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Podiatrist - Washington
853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
(724) 225-9469 - fax

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By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
December 06, 2017
Category: circulation issues
Tags: varicose veins  

At Philip S. Pinsker, DPM we find that many patients think that varicose veins are just unsightly and nothing that really has to be dealt with unless you are concerned about appearance—that is until they start to be uncomfortable. Although many people don’t experience any symptoms with varicose veins the ones below can occur:

  • Pain in the leg after sitting or standing for long periods of time
  • A feeling of heaviness or achiness in the legs
  • Dry or inflamed skin surrounding the veins
  • Itching
  • Swelling of feet, ankles or legs

Behind the Bulge

Varicose veins occur as a result of valves inside the veins becoming weak, stretched or damaged. These valves are what keep the blood flowing in one direction. When they weaken they can leak and the blood can pool in the veins and cause them to become enlarged and swollen. Varicose veins are common in the lower leg, ankle and foot because veins have to work against gravity to get blood back to your heart and these are the places of your body with the greatest upward climb. Besides aging, factors that make you more prone to varicose veins include:

  • Being female - Although both men and women can develop varicose veins, women are more likely to get them because of hormonal changes that occur during menopause and pregnancy.
  • Stationary jobs - Standing for long periods of time means your veins are consistently working harder to pump blood back up to your heart. If you have a job such as teaching or cashier or other position where you are on your feet for most of the day this increases your risk.
  • Obesity - If you are overweight it puts an increased strain on your veins.
  • Pregnancy - Pregnant women have not only hormones to deal with but also and increase in blood volume for the fetus which ups your chances of developing varicose veins.

Treatment

If you notice varicose veins it’s important that you have them examined by our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker. In some cases, they can be the sign of a circulation problem that can have other consequences. Traditional treatment for varicose veins includes compression stockings, regular exercise, limiting your time periods of standing and losing weight if appropriate. To learn more, contact our Washington office by calling: (724) 225-7410.

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
November 30, 2017
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Diabetes   Raynaud's   fissures  

Here at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, we find that each season has its unique foot care concerns and winter is no exception. As the first blasts of cold weather push their way into Southwestern PA we want to remind our patients to be on the lookout for a few podiatric conditions:

Cold feet—this one may seem kind of obvious but continually cold feet that don’t warm up in a normal period of time once inside can indicate a medical condition. At this time of year these types of disorders can be harder to notice since it’s natural to have cold feet. Most often perpetually cold feet indicate a circulatory or blood flow issue. Peripheral vascular disease and diabetes are two major contenders in this arena. Other medical conditions that may have cold feet as a symptom include: chillblains, fibromyalgia, autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and hormonal conditions like hypothyroidism. In some cases your feet are a “first alert” to these diseases and that’s why an ongoing cold feet problem should be checked by our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, to determine the cause.

Raynaud’s phenomenon—this disorder can stand alone or be part of a greater systemic autoimmune problem. Patients with Raynaud’s experience spasms in the blood vessels in response to exposure to cold. These cause the toes (and fingers) to turn bluish white and then red before warming up and returning to normal which can take up to 20 minutes. If you have been diagnosed with Raynaud’s you’ll want keep feet and fingers covered with extra layers and limit your time out in the cold.

Xerosis and heel fissures—another common issue in winter months is extremely dry skin (also known as Xerosis). When the temperature drops the heat goes on and this increases the challenge of keeping skin moisturized and hydrated. It’s important to stay ahead of dry skin by drinking plenty of water and applying a rich, emollient moisturizer daily. In worst cases skin can become flaky, itchy and cracks or fissures can develop. These can be painful and also a gateway for infection-causing bacteria to enter the body.

If the cold weather is having an adverse affect on your feet contact our Washington office for an appointment today by calling: (724) 225- 7410.

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
November 21, 2017
Category: Heel Problems
Tags: Heel pain   heel spurs   callus   pump bump   plantar fascia  

At Philip S. Pinsker, DPM one of the problems patients frequently bring to us is heel pain. Normally your feet carry the weight of your entire body and are capable of bearing the force of multiple times your weight when you walk or run without an issue. When your heel has an injury or other condition that is causing pain, however, that pressure can become unbearably painful. The first step to relieving the pain is to track down the source. If your heel is hurting, our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, will start by examining your entire foot and getting a complete medical history. The foot doctor will ask questions about your recent activities and may even want to know something about the shoes you wear. Finally, x-rays or other imaging studies and lab work may be ordered to confirm a diagnosis. Below are 4 possible reasons why your heel may be hurting:

  1. Heel Callus—a callus is thickened patch of skin that develops in response to pressure put on a part of your foot. The callus is meant to be a natural protection or padding to the sensitive area but over time, the callus itself can start to cause pain. Treatment is aimed at determining the source of the pressure and shifting weight away from the affected area.
  2. Haglund’s Deformity—with this condition a bony enlargement at the back of your heel can become inflamed and swollen as it rubs up against the back of stiff, rigid-backed shoes like pumps (hence it’s other name, “pump bump”). This disorder can be aggravated by a tight Achilles tendon or a high arched foot.
  3. Plantar Fasciitis—along the bottom of your foot there is a thick band of tissue known as the plantar fascia that goes all the way from your toes to your heels. When the plantar fascia is injured or becomes inflamed due to overuse, flatfeet or another cause it can also result in heel pain.
  4. Heel Spurs—patients who have a history of plantar fasciitis often develop heel spurs as well. These are calcium deposits that develop in the heel and can make exercise, walking and wearing certain shoes very painful.

There are several non-invasive as well as surgical treatments available to relieve heel pain. In nearly every case, the sooner the problem is diagnosed the easier it is to treat. If you are suffering with heel pain contact our Washington office as soon as possible for an appointment by calling: (724) 225- 7410.

 

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
November 15, 2017
Category: Lifestyle
Tags: Diabetes   gout   smoking   broken ankle  

Join the Great American Smokeout this November

Benefits for your feet may not be at the top of your list for reasons to quit smoking but at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, we want to inform our patients about the very significant impact smoking has on the health of your feet.

What’s the Problem?

The chemicals in cigarette smoke cause your blood vessels to constrict. With blood having to travel the furthest distance to get to your feet, narrowing that pathway can hurt your feet in a few ways:

  • Oxygen rich blood is necessary for healing everything from a minor cut to a broken ankle. By decreasing blood flow the process of healing is impeded and recovery can take much longer.
  • Your feet will feel colder with less circulation and for some conditions, such as gout, it can increase the risk of symptoms or an attack.
  • When blood vessels are narrowed there’s a greater chance of plaque developing in the smaller space which can lead to Peripheral Arterial Disease.
  • For patients with diabetes or other conditions that cause impaired circulation smoking contributes to the problem and increases the risk of serious medical complications.

How to Quit

There’s no one way to quit smoking that works for everyone. Perhaps you have tried to stop in the past. If so, analyze why what you did failed and how to go about it differently this time. Some tips from the American Cancer Society include:

  • Make a date that you plan to quit. Mark it on your calendar and tell friends and family about it.
  • Decide on a method to stop smoking. You may want to talk to your physician for recommendations.
  • Get rid of all tobacco products at home, in your car and at work.
  • Stock up on oral substitutes: hard candy, sugarless gum, carrot sticks, etc.
  • Ask friends and family not to smoke around you or leave out tobacco products.
  • Enlist some cheerleaders who will help you stay on track and will be available to “talk you down” when you feel like giving up.

If you have questions about the health of your feet and smoking, our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, will be happy to answer them. Contact our Washington office by calling: (724) 225-7410.

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC Rebecca A. Pinsker
November 08, 2017
Category: Diabetic Foot Care

The American Diabetes Association reports that over 30 million adults have diabetes and an additional 1.5 million Americans are being diagnosed each year.  If you have diabetes the disease plays a big role in the health of your feet. November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and we at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM want to offer the following tips to help prevent foot problems that can occur as a result of neuropathy, poor circulation and other conditions commonly associated with the disease. A primary goal is to prevent infections, wounds and ulcers which can be difficult to heal. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Practice good daily hygiene. Wash your feet with warm (not hot) water and a mild soap.
  2. Trim toenails. Cut toenails straight with no curved edges that could grow into the skin surrounding the nail bed and form an ingrown toenail.
  3. Moisturize regularly. Use a rich, emollient lotion or cream to prevent skin from drying, flaking and cracking.
  4. Keep feet dry. Excessive dampness can lead to a fungal infection. Be sure to change your socks whenever they feel damp, dry feet completely after washing and use a foot powder to control perspiration.
  5. Choose shoes wisely. Your shoes should not squeeze, pinch or rub anywhere on your feet. Check the insides of shoes to make sure there is no frayed stitching or rough spots in the material. Friction between footwear and you skin can lead to blisters or sores.
  6. Don’t smoke. It impedes your circulation.

7.Follow all your doctor’s instructions to keep your blood sugar at safe levels. Keeping your diabetes under control is one of the best ways to protect your feet and the rest of your body.

  1. Inspect your feet daily. If you notice any discoloration, bruising, swelling, redness, streaks, lumps or other changes in the appearance of your feet contact our Washington office immediately by calling: (724) 225-7410.

If you have diabetes, regular checkups should be part of your care regimen. Our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, will be a partner in managing and monitoring the disease to be sure that it does not have a negative impact on the health of your feet.





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