Skin Cancer of the Feet

SKIN CANCERS OF THE FEET ARE OFTEN PAINLESS

The Centers for Disease Control have declared May as “Skin Cancer Awareness Month” and the New York State Podiatric Medical Association (NYSPMA), which represents more than 1,200 foot specialists across the Empire State, is urging New Yorkers to pay special attention to the skin on both the top and bottom of their feet. While harmful sunrays may be the primary cause of skin cancers on parts of the body that receive sun exposure, skin cancers of the feet are more often related to viruses. Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (DPMs) are foot specialists, trained to recognize and treat conditions that present on the skin of the foot.

Skin on the feet, especially on the bottom, is often overlooked during routine medical exams. According to Dr. Gary Stones, NYSPMA’s President and a practicing podiatrist, skin cancers of the feet have several features in common. “Most are painless, but often there’s a history of recurrent cracking, itching, bleeding or ulceration,” he cautions. “These cancers often go undiagnosed until another issue presents itself near the affected site,” added Stones.

Checking for warning signs is something anyone can do, paying particular attention to changes such as non-healing sores, bumps that crack and bleed, nodules with rolled edges or scaly areas. Examining the bottom of the foot is critical.

Basal cell cancers may appear as pearly white bumps or oozy patches that can get crusty like other open sores. On the foot, basal cell cancers often look like non-cancerous skin tumors or benign ulcers.

Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer of the foot. They usually are confined to the skin and do not spread. However, when advanced, some can become more aggressive and spread throughout the body. This form of cancer can begin as a small scaly bump, which may appear inflamed. There can be cracking or bleeding. Sometimes it begins as a hard projecting, callous-like lesion. While painless, this type of skin cancer may be itchy. It can resemble a plantar wart, a fungal infection, eczema, an ulcer or other common dermatological conditions.

Skin cancers on the lower extremity may have a different appearance that those arising on the rest of the body. So to test, the podiatrist will perform a skin biopsy. This is a simple procedure in which a small sample of the skin is obtained and sent to a lab where a skin pathologist examines the tissue in greater detail. If it turns out the lesion is skin cancer, the podiatrist will recommend the best course of treatment.

Each year, approximately 2 million Americans are diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancers. Early detection and treatment are the goals of NYSPMA’s observance of Skin Cancer Awareness Month.

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Beat Bunion Blues

Bunion Blues Got You Down?
Bunions are among the most common type of foot ailment today’s podiatrist treats, especially in women. Studies show that women are anywhere from two to nine times more likely to develop a bunion than men! While your high heels and peep toes are partially to blame, your foot type (passed down through your family) is the true culprit.

Here’s the good news! Today’s podiatrist is the true expert when it comes to diagnosing and treating bunions. Podiatrists perform tens of thousands of bunion procedures every year, more than any other medical professional in the United States.

Fortunately, today’s podiatrist is only a click away! Podiatrists are uniquely qualified among medical professionals to treat bunions, based on their education, training, and experience.

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Heel Pain

DON’T IGNORE THE WARNING SIGNS OF HEEL PAIN

The number one cause of heel pain is a condition called plantar fasciitis. It is often characterized by pain on the bottom of the heel when you take your very first steps in the morning. But the pain can last all day long, progressing the longer the condition remains untreated.

The New York State Podiatric Medical Association (NYSPMA), which represents more than 1,200 foot specialists across the Empire State, is educating consumers during April, Foot Health Awareness Month, that foot pain is NOT normal. And just as you would treat a nagging toothache by going to the dentist or visit a dermatologist for a persistent skin condition, foot pain should be addressed by a doctor of podiatric medicine.

With regard to the most common cause of foot pain, plantar fasciitis can be caused by a number of factors including weight gain, improper footwear, walking barefoot, an increase in exercise and walking on hard surfaces without proper support.

Other common causes of heel pain include tendinitis, stress fractures, neuritis, bursitis, tarsal tunnel syndrome, arthritis and fat pad thinning. “Determining the cause of pain is not always easy, but treatment is vital,” said Gary Stones, DPM and President of the NYSPMA. “Treating and preventing common heel ailments will ultimately keep you healthier and pain-free,” he added.

You’ve Got Options

Once the podiatrist has examined you, there are several options that may be offered to treat the cause of your pain. These can include physical therapy, custom orthotics (specially-fitted shoe inserts), steroid injections, prescription medication and immobilization.

Depending on the response, more advanced treatment or surgery may be required. That will be a discussion between you and your doctor to determine what is best for your particular situation and condition.

