Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I need to see a Podiatrist?
If you are having any trouble with your toes, feet or ankles, spend time with your podiatrist. Who better to take care of your feet and ankles than someone that specializes in just that?
Do I need to replace my current orthotics and if so, how often?
Orthotics need to be replaced every 12 to 18 months depending on your activity level and your condition. If you are on the heavier side of your optimal weight or if you are extremely active, you will need to replace them more often.
What causes ingrown toenails?
The most common cause of ingrown toenails is incorrectly trimming them. Toenails should be trimmed straight across, and if you have difficulty cutting them, you need to see a podiatrist and have it taken care of in a sterile environment.
What causes dry, cracked heels?
There are options for controlling the problem. If you have a bleeding cracked heel, it is important to see a podiatrist. If they are just dry and cracked, you can start with a good moisturizer in a cream form (lotions are too thin). Apply at least twice a day and even wear socks overnight for better penetration of the cream. We have multiple creams available for you to purchase in the office. The doctor will make a suggestion based on the severity of the dryness.
Who do I see for bone issues in my foot or ankle, a podiatrist or an orthopedic surgeon?
A podiatrist’s surgical training centers only around the foot and ankle. An orthopedic surgeon whose surgical practice includes many other bones in the body such as knees, hips, shoulders, arms, hands etc… When it comes to foot and ankle problems, remember this is ALL a podiatrist does and who better to treat your foot and ankle conditions than one who spends all of their time treating these areas. A podiatrist will also be able to tell you if your foot and ankle conditions are a result of other problems above the ankle. A podiatrist is the clear choice for your foot and ankle needs.
What can I do about athlete's foot?
A dark moist environment is the perfect place for fungal producing athletes’ foot. Athletes’ foot can spread in locker rooms, spas, pools and other public areas. It is important to protect your feet in these areas and wear flip-flops, crocs or slippers. Other ways to avoid athletes’ foot is to dry well between your feet after bathing, wear socks that are made of cotton or wool, change your socks often if your feet sweat excessively and avoid sharing shoes.
What causes warts and are they contagious?
Warts are caused by a virus. The virus likes to be in moist environments such as pools, spas, locker rooms, public showers. Wearing flip flops in these areas is always a good idea. Yes, warts can be contagious, if you have one on your feet, it would be unwise to pick at it and it can spread to someone else if that person has the potential towards getting that virus in the same way certain people have the potential for catching a certain cold.
Do I need orthotics?
The doctor will determine whether orthotics are indicated for you. If your feet are sore or tired at the end of the day, ask the doctor if it would help and you will be evaluated.
What do I need to do if my heels hurt?
The most common reason for heel pain is Plantar Fasciitis. This is inflammation of a ligament on the bottom of the foot called the “plantar fascia.” This ligament attaches to the heel and can cause pain upon waking in the morning or when getting up from a sitting position. When you come in to see the doctors, they will have many non-surgical suggestions for you to alleviate the pain and have great success in helping people with this chronic condition.
Is it safe to have pedicures?
Pedicures can be safe if done in a sterile environment. It is extremely important that you make sure the chair (preferably a pipe-less chair) and all of the instruments used are sterilized. Ask your podiatrist for a recommendation for local pedicures.
How do I know if I have fungus on my nails?
The nail is usually discolored in some way – darkening yellow, sometimes blackish and opaque discoloration of the nail. It can also present as white splotches on the nail. As the fungus progresses, the nail can get thicker and brittle. Treatment is best if detected early.
What do I do about my bunions?
If you are having difficulty finding shoes that do not hurt, performing the activities you love to do because your bunion hurts or you have pain on a daily basis, it is time to discuss your treatment options with your podiatrist.
Why do the balls of my feet hurt?
Pain under the ball of the foot is called “metatarsalgia” and can have many different causes such as a torn ligament responsible for stabilizing the toe, an injured nerve, an inflamed joint or even a stress fracture. The only way to find out what is causing your metatarsalgia is it to have it evaluated by a podiatrist.
What are hammertoes?
Hammertoes can be hereditary or as a result of the shoes you wear. Over time, you may find that they may begin to hurt. Your toes begin to hurt due to the fact that they are becoming arthritic and less flexible. Conservatively, wider shoe and padding can help. When wider shoes and padding does not help to relieve the pain, they can be surgically straightened, which solves the problem!
388 Garden Avenue, Suite 120
Holland, MI 49424
Saint Joseph Office
1901 Niles Avenue, Suite 201
St. Joseph, MI 49085
Mon - Fri, 8am - 5pm