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By Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle
October 26, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: diabetic foot care  

People who suffer from diabetes know a thing or two about daily routines with having to monitor their blood sugar, administer insulin, or diabetic foot careother diabetes-related tasks. However, what many diabetics often overlook is their daily foot care routine. But why is this care important and what is the proper way to care for your feet? Find out with Dr. Larry Hotchkiss, Dr. Justin Pointer, and Dr. Seth Weaver at Southern Maryland Foot and Ankle with offices in Waldorf and Clinton, MD.

Why is diabetic foot care important? 
Diabetes cause decreased circulation in the feet, which can lead to reduced sensation in the feet and toes. In this case, the pain or discomfort from a simple scratch or ingrown toenail can go unnoticed, never alerting the patient to their existence. This means these seemingly insignificant injuries can go unnoticed and untreated long enough to become infected, causing much bigger problems than a simple scrape should. Diabetic foot care involves examining your feet daily, ensuring you notice and treat these injuries quickly and effectively before they become something much more sinister.

How should I properly care for my feet? 
First and foremost, keep your feet clean and dry. Wash them at least once a day and be sure to dry them completely afterward. Wear fresh socks daily and change socks if you participate in something which causes perspiration, such as exercise. Cut the toenails straight across and do not round the sides. Wear moisture-wicking socks to keep the feet dry throughout the day. Always wear shower shoes in damp, public places like pools or locker rooms.

Regular Diabetic Foot Examinations in Waldorf and Clinton 
Seeing your podiatrist for routine foot examinations can help you spot and treat issues early before they become larger problems. For more information on diabetic foot care, please contact Dr. Hotchkiss, Dr. Pointer, and Dr. Weaver at Southern Maryland Foot and Ankle with offices in Waldorf and Clinton, MD. Call (301) 868-3899 to schedule an appointment in Clinton and (301) 843-9581 to schedule an appointment in Waldorf today!

By Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle
August 17, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: bunions  

Don’t let bunion pain affect your daily activities. Find out how to manage your symptoms.bunions

While most people will go about their daily lives without even noticing that they have a bunion, there are some who face such terrible pain that day-to-day activities are often challenging. If your bunion pain is getting the better of you, our Clinton and Waldorf, MD, podiatrists Dr. Larry Hotchkiss, Dr. Justin Pointer and Dr. Seth Weaver have some simple self-care solutions that could help ease your angry bunion.

Stretching

If you find that your feet often become stiff then it’s time you performed some daily stretching exercises. These exercises can be performed throughout the day at your convenience. The great thing is that you can also perform them anywhere.

By placing a strap over your big toe, lightly pulling on the toe and holding that stretch for 30 seconds you can help to reduce tightness and joint stiffness. Talk to our Waldorf, MD, foot doctors about other foot stretches you can do from the comfort of your own home.

Supportive Shoes

A lot of people find that their bunion symptoms get worse if they don’t have shoes that offer the support and stability that they need. In fact, high heels, shoes with pointed toes and tight-fitted shoes can put too much pressure on the joint and make bunion symptoms worse. If this is happening to you then it’s time you chose shoes that give your toes room to wiggle and move around.

Orthotics

If you find that even purchasing bunion-friendly footwear isn’t enough then you may want to talk to us about whether custom orthotics could provide even more support for your tired, sore feet. Custom orthotics are specially crafted shoe inserts that are designed to improve structural imbalances and provide your feet with what they need to relieve pain and other symptoms.

If bunion pain is affecting your quality of life then it’s time you turned to Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle in Waldorf and Clinton, MD. We can help create a treatment plan that will cater to your needs and reduce your symptoms. Schedule an appointment today.

By Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle
June 23, 2017
Category: Foot Care

You can still enjoy all the wonderful parts of summer without the unpleasant fungal infection.Foot Care

Once the warm weather hits, it can be an exciting time full of days spent hanging at the local swimming pool. Whether you are taking the kids for a cooling dip or you just want to enjoy a little R&R over the weekend, our Clinton and Waldorf, MD, podiatrists - Dr. Larry Hotchkiss, Dr. Justin Pointer and Dr. Seth Weaver - are here to provide some information on how to protect your feet from that dreaded fungal infection this summer.

Keep Your Feet Clean

Regardless of your day’s schedule, if you wore shoes for a good portion of the day then it’s time to give your feet a good cleaning. You should be cleaning your feet everyday with soap and water. Standing in the shower and letting the water and soap run over your feet isn’t enough. Really make sure you clean every surface of your feet, even between the toes. Just because you can’t see bacteria doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Use Antifungal Powders

Are you prone to fungal infections? If you are reading this then chances are you’ve already had a few issues with fungal problems in the past. If this is the case, a good preventive measure you can take is to apply an antifungal powder or spray in your shoes before you wear them and then reapply it once you take them off. Also, remember not to wear the same shoes twice in a row (give them time to thoroughly air out before wearing them again).