Is it Your Shoes?

It is not uncommon for people to wear uncomfortable or ill-fitting shoes. After all, many people buy their footwear in a setting where there are no experts to ensure proper fit, including online or big-box retailers. So even if you are purchasing expensive athletic shoes, if the fit is not correct or the shoe does not provide adequate support, you may experience heel pain.

Sports and Heel Pain

Jarring starts and quick stops along with sports that are performed on uneven surfaces can lead to heel pain. Running; walking and hiking; tennis; and basketball can all lead to heel pain or even stress fractures. If you are a runner, make sure you replace your shoes very 350 – 500 miles. Custom orthotics can relieve pain for walkers, hikers and tennis players. Stretching is also recommended before playing any sport or strenuous activity.

Avoiding Pain

Dr. Stones suggests the following tips for avoiding heel pain:

· Don’t walk barefoot

· Stretch your feet before exercising

· Wear supportive shoes

· Ice your heel if you feel pain

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Arthritis

WHEN THE DIAGNOSIS IS ARTHRITIS

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of five Americans report they have been diagnosed with arthritis, which means, “joint inflammation.” And as the aging population rises, so will those startling statistics. The CDC also reports that people of all ages can be affected by arthritis, including children, and that nearly two-thirds of those affected are under age 65.
Arthritis is the nation’s number one cause of disability, limiting the activities and productivity of 21-million working-age adult Americans.
Symptoms are often manifested in feet and podiatrists are on the first line of defense when it comes to treating this debilitating disease. Each foot has 28 bones and more than 30 joints that can be afflicted by arthritis. The following are the most common foot joints affected:
• The joint where the ankle and shinbone meet
• The three joints of the foot that involve the heel bone, the inner mid-foot bone, and the outer mid-foot bone
• The joint of the big toe and foot bone

In many kinds of arthritis, progressive joint deterioration occurs and the smooth cushioning cartilage in joints is gradually lost. As a result, the bones rub and wear against each other. Soft tissues in the joints also may begin to wear down. Arthritis can be painful and eventually result in limited motion, loss of joint function, and deformities in the joints affected. But early diagnosis and proper medical care can help significantly.
Osteoarthritis, or “wear-and-tear” arthritis, is the most common type of arthritis. And its onset is usually gradual. Also known as degenerative joint disease or age-related arthritis, osteoarthritis is more likely to develop as people age. Inflammation and injury to the joint cause a breaking down of cartilage tissues, resulting in pain, swelling, and deformity. The changes in osteoarthritis usually occur slowly over many years, though there are occasional exceptions.
Symptoms of foot and ankle osteoarthritis can include:
• Tenderness or pain
• Reduced ability to move, walk, or bear weight
• Stiffness in the joint
• Swelling in the joint
• Nighttime pain
• Muscle weakness or deterioration

If you are concerned about any of these symptoms, you are urged to visit your podiatrist. Podiatrists treat osteoarthritis in several ways. Nonsurgical methods include:

• Steroid medications injected into the joints
• Anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling in the joints
• Pain relievers such as aspirin
• Custom orthotics or specially prescribed shoes
• Canes or braces to support the joints
• Physical therapy
• Weight control since there are so many joints in each foot, which bear your weight

Contact Dr Berliner and Dr. Berkowitz-Berliner at 914-666-7367
Mount Kisco Foot Specialists, PLLC
359 East Main Street, Suite 2D
Mount Kisco, NY 10549
www.mtkiscofootdocs.com
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The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It is neither professional medical advice nor is it intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Without exception, the reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information in this article does not create a physician-patient relationship.

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Foot Exercises to Stay Fit

 

 

 

 ARE YOUR FEET STOPPING YOU FROM GETTING FIT?

 

New York, New York (January 14, 2013)  As it happens every January, you can bet that millions of New Yorkers have made well-intended resolutions to eat better, exercise more and lose weight.  But, if you are among the 72 percent of Americans who say they cannot exercise because of foot pain, those good intentions will never become reality.  NOW is the time to take action and get help.  The foot specialists of the New York State Podiatric Medical Association are using January as a springboard for educating the public as to the importance of foot health and safety when beginning an exercise program.

 

With rising obesity statistics also comes an increase in diabetes, heart disease and other related illnesses; exercising and maintaining a healthy weight are two preventative measures that require healthy feet. But the numbers show that Americans view their feet as the least important body part and yet the number one to experience pain!  In spite of its prevalence, foot pain is not normal and should be treated by a specialist.

