My Blog

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!

By Michael Guerra, DPM
March 01, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Diabetic Foot Care  

Find out why those with diabetes need to be extra careful when it comes to caring for their feet.diabetic foot care

If you have diabetes, it’s important that you provide your feet with the proper care and attention they need to prevent complications. After all, foot-related complications are fairly common in those with diabetes. The goal of our Burlington, VT, podiatrist, Dr. Michael Guerra, is to provide you with the information you need to prevent foot complications from happening to you.

While we know that examining your feet every day may not be the highlight of your day, our Burlington foot doctor will tell you that this is one of the most important habits you can adopt if you want to catch issues early on and prevent complications. Even the smallest cuts or blisters can go overlooked until they get worse and cause more serious issues. By performing self-exams you can better detect problems and get the proper care you need right away.

Those with diabetes are also more likely to develop nerve damage in the feet, which not only affects circulation but also increases your chances of developing an infection. By ignoring your diabetic feet you leave yourself prone to ulcers, infections and even amputation.

So, what can you do to protect your feet from potentially serious complications? It’s important that if you develop a callous, corn, wart, or ulcer that you don’t try to treat the problem on your own by using an over-the-counter product or filing it down. If you are dealing with any of these issues it’s important that you turn to your podiatrist in Burlington as soon as possible.

We can also do more than just treat issues and prevent complications. We can also trim your toenails the proper way to prevent ingrown toenails or a skin infection. We can also recommend and provide supportive shoes, custom orthotics, and other devices to promote better blood flow and to make day-to-day movements more comfortable.

If you have diabetes it’s important that you lead a healthy lifestyle, eat a balanced diet and are able to keep your blood sugar levels under control.

Do you have questions about caring for your diabetic feet? Are you dealing with symptoms or changes in your feet? Then don’t hesitate to call our Burlington, VT, podiatry office right away to get the medical attention you deserve.

By Michael Guerra, DPM
February 07, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: foot pain   Pregnancy  

During pregnancy, it's not uncommon for women to experience an array of aches and pains all over the body. Among these complaints are tired, swollen, achy feet - a common and painful symptom experienced by mothers-to-be during their nine months of pregnancy.

One of the most common foot problems to occur during pregnancy is swelling, or edema, which results from an extra accumulation of blood. The natural weight gain and enlarging uterus puts pressure on the veins that lead to the legs, causing circulation to slow down and increasing fluid retention. The legs and feet may become swollen, making shoes tight, and in some cases causing pain and discomfort. Slight swelling during pregnancy is normal and usually subsides after giving birth. Women should pay close attention to edema symptoms. Swelling to the face or a sudden onset of swelling could be a sign of a more serious condition called preeclampsia and should be reported immediately.

Another troubling foot problem that can occur during pregnancy is over-pronation (flat feet) which is caused when a person's arch flattens out upon weight bearing causing the feet to turn in abnormally. This condition develops when the dense band of tissue in the arch of the foot called the plantar fascia becomes strained and inflamed due to increased flattening of the feet. Over-pronation is common in pregnancy due to the increased weight gain which stresses the feet and flattens the arches. Walking can become very painful, and women may experience increased discomfort and strain on the feet, calves and back.

There are various remedies available to help minimize and alleviate foot pain during pregnancy.

  • Take short breaks during the day and elevate your feet to relieve pressure and swelling.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Wear shoes that are soft, comfortable and give your feet room to move.
  • Wear seamless socks that do not constrict circulation.
  • Exercise or walk regularly to promote overall health.
  • Stretch legs frequently and avoid crossing your legs when sitting.
  • To prevent arch pain, stretch daily, avoid going barefoot and wear supportive low-heeled shoes.

When foot pain persists, visit your podiatrist. We'll work with you to find the best treatments for your foot pain. Pregnancy and pending motherhood should be a pleasant, enjoyable experience. Understanding the causes of foot pain and learning easy home remedies can help women step more comfortably throughout these special nine months.

