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Podiatrist - Washington
853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
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Posts for: June, 2017

School’s out and most children are all too happy to trade back packs and homework for days by the pool or beach and other summertime fun. At Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, we want to caution parents about foot problems that we see a particular increase in during summer months in children and how to prevent them. 

Injuries—being footloose in the summer can increase the risk of injury. Many children love to run barefoot but this means a greater chance of puncture wounds and cuts from sharp items that may be hidden in the grass or sand. Even lake bottoms can contain jagged rocks and glass and for this reason water shoes are recommended. Another cause of injuries and foot pain is the overuse of flip flops. Although fine at the pool, flip flops provide no arch support and also do not cushion your heels. Children from the ages of 8 all the way up to their mid-teens are still growing new bone in the heel and repetitive pounding without protection can inflame the growth plate and lead to a condition known as Sever’s Disease. Due to the flimsy design of flip flops, tripping and toe scraping are other frequent occurrences.

Fungal Infections—going barefoot also puts your child at risk for fungal infections and warts. Summertime is prime time for the viruses, fungi and bacteria that lead to athlete’s foot and fungal toenails. Warm, moist, dark places are where these culprits thrive. These types of conditions are spread by direct contact so be sure to make sure your kids do use flip flops or water shoes at the pool, in changing areas, gyms, dance studios and any place else where people are likely to walk barefoot. Make sure children change their socks daily and air out shoes and sneakers between wearings.

Sunburn—don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your children’s feet just as often as you do to the rest of their bodies. Not only is sunburn painful, it can lead to melanoma and other skin cancers later in life.

Ingrown Toenails—we usually think of new shoes and sneakers for going back to school but be sure to monitor your child’s foot size over the summer. Toes that are jammed into shoes that are too small and squeezed together for extended periods of time have a greater tendency to become ingrown.

Of course, if despite your best efforts to protect your child’s feet an injury or foot condition develops, our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, is ready to help. Contact our Washington office for a convenient appointment by calling: and we’ll have your child back to summer fun in no time!

 

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
June 16, 2017
Category: Senior Foot Care

In May, we celebrate National Safety Month and Older Americans Month. At Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, we want to address an issue that covers both those bases and is important to the health of your feet and ankles: falls. The National Safety Council reports that one in 3 older adults falls each year. In fact it’s the leading cause of unintentional injury related deaths for people over the age of 65. It comes in number 3 for all ages, however, so learning how to prevent falls is information that can help all our patients. Falls can cause several problems for your feet. Falls often result in broken bones in your feet, heels or ankles. Ankle-twisting falls can result in sprains, bone fractures and chronic weak ankles, which can ultimately lead to more falls. Areas of the foot that have been injured as the result of a fall may also have a greater chance of developing arthritis down the road as well. Here are some tips on how to keep from taking a tumble:

Secure Your Home—Be sure that furniture is arranged in such a way that there are wide pathways for walking around your home and remove small items, electrical cords, stacks of magazines or other clutter that can be a tripping hazard. Install hand rails on both sides of stairs. In the bathroom, install grab bars near the toilet and shower and use a non stick mat or appliqués in the tub and shower. Check that there is adequate lighting inside and outside your home.

Get Checked Out—Schedule regular checkups for eye exams to be sure vision is clear. It’s also a good idea to review medications with your physicians or pharmacist to ensure that there are no interactions that would cause dizziness.

Improve Your Balance—Stay active! Regular exercise and stretching will keep you from getting stiff and make walking easier. Focus on exercises such as tai chi that specifically improve balance.

If you take a spill, don’t pretend it never happened. For your feet and ankles, in addition to pain, look for the following symptoms: swelling, bruising, redness, misshapen appearance. Any of these may indicate a potential injury and should be brought the attention of our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker. To make an appointment, contact our Washington office by calling:  (724) 225- 7410.

 


By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
June 07, 2017
Category: Foot Safety

It’s that time of year again—warm days mean women are breaking out their sandals and open-toed shoes and getting pedicures with sunny summer colors. At Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, we want to remind our patients about some important safety tips when enjoying this salon treat. The goal is to avoid a fungal infection to your toenails or feet. Fungi love damp places (like nail salons!). Fungal infections are spread by direct contact so you want to ensure that your feet don’t come in contact with surfaces or items that have touched other people’s feet. Here are some suggestions:

  • Check to see that your salon is licensed. This means that they have to adhere to certain standards for safety and cleanliness.
  • Don’t go if you have an ingrown nail. An ingrown nail, if it actually penetrates the skin, opens a pathway for bacteria. The same goes for any cuts or wounds on your feet and toes. It is also recommended that you not shave the day before you get a pedicure.
  • Ask about the foot baths. There are piped and pipe-free whirlpool foot baths. The pipe-free kind is preferable since bacteria can hide out in the pipes and filtration system. Be sure that the salon cleans the whirlpool baths after each client.
  • Bring your own tools. Reputable salons disinfect their tools or use single-use disposable tools. The safest option, however, is to have your own clippers, orange stick, nail file and pumice stone that you bring with you to the salon. If you are a regular customer, some salons will offer a place to keep your tools.
  • Don’t go barefoot. Wear your own flip flops whenever you are walking in the salon to prevent your feet from coming in contact with fungi on the floor.
  • Don’t cover up a toenail problem with fake nails. If you have a nail that is discolored, crumbling or thickened it may be a sign of a nail infection or other chronic condition. Covering it won’t help cure it and may make it worse. Contact our Washington office by calling: (724) 225- 7410 and let our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker evaluate your nail to determine if there is a condition that requires treatment.

 


By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
June 02, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: foot melanoma   skin cancer  

As summer draws closer, we at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, want to focus on an important foot and overall health issue: melanoma. This is the deadliest form of skin cancer and it is on the rise. At a time when the incidence of many other cancers is declining, cases of melanoma have doubled in the last three decades. Also alarming is that it is one of the most common cancers diagnosed in young adults. See if you know the facts about this disease and how to protect yourself and your family by checking out the true/false statements below:

Melanomas are commonly found on the skin of your feet.

FALSE: Melanomas are not frequently found on the feet, however, when they are diagnosed in this part of the body they are often in a late and much less treatable stage. The reason for this is that people are not in the habit of checking their feet regularly. It’s also essential to apply sunscreen to your feet at the same frequency that you do the rest of your body. Don’t forget to the do the bottoms of your feet too if you are spending the day at the beach or pool.

If a family member has had melanoma you have a higher likelihood of getting it too.

TRUE: About 10% of all patients with melanoma have a family history of the disease but that by no means makes it a certainty. Your lifestyle choices can go a long way to reducing your risk of melanoma. Be sure to:

  • Wear sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Remember to reapply after swimming. Keep in mind that UV ray damage can be even greater when you are near a reflective surface like water or snow.
  • Use sun protective clothing, hats and sunglasses.
  • Avoid activities outside during peak sun hours.

Tanning beds are pretty safe these days.

FALSE: Indoor tanning increases your risk of melanoma by 75%! Researchers believe this may be a big factor in why melanoma is one of the top 3 cancers currently diagnosed in young adults.

Suspicious moles should be examined by a doctor.

TRUE: Know the warning signs of a potential melanoma. A=asymmetrical shape; B=border that’s irregular; C=multi-colored; D=diameter larger than a pencil eraser; E=evolving or changing in size or thickness.

If you have even a mild concern about a mole or abnormality in the skin of your feet, contact our Washington office for an appointment as soon as possible. Our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker can help rule out potential skin cancers or refer you to a specialist if necessary.