Wash Those Soaked Socks

Did you get stuck in a sudden downpour? Have particularly sweaty feet? These issues happen, but it’s how you handle it that could determine whether you also face a fungal infection in the near future. Make sure you remove those wet socks as soon as possible and toss them in the wash immediately. Just like shoes, you never want to wear socks more than once.

Wear Protective Footwear

Whether you love frequenting the local pool or you consider yourself an avid gym goer, these are locations that just breed fungus. Hot, moist environments are where fungus thrives. Play it safe and remember to wear sandals and “shower shoes” in communal areas.

Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle in Clinton and Waldorf, MD, is here for you whenever you need foot care. Whether you are dealing with chronic heel pain or you do end up experiencing a fungal infection, turn to our foot care experts for the care you need.

By Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle
October 19, 2016

A fungus is a common mold. It thrives in dark places that are moist and warm. The fungal infections that we treat most frequently at Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle are athlete’s foot (also called tinea pedis) and fungal toenails. Fungal infections are highly contagious and are spread by direct contact. In some cases infections develop because of environment (closed-in shoes, sweaty socks, heat, humidity) and in other instances a weakened immune system from diseases such as diabetes can increase the likelihood of contracting a fungal foot infection. The good news is you can take steps to help prevent fungal infections. Here are some tips:

  • Wear shoes made of natural materials that breathe and are designed to allow air to circulate around your feet.

  • If you sweat excessively, consider changing your socks more than once a day.

  • Don’t wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row.

  • Avoid walking barefoot in public places such as gyms, locker rooms, community swimming pools, dorm showers.

  • Wash feet daily and dry completely, especially between your toes.

  • Don’t share socks, shoes, nail clippers or files.

  • If you get professional pedicures check to see that your salon follows proper sanitizing and disinfecting practices for foot baths and nail implements.

  • Dust feet with anti-fungal powder if you are susceptible to fungal infections.

If you notice itchy, red, scaly skin or toenails that appear discolored or thickened and crumbling, make an appointment at our Waldorf or Clinton office. Our board certified podiatrist, Dr. Larry J. Hotchkiss, will examine your skin and toenails and prescribe the appropriate treatment if it is determined that you do have a fungal infection. Left untreated, fungal infections can spread to other parts of the foot or body so if you see symptoms, don’t delay in seeking medical care.

By Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle
October 13, 2016
Category: Proper Foot Care

It’s estimated that over 38 million people in the United States will be hitting the hiking trails this fall. If you’re one of them, at Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle we want to be sure you’re prepared. Although autumn hikes with the cooler temperatures and changing leaves can be particularly enjoyable, they can also result in foot injuries that range from mild—shin splints and blisters, to severe—ankle sprains, fractures and injuries to the Achilles tendon. Many of these and other conditions can be prevented if hikers take proper precautions. Keep yourself safe and avoid these frequently made mistakes:

  1. Not having the right gear. Obviously, when it comes to your feet, good quality hiking boots are a must. Your boots should be moisture-proof (damp feet are more susceptible to blisters and athlete’s foot), have serious ankle support and a thick sole. Dress in layers so you avoid being cold or overheated. Consider two pairs of socks to keep feet dry and comfortable.  A hiking stick will also you find your footing on uneven trails.

  2. Choosing a hike that is too difficult. Be sure to investigate the hiking trail you’re considering not only for length but also for the terrain. Steep ascents and descents can be very hard on your knees and Achilles tendon, particularly if you are out of shape. The middle of a 5 mile loop is not the time to discover you’re on a trail that is too difficult for your fitness level.

  3. Forgetting about first aid. Hikers should carry a small, basic first aid kit with bandages, moleskin, an ace bandage or sling and cleansing pads with antibacterial ointment in case of minor injuries. Make sure you have cell service or know how to get help if a more serious injury should occur.

  4. Ignoring the signs of an injury. Pain, swelling, bumps and bruises are all signs that an injury has occurred. Not seeking treatment will almost certainly result in more severe damage. Make an appointment at our Waldorf or Clinton office as soon as possible if you believe you may have injured a toe, foot or ankle. Our board certified podiatrist, Larry Hotchkiss, DPM, will want to examine your foot, assess any damage and prescribe the proper treatment if necessary.





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