My Blog

By Michael Guerra, DPM
May 30, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Child Podiatry   Foot Care   Footwear  

While it might not be something you think about often (or at all), the health of your child’s feet is important. Your child is growing by leaps and bounds and certain habits and other factors can affect how your child’s feet develop or if they experience injuries or other problems down the road. Unfortunately, a lot of children end up wearing shoes that are far too small for their feet, which can lead to pain, structural imbalances and certain foot deformities.

We know that going shoe shopping is certainly not a walk in the park for most parents; however, it’s an important component to making sure your child maintains healthy feet. There are many things to think about when it comes to picking the right shoes, and your podiatrist can also provide suggestions and tips to make the world of shoe shopping easier for you and your little one.

Some factors that you should consider when shopping for the right shoes include:

  • Your child’s age
  • The shoe’s material
  • Your child’s shoe size
  • The shoe’s structure

A good rule of thumb is to shop for shoes every 2 months when your child is between the ages of 1 and 2 years old. Once they reach three and four, you’ll want to purchase new shoes approximately every four months. At the point that your child is five or six years old, every six months is a good time to swap out old shoes for new ones.

As you might already know, the bones of a baby or infant’s feet are soft and haven’t fully developed. To protect your child’s feet it’s important that they wear socks and soft shoes. Make sure that as your child’s feet grow that the toes have room to wiggle and move around within the shoes. Bunched-up toes are a major no-no!

Since your little one is growing by leaps and bounds it is important that you are constantly checking their shoe size for changes. Remember that feet swell throughout the day, so shoe shopping should be done at the end of the day when feet are at their largest. If you aren’t sure what size shoe your little one wears, you can ask one of the store’s footwear specialists for help.

Of course, you can’t forget the importance of choosing the right socks, as well. Socks can prevent your little one from blisters, calluses and other foot problems. They can also wick away sweat and prevent fungal infections. When it comes to choosing the right socks for your little one consider the type of fabric, your child’s activity level, the size of your child’s feet and sensitivities they might have to certain fabrics.

When in doubt, you should talk to a foot doctor who can provide you with advice, answer any questions you might have about your child’s developing feet and also provide comprehensive care, when needed.

By Michael Guerra, DPM
May 01, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Nail Fungus  

Are you suffering from toenail fungus?toenail fungus

Toenail fungus is when toenail, fingernail, or even skin under a nail, is infected. Your Burlington, VT, podiatrist can help you deal with toenail fungus with laser treatment.

What is Toenail Fungus?

Fungi, yeasts, or molds may result in toenail infection. Fungi thrive in warm, moist places, so try taking the following precautions:

Avoid using direct contact with:

  • Nail clippers used by someone who has a toenail fungus
  • Public showers and pools, which are great places for fungi to thrive
  • Nail injury, which makes it easy for fungus to infect the toe

What are some toenail fungus treatments?

There are at-home and prescribed treatments, depending on how bad the infection. Treatments include topical and oral anti-fungal treatments that can suppress infection and symptoms.

Untreated toenail fungus can spread and result in more severe issues. Be sure to look out for the following symptoms:

  • Darkened, yellow, or white toenail
  • Thick or brittle nail
  • Nails split from the nail bed

You need to see your Burlington podiatrist when you seek treatment, especially since toenail fungus is hard to treat and reoccur. The recurrence and/or severity need longer lasting and more intense treatment, laser technology.

What is laser treatment?

The FDA-approved laser beams over the infected nail. The pigmentation present in the fungi absorbs the laser's light which creates heat that kills organisms in the toenail.

There aren't any studies that indicate negative side effects to laser treatment; it doesn’t harm soft, healthy tissue near the infected nail bed.

There are other treatment options, as mentioned above, which include anti-fungal oral treatments.

Fungal treatment shouldn't be difficult, especially if you have a reliable doctor. This problem shouldn't be ignored as more severe issues may emerge.

For more information or to schedule an appointment for laser treatment in Burlington, VT, call Dr. Michael Guerra at (802) 862-8666 today!

By Michael Guerra, DPM
April 27, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Bunions  

BunionsWhat is a Bunion?

Are you dealing with a bunion? A bunion is a protrusion of the bone at the base of the big toe. While a bunion may seem like a bump, according to the (APMA) American Podiatric Medical Association a bunion is actually the enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe – the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. While bunions are a common foot disorder, it is not something that you should ignore as bunions can cause discomfort and become inflamed if left untreated.
 

