My Blog

By Michael Guerra, DPM
July 30, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Blister  

A foot blister is a small pocket of fluid that forms on the foot. Blisters can be painful while they heal. Foot blisters are caused by several things, including friction, burns, contact with irritants, and autoimmune diseases. Treatment can alleviate your pain, prevent infection, and help heal your blister. Here's what to do when you keep getting blisters on your feet.

1. See a podiatrist- When foot blisters interfere with your normal activities, you should see a podiatrist. Podiatrists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle problems, including blisters. Depending on the cause of the foot blister, your podiatrist will form a treatment plan for you. 

2. Cover your blisters- If a blister does occur, do not pop it. A blister should be covered to reduce irritation and cut back on the risk of infection. Wash your blisters with soap and water and cover them with dressings, like bandages or gauze pads. Your dressings should be changed every day. 

3. Use antibiotic ointment- Antibiotic ointment helps prevent infections in blisters. You can purchase antibiotic ointment at a local pharmacy. Apply antibiotic ointment to the foot blisters as directed, especially before you put on your socks or shoes.

4. Keep your feet dry- Keep your feet dry at all times. After you shower, dry your feet thoroughly. Wear socks every day to keep moisture away from the skin of your feet. For sweaty feet, use products that help control moisture. 

5. Use custom orthotics- Orthotic devices are molded pieces of rubber, leather, or other material that are inserted into shoes. You can get custom-made orthotic devices from your podiatrist. Orthotic devices can be helpful in preventing and treating foot blisters. Orthotic devices can reduce friction on foot blisters and alleviate your pain. 

6. Wear the right shoes- Rubbing and pressure from shoes that are too tight often cause blisters on the feet. Avoid wearing shoes that cause foot blisters. Wear good-fitting footwear that fit comfortably and leave your feet with some wiggle room, especially on long walks or runs. Wearing the right footwear can prevent future blisters.

7. Use foot powders- Friction can make foot blisters worse and increase your pain. In order to reduce friction on blisters, buy a powder designed for your feet at a pharmacy. Pour it into your socks before putting on your shoes to reduce pain. If a powder causes your foot blisters to become irritated, stop using it.

Don't let foot blisters knock you off your feet. Find a podiatrist in your area and schedule an appointment. A podiatrist can help you get rid of those foot blisters once and for all. The journey to healthy feet starts with you!

By Michael Guerra, DPM
July 23, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Heel Pain  

You've had it with your heel pain. You need to be on your feet. Work demands it, but frankly, you need help. Talk to Dr. Michael Guerra at heel painhis Burlington, VT, office about your heel pain. At Burlington Podiatry, he uses several approaches to treating plantar fasciitis, the most common source of heel discomfort. One amazing approach is innovative Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology, or EPAT. Learn the details here.

The reasons for plantar fasciitis

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons reports that plantar fasciitis affects millions of people in the United States, causing substantial pain, swelling, and loss of mobility. Typically due to overuse (from sports or just being on your feet too much), obesity, or overpronation (turning the foot toward the midline when you walk or run), this inflammatory condition causes pain from the heel bone to the base of the big toes. While aging factors into the issue, people of any age can suffer from plantar fasciitis.

Common treatments

After a visual inspection and hands-on podiatric examination, Dr. Guerra can determine the cause of your heel pain. He looks for tenderness on the bottom of the foot and a high arch. Also, he may watch you walk and will ask you what increases and relieves your symptoms. X-rays or an MRI could reveal a fracture or, more commonly, a heel spur, a little bony projection on the front of the calcaneus or heel bone.

Many people find great relief from heel pain from simply resting, elevating, and icing their feet. Shoes with good arch support help, too, as do:

  • Stretching exercises
  • Physical therapy
  • Massage
  • Custom-made shoe orthotics (inserts)

A new way to relieve heel pain

At his podiatry practice in Burlington, Dr. Guerra offers an FDA-cleared treatment for heel pain (plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis). Innovative, non-invasive, and highly effective, Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT) delivers focused bursts of sound wave energy to painful areas including the plantar fascia, Achilles tendon, or trigger points (muscular knots resulting from tension or overuse of muscles, ligaments, and tendons).

Requiring no anesthesia, this five- to ten-minute EPAT treatment happens right in the office. Dr. Guerra applies conductive jelly (similar to that used with ultrasound imaging). Then, via a handheld instrument, he delivers the acoustic wave pulses to the areas of concern. The patient feels no real pain, just a pulsating sensation. Afterwards, he or she feels an amazing relief of pain.

Dr. Guerra usually recommends three treatments spaced a few weeks apart. Most individuals experience total pain relief and increased function at the completion of their sessions at Burlington Podiatry.

How does EPAT work? Science shows that this inventive technology increases blood flow to the affected areas, speeds metabolic activity and promotes healing.

Have pain-free heels

You can when you seek treatment from Dr. Guerra at Burlington Podiatry. For more information and to arrange your one-on-one consultation in Burlington, VT, contact the office staff at (802) 862-8666.

By Michael Guerra, DPM
July 05, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Hammertoes  

When most people think about foot deformities they most often think about bunions; however, hammertoes are just as common. This unassuming deformity comes about gradually, so you may not even notice it until it’s too late. “What is a hammertoe?” You might be wondering. A hammertoe affects the middle joint of a toe (often the smaller toes), causing the toe to bend downward. In severe cases, a hammertoe will look almost claw-like.

There are two kinds of hammertoes: flexible and rigid. As you might imagine, a flexible hammertoe is one in which you can still straighten the toe out. If you aren’t able to straighten the affected toe then this is a rigid hammertoe. A flexible hammertoe isn’t as serious as a rigid one; however, it’s important that you take care of your hammertoe to make sure that it doesn’t get worse.

While there is no way to cure a hammertoe there are simple measures you can take to prevent it from progressing. First and foremost, you need to take a look at the shoes you are wearing and make sure that they aren’t too tight. When you slip your feet into your shoes, does it cause your toes to bunch up against one another? If so then this could make your hammertoe worse.

Instead, opt for shoes with an ample toe box, which will allow your toes to wiggle and move around freely. If you have a structural imbalance within the foot this can leave you prone to foot problems such as hammertoes and bunions. To correct this imbalance, talk to your foot doctor about getting custom orthotics (shoe inserts), which can be placed into your shoes to help provide cushioning, support, and shock absorption for your feet.

If pain or stiffness does rear its ugly head you can choose to take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen, which can tackle both pain and inflammation in one fell swoop, or you can place a towel-wrapped ice pack (never put ice directly on the skin, as it can cause severe burns) over the area for several minutes.

Just as you can buy pads to cover a bunion or callus, you can also buy a non-medicated protective pad to cover over a hammertoe. Since the deformed toe joint juts out this can leave the toe prone to calluses, which can cause pain when wearing shoes. To prevent a callus from forming, you can apply a protective pad over the deformed toe joint before putting on shoes.

Of course, if you are dealing with significant or frequent pain, or if the hammertoe is rigid, then you will want to turn to a podiatric specialist. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended to correct the disfigured joint.

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!

This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.