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Podiatrist - Washington
853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
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Posts for category: common foot conditions, proper foot care

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
June 22, 2017
Tags: warts   common wart   plantar wart   virus  

Usually when we hear someone say this, it’s a good-natured comment meaning that we accept someone as they are, including all their flaws. But when it comes to your feet, we at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM find that patients are not so accepting of warts and would rather be rid of them as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, warts are stubborn. They can take quite a while to completely remove and may come back. Below are some other facts about warts:

  • Warts are harmless (but not necessarily comfortable). They are sometimes mistaken for calluses because they appear as thick layers of dead skin. Warts do not have the risk of becoming cancerous but when they form on the soles of the feet or any place else on the foot that receives pressure when walking or standing they can be quite painful.
  • There are two types of warts that most frequently form on the feet. The first is a common wart which is generally raised and fleshy looking. The second type is the plantar wart, which is hard and flat and often has tiny pin pricks of black in the center.
  • Warts spread. Warts are caused by a virus and like all viruses, warts are contagious. They are spread by direct contact which means if you scratch a wart and then scratch another spot on your body without washing your hands, a new wart may form. If someone in your household has a wart on his or her foot it’s wise to avoid sharing towels, shoes and anything else that comes in contact with the wart. It’s also a good idea to keep your feet covered with shower shoes or flip flops when you are using a public pool, locker room or other communal area where people typically walk with bare feet.
  • Warts are treatable. Folk remedies and even over-the-counter products for treating warts are not usually very effective and often do more harm than good. If you suspect you have a wart, contact our Washington office. Our board certified podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, will evaluate your wart and choose the most effective treatment for eliminating it. Make an appointment today by calling: (724) 225-7410.
By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
August 25, 2016
Tags: calluses  

Perhaps it started out as just a small dry patch on the edge of your heel, but over time it has grown and is now a fairly large circle of hardened, dry skin. Lately, you notice that it is starting to hurt when you are on your feet for a long time or walk a long distance. Most likely a callus has formed on your heel, something we see frequently at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM and there’s more to it than you may think.

Not Just Annoying           

Patients tend to ignore calluses because they may not be painful and seem more like an annoyance than a medical problem. The fact is, however, that a callus, even though it looks like a skin problem is really an indicator of something going on deeper in your foot. In many cases, one of your metatarsal bones—the long bones that extend from the base of your toes to the middle of your foot—may be longer than the others. This throws your foot off balance and causes part of your heel to hit the ground with more force. Sometimes the irritation may come from excessive friction and pressure caused by your shoe. In either case, the callus forms to protect the soft layers of tissue in your foot.

Treating Heel Calluses

Although removing a callus is not difficult, a visit to our board certified podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker is a good idea to determine the underlying cause. The foot doctor will get a complete medical history and then examine your foot. If necessary, x-rays or other diagnostic studies may be ordered to check for structural abnormalities. If the podiatrist finds that your shoes are responsible for the callus then simply changing to more accommodating footwear or apply some moleskin or padding to the affected area may be sufficient. Calluses that are being caused by a mechanical issue with the foot may require custom orthotics to help redistribute the weight in such a way as to relieve the pressure in the area where the callus has formed.

Once the cause has been found and the callus removed (usually with a pumice stone) you should use a good moisturizer to keep your feet hydrated and prevent any cracking. Get to the bottom of what’s causing your heel callus: make an appointment at our Washington office by calling: (724) 225- 7410.

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
December 22, 2015

Despite its mild start, we know it’s only a matter of time before the frosty temperatures hit our Southwestern, PA communities. Philip S. Pinsker wants you to know that cold weather can mean increased problems for your feet. Follow these tips for keeping feet healthy this winter:

Choose Good Boots—many patients wonder why their feet hurt more in the colder weather. Oftentimes, boots with poor arch support are to blame. When temps drop and snow flies, we wear our boots more often and if your boots lack arch support they can leave your feet achy at the end of the day.

Watch Your Step—icy pavement can increase risk for falls and ankle sprains. Avoid carrying so many packages that you are unable to see where you are putting your feet. Wear weather appropriate shoes with good ankle support—especially if you have weak ankles that are prone to twisting. (Carry your fancy holiday heels and change when you get where you are going!)

Change Socks frequently—believe it or not, the incidence of bacterial and fungal infections are surprisingly high in the wintertime. We tend to think of them as a summer hazard because they are spread by direct contact and we spend more time barefoot in warm weather months. However, indoor areas such as gym locker rooms and showers, and nail salons can be places where feet are exposed to bacteria and then warm socks and shoes provide the perfect incubator for the infection to grow and thrive. Overheated malls and offices can lead to feet sweating and the kind of moist environment fungi and bacteria love.

Put Your Feet Up—many existing conditions from Neuromas to arthritis to plantar fasciitis are all made worse by being on your feet for prolonged periods of time. With holiday shopping, cooking, and socializing it’s easy to overdo it. Make sure you allow times of rest and elevate your feet up if you already have a podiatric condition.

Not surprisingly, minor foot irritations become major problems at this time of the year. If you start experiencing pain, swelling, inflammation, or other changes in your feet, schedule a consultation with our board certified podiatrist, Philip S. Pinsker, D.P.M. Most foot conditions are more easily treated in their early stages. After work appointments are available in our Washington office. Request an appointment online or call us at (724) 225-7410.