 

Podiatrists recommend that before beginning an exercise program, make sure your feet are fit, flexible and strong. And always consult with a physician before embarking on any new fitness regimen. Considering that a 120-pound person walking a single mile exerts the equivalent of approximately 63 tons, which is a force greater than 125,000 pounds on each foot, it’s no wonder that foot injuries are so common among Americans.

 

According to Dr. Gary Stones, President of the New York State Podiatric Medical Association, there are simple strengthening exercises that can help prevent common foot injuries.  “Feet bear the brunt of impact in any workout,” said Dr. Stones.  “By warming up properly and cooling down with some massage techniques, you can avoid some of the most common foot pain associated with exercise.”

 

Here are some simple foot exercises that can be done at home or at the gym, before you work out:

 

1. Toe Points – While standing, do toe raises, toe points and toe curls. Hold each position for five seconds and repeat ten times. This is a perfect way to help alleviate toe cramps and strengthen calf muscles.

2. Toe Squeezes – Place a foam toe separator between your toes and squeeze for five seconds. Repeat ten times. This is a good strengthening exercise for people who suffer from hammertoes or toe cramps. 

3. The Roll – Applying light pressure and rolling a golf ball under the ball of your foot for approximately two minutes creates an instant massage for the bottom of the foot. This exercise is perfect for people who suffer from plantar fasciitis (heel pain syndrome), cramps or arch pain (and it feels great!). If a golf ball is not readily available, any type of small ball will work just as well.

4. Towel Scoop – Place your gym towel on the floor and pick it up by only using your toes. Repeat this exercise five times. Try this if you have hammertoes, toe cramps, pain in the ball of your foot, or for overall strengthening.

Foot Massage Techniques

A foot massage not only helps to release tension in your feet, but also increases circulation and maintains the health of the skin on your feet. The first step to a perfect foot massage is to be sure that you and your partner are sitting comfortably in separate chairs. If you are giving yourself a foot massage, simply lift your foot across your lap to begin.

Next, apply a generous amount of emollient-enriched skin lotion or Vitamin E cream to hydrate the skin. This not only moisturizes your foot, but also allows your hands to move smoothly.

1. Warm-Up – To begin stimulating circulation and warming up your foot, hold the foot in your hands. Starting at the top of the foot, begin a long, slow stroking motion with your thumbs, from the tips of the toes, down your sole to your heel and up to your ankle. Retrace your strokes back to the toes and repeat 3-5 times or until the foot feels warm.

2. Ankle Rotations – To loosen the ankle joint and relax your feet, cup the foot under the back portion of the heel in order to brace the foot and leg. Grip the foot with the other hand and turn it slowly at the ankle five times in each direction.

3. Toe Stretch – Grasp the foot at the arch. With the other hand, starting with the big toe, hold the toe with your thumb and index finger and firmly pull the toe, slowly moving and squeezing your fingers up the sides of the toe. Repeat this movement twice on each toe.

4. Arch Release – To help release tension in your foot’s arch, hold the heel of the foot and use the other hand to apply pressure. Slide the heel of your hand along the arch from the ball of the foot toward the base of the ankle and back up the sole of the foot. Repeat five times.

5. Cool Down – End your foot massage with the same technique used in the warm-up. Then, remove all excess lotion that may be left between your toes with soap and water and dry thoroughly.

For more information or to find a podiatrist in your area, visit nyspma.org and click on the “Find a Podiatrist” button.

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The New York State Podiatric Medical Association is the largest statewide component of the American Podiatric Medical Association and its affiliated national network of certifying boards and professional colleges. Established in 1895, NYSPMA has over 1,200 members across 13 divisions in New York State. Visit www.nyspma.org for more information.  The Association is located at 1255 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10029.

The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It is neither professional medical advice nor is it intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Without exception, the reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information in this article does not create a physician-patient relationship.

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Runners at risk wearing “Bearfoot Running Shoes”

http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/video?id=8809210&pid=null

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1 Month After Bunion Surgery

1 month after bunion surgery

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Before bunion surgery

Before Surgery

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Here is a link to a video regarding Critical Limb Ischemia


The doctors at Mount Kisco Foot Specialists are proud to work closely with several vascular surgeons to help save limbs.

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Welcome

Welcome to the Blog section of outr website.  I hope to add new content here to keep my patients informed of new services we offer and on anything we find related to foot health.  If anyone has questions regarding foot health and care they can email it to me and I will post the answers here.  Thank you for visiting our website.

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