock are a couple of brands that we recommend.  There are other good ones as well.  I would also try to mix in wearing good, running style sneakers whenever possible.  The use of nonsupportive foot gear on a regular basis can lead to many painful conditions both in the short-term and the long-term.  So please support those feet because they support you!

June 02, 2015
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It is time to get ready for those hot and humid summer days.  There will be plenty of visits to the beach and pool.  The summer does present certain risks to our feet.  Before venturing out, it is important to consider protecting our feet.  The first consideration would be what kind of shoe gear to wear.  The basic characteristic that we look for in a quality shoe applies for every season.  Ideally, shoes should be both supportive in the arch area and provide some cushioning.  The shoes should properly fit the feet both for width and length.  Finally, the materials used to make up the shoes should be high quality and allow for proper ventilation.  A good quality running or walking sneaker fits all these requirements and is always a safe bet.  I am not a fan of minimalist type sneakers.  I believe that we need more supportive based on the unnatural, hard surfaces we walk on  I do understand that during summertime there will be times when a sneaker or closed shoe will be too cumbersome.  There are many sandals that are now available on the market that supply a good amount of arch support.  I would highly recommend staying away from flip-flops.  Our magazines are full of articles discussing the complications of wearing flip-flops.  Please remembo apply sunblock to your feet when in sandals or open shoes.   I always suggest to my patients that what you wear on your feet is crucial for foot comfort and also to align the rest of the spine properly.  Many people have back pain or knee pain that is stemming from improper balance during the gait cycle.  So please stick to good quality, supportive shoes, such as sneakers, as often as possible.  Feel free to let your feet air out in a high quality, supportive sandal on occasion and enjoy the summer months.

I know  I cannot speak for all podiatrists, but most of the ones I know love New Balance sneakers.  I have personally been a big advocate for them for years.  When looking for the best shoe to wear health wise, there are a few considerations.  Proper fit is essential.  Even a well constructed shoe that does not fit well will cause issues.  How many times have I heard my patients complaining how difficult it is for them to get a good fitting shoe.  Maybe they can get the length correct, but they may have very narrow or wide feet.   Here lies the beauty of New Balance sneakers.  They come in a wide range of widths.  The widths range from very narrow all the way to a 6E.  The days of having to get a shoe or sneaker too long to accommodate a wide foot are over.  Proper width really is crucial both for comfort and function.  Many painful conditions of the foot are exasperated when the width is not correct.  Arch support is also important in analyzing a shoe.  Feet that flatten out too much on ambulation often result in painful arches or heels.   Over time, deformities such as bunions and hammertoes may develop.  Some style New Balance sneakers have more arch support than others.  Some people will not tolerate a very high arch. I suggest to my patients that they go to a New Balance store when purchasing.  The staff there is best equipped to make sure you get the proper sneaker for your foot.  There is a great New Balance store in New Canaan.  The owners have been in the business for many years and have a good understanding of proper foot function.  I want what is best for my patients and I always have confidence when they go to the New Canaan New Balance store they will be properly cared for and leave with the best shoe possible.   At this point, I should be clear that I have no financial interests in the New Balance company or the store in New Canaan.  New Balance also provides sneakers with a good amount of shock absorption.  This is important in today's world because we are walking and running on hard surfaces which are not natural for our feet.  We are really meant to be on softer surfaces such as grass and sand.  To be fair,  most sneaker companies do provide products with good cushioning.  Finally, New Balance utilizes high quality materials and many of their sneakers are made right here in the United States.   It is a throw back to my childhood to look at a product and see Made in the USA.  Besides giving me a feeling of pride, I still think it is likely to be better constructed than a  made in China sneaker.  That is just a personal opinion.  New Balance, like the other top sneaker companies, provide sneakers geared for different activities.   For example, you will find running shoes, walking shoes, cross trainers and tennis shoes.  This is another reason why it is best to buy the shoe from a store with the most understanding of feet and your personal needs.  Too many of my patients boast about getting a great deal and it turns out they bought the wrong shoe for their feet because they ventured out on their own without help.  So lets enjoy the warm weather with lots of activities and comfortable feet!  A properly fitting New Balance sneaker will give you a great opportunity to stay active and pain free.

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