What Causes Bunions?

Bunions can be hereditary and aggravated by the shoes you wear, especially high heels or shoes that don’t have enough room for your toes. Certain factors can also contribute to the development of bunions, such as if you have flat feet or low arches or if your feet pronate (when the ankles roll in towards each other during movement and cause excessive and prolonged pressure on the joints in the feet). If you are dealing with bunions, or think that you are, it’s important to seek help from a qualified podiatrist to get the care you need to relieve your pain and discomfort.
 

How a Podiatrist Can Help

Your podiatrist may recommend certain conservative at home steps you can take to minimize the discomfort. The first thing they may recommend is that you look at or change the kind of shoes you wear. It’s important to find shoes that are wide enough to accommodate your toes. Shoes such as high heels are likely to make the problem worse. Bunion pads can also help with your discomfort.
Severe bunion pain can restrict your mobility. Untreated bunions can continue to get worse if you don’t do something about them and can lead to other issues such as calluses and corns, or you may experience pain or redness on the site of the bunion, as well as swelling.
Other treatment options include orthotics or a combination of physical therapy and medication to relieve pressure and inflammation of the bunion. In severe cases, surgery may be needed to resolve the issue.
 

Prevention is Key

We all like to remain active, and oftentimes it is the result of this activity that can make your bunion pain worse. You should visit your podiatrist if you notice any issues so they can be caught and treated as early as possible. Call our office today.
By Michael Guerra, DPM
April 02, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Shin Splints  

Although a shin splint is commonly used to describe various pains between the ankle and the knee, it actually refers to a specific inflammatory condition of the tibia -- a condition called medial tibial stress syndrome.

A type of "overuse injury" to the legs, the most common causes of shin splints include excessive running, poor conditioning and over-pronation (flattening of the arch). The result is pain in the front or inside of the lower leg that usually gets worse with a sudden increase in distance or intensity of training. Shin splints are a common problem for many runners and athletes. Muscle weakness, non-supportive shoes and overtraining are also contributing factors.

To prevent shin splints, warm up and stretch muscles before starting any workout activity and choose supportive footwear. Begin workouts gradually and avoid over-training. All of these methods will go a long way in helping to prevent many lower leg problems. Conservative treatment for most shin splint pain includes rest, ice, compression and elevation. Strengthening exercises, anti-inflammatory agents and custom foot orthotics may also be recommended to reduce symptoms.

Shin pain isn't always indicative of a shin splint. Lower leg pain may actually signal a more serious problem, including a stress fracture, partial muscle tear and tendonitis, all of which require special treatment. Always seek the professional care of a podiatrist if:

  • You have severe pain in your shin following an injury.
  • Your shin is hot and inflamed.
  • Swelling in your shin increases.
  • Shin pain persists during rest.

Proper diagnosis of the cause of pain is necessary in order to administer the most appropriate treatment. If you suffer from shin pain, visit your podiatrist for an evaluation and proper treatment.

By Michael Guerra, DPM
March 06, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Healthy Feet  

Looking fabulous in your favorite pair of heels does have a price. In fact, shoes that fit poorly or have high heels frequently cause foot problems, including calluses, corns, bunions, and blisters, just to name a few.

All footwear eventually show signs of wear and tear. Inspect the condition of your own shoes. Do they appear stretched out or worn? Then you probably need a new pair. Creasing of the midsole is also a good indication that your shoes have lost their cushion and support.

Maximize Fit, Minimize Discomfort

The following tips can help you avoid purchasing a pair of shoes that may contribute to a long list of foot problems:

  • Try on shoes late in the day, when the feet tend to be a bit larger due to natural swelling
  • Women should opt for low, stable heels
  • Try on both shoes to be sure that they fit comfortably on both feet
  • Choose breathable shoe materials, such as leather, to prevent excessive sweating and blisters
  • Have your feet measured to ensure the best fit
  • Avoid pointy-toed shoes which cause bunions and hammertoes
  • Walk around the store with both shoes on to make sure the fit is comfortable
  • For athletes, choose shoes that are specific to the sport you play
  • Choose the right shoe for your foot type (e.g. if you have flat feet, select shoes with good arch support)

Still not ready to part with your favorite pair of sneakers or trendy heels? Not sure if the shoes you currently wear are right for your feet? A professional podiatrist can evaluate the condition of your feet, and work with you to find the best pair of shoes for you!





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