By Michael Guerra, DPM
January 03, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Plantar Warts  

Plantar warts are benign growths that develop on the bottom of your feet, and are caused by direct contact with the human papilloma virus (HPV). This is the same virus that causes warts on other areas of the body. Some people are more susceptible than others to HPV, and not everyone will develop plantar warts if they come into contact with the virus. Individuals with weak immune systems or damaged skin on the feet are at a higher risk for plantar warts.

Plantar warts most often develop on the weight-bearing areas of the foot - the heel or the ball of the foot - causing sharp, burning pain. They can appear as a single wart (solitary) or a cluster of warts (mosaic). Common symptoms may include:

  • Pain or discomfort when walking or standing
  • Thick, scaly skin that often resembles a callus
  • Hard, flat growths with well-defined boundaries
  • Tiny black specks (clotted blood vessels) that often appear on the surface of the wart

Most warts disappear with home care and do not require medical treatment. You can take steps to prevent and treat plantar warts, which include:

  • Changing your shoes and socks daily
  • Keeping your feet clean and dry
  • Avoid picking at warts as the virus may spread
  • Avoid direct contact with an individual who has plantar warts
  • Checking your child's feet periodically
  • Refrain from walking barefoot, especially in public areas like showers, swimming pools and locker rooms
  • Never ignore skin growths or changes in your skin

You should always seek care from a podiatrist when warts interfere with your daily life, aren't responding to home treatments, or if you have circulatory disorders. Contact us if your warts:

  • Change color or shape
  • Cause unbearable pain and discomfort
  • Interfere with activities
  • Multiply or reappear

Without treatment, plantar warts can grow, spread and prompt new warts to grow as fast as the old ones disappear. If you can't confidently identify a growth on your foot, visit your podiatrist to ensure a correct diagnosis. Early diagnosis and treatment can decrease the risk of the wart spreading and multiplying.

By Michael Guerra, DPM
December 28, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Hammertoes  

Foot pain is a common and frustrating situation. However, with help from your podiatrist, you can pinpoint the cause of your foot pain and hammertoesovercome your condition to feel great and remain active. Hammertoes are a common cause of foot pain and a treatable and even curable condition. Find out more about hammertoes, what they are, and how your podiatrist can help them with Dr. Michael Guerra in Burlington, VT.

What is a hammertoe? 
A hammertoe occurs when a toe, normally the second, third, or fourth toe, curls under and resembles the claw side of a hammer. The toe often has corns or calluses on top due to the friction caused by the toe rubbing on the shoe. Hammertoes can be stiff or flexible, depending on the stage of the deformity. Stiff hammertoes tend to be further advanced than flexible hammertoes, requiring more intensive treatment to correct.

Do I have a hammertoe? 
If one or more of your toes has curled under, you probably have a hammertoe. The toe may have corns or calluses on the top side due to rubbing on your shoe. Hammertoe often begins painlessly and become uncomfortable over a long period of time, often many years. Hammertoe in its later stages may cause pain while standing or walking, swelling or redness around the toe’s joint, decreased range of motion, and pain on the ball of the foot.

How can my podiatrist help? 
Your doctor will use a physical examination to visually assess your foot and toes. If necessary, they will use an x-ray to further investigate your symptoms. From there, your doctor will determine the stage of your condition and the best treatment plan for you. In some cases, your doctor may simply have you avoid wearing ill-fitting shoes and watch the hammertoe over time to ensure that it does not get worse. However, more advanced hammertoes require more in-depth treatments.

Hammertoe Treatments in Burlington, VT 
Treatments for hammertoe vary from patient to patient. More mild cases may only require simple lifestyle changes like wearing better fitting shoes. However, advanced cases of hammertoe may require a surgical procedure to straighten the toe and realign the connective tissues which cause it to curl.

For more information on hammertoes or treating them, please contact your podiatrist, Dr. Michael Guerra, in Burlington, VT. Call (802) 862-8666 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Guerra today!

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