Diagnosing and treating foot problems in children can help them avoid lifelong foot and ankle issues. Dr. Larry Hotchkiss, Dr. Justin Pointer and Dr. Seth Weaver of Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle in Waldorf and Clinton, MD, explain how you can tell when your child may benefit from a visit to the foot doctor.
You've noticed that things don't look quite right when your child walks
Toddlers don't have particularly smooth gaits when they first learn to walk. They may walk on their toes, or you may notice that their toes point in or out when they walk. These issues will usually go away as your son or daughter becomes more experienced at walking. If they don't, it's a good idea to schedule a visit without our Waldorf or Clinton office. Correcting foot issues is much easier when your child is young and his or her feet are still fairly flexible. Solutions are often very simple and may involve temporarily wearing splints, night braces or special shoes.
You think your child may have flatfoot
Flatfoot, a condition that's also called "fallen arches," can be inherited. If your child has flatfoot, he or she may complain of pain in the feet, legs, knees, hips and lower back, have an awkward gait or become tired easily when playing. You may also notice uneven wear in the heels of shoes. Wearing shoes that adequately support and cushion the arch can increase your child's comfort. Orthotics, shoe inserts that are custom-designed to address your child's condition, can be very helpful, as can physical therapy and stretching exercises.
Your child's heels hurt
Heel pain in children can be caused by Sever's disease. The condition causes a painful inflammation in growth plate in the heel and typically affects pre-teens and teens who are growing rapidly. Children who are active in sports are most likely to be affected. Symptoms of Sever's disease include pain and tenderness at the back of the heel that worsens with activity, limping, tight calf muscles or swelling at the back of the heel. Rest, ice and over-the-counter pain medications can be helpful. Your child may also benefit from orthotics, heel cushions, stretching exercises or physical therapy.
Are you concerned about an issue with your child's feet? Schedule an appointment with podiatrists Dr. Hotchkiss, Dr. Pointer and Dr. Weaver of Southern Maryland Foot & Ankle by calling (301) 843-9581 for the Waldorf, MD, office or (301) 868-3899 for the Clinton, MD, office.
People who suffer from diabetes know a thing or two about daily routines with having to monitor their blood sugar, administer insulin, or other 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!
Don’t let bunion pain affect your daily activities. Find out how to manage your symptoms.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can still enjoy all the wonderful parts of summer without the unpleasant fungal infection.
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.
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.
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