Podiatrist - Houston
1140 Business Center Drive Suite 510
Houston, TX 77043
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By Aleisha Allen, DPM
September 01, 2015
Category: Bunions
Tags: Bunion   Surgery   bunionette   difference  

Back in April, The Houston Chronicle’s online edition highlighted National Sibling Day by taking a look at pairs of famous siblings. Some of the similarities—especially physical ones—can be rather striking. However, in almost all cases, one tends to be more famous than the other, and there are other differences, too. The same can be said for the relationship between bunions and bunionettes.

When we look at the similarities, perhaps the best place to start is what actually happens. In both cases, a phalangeal (toe) bone begins to drift inwards, which forces the metatarsophalangeal joint (MTPJ)—the joint where a toe meets the foot—out of position. Each deformity can be caused by inherited structural issues and exacerbated by certain types of footwear.

The symptoms for both toe deformities are also rather alike. These frequently include swelling, redness, and a bony protrusion at the MTPJ. There is also often pain, which is worsened when tight footwear rubs against the enlarged joint and irritates the soft tissues in the area.

Now that we understand what is the same between the two, it is time to look at the key difference between them—location. Bunions are always located on the inside edge of the foot, right at the MTPJ where the big toe connects. Bunionettes, on the other hand, affect the smallest toe and are found on the outside edge. A lesser distinction between the two conditions is that footwear may play a larger role in the formation of bunion, although this is debated within the podiatry community.

One more big similarity: you don’t need to suffer needlessly from the pain and discomfort that comes with either of these problems! Houston Foot Specialists provides effective treatment for these conditions, so you can participate in the activities you enjoy doing. Contact our Houston, TX today to schedule your appointment by calling (713) 467-8886 or use our online form to reach us today.

Coming soon.

By Aleisha Allen, DPM
August 25, 2015
Category: Diabetes
Tags: Diabetes   Foot   diabetic   care   wound  

As we mentioned in our previous blog, roughly 430,000 Harris County inhabitants are affected by diabetes, and an important consideration for these individuals is wound care. While anyone could potentially develop an infection or sustain greater damage from a wound, this situation can become critical for individuals who are living with this disease.

There are an array of factors that impact wound healing for diabetic patients, including:

  • Blood sugar levels – Elevated blood glucose levels cause blood vessels to narrow and arteries to stiffen. Additionally, it diminishes the function of red blood cells (responsible for carrying nutrients) and efficiency of white blood cells (responsible for fighting infections).
  • Poor circulation – In turn, narrowed blood vessels result in decreased blood flow, which is needed to provide valuable oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.
  • Immune system deficiency – Combining with previous factors, the hormones and enzymes produced by the body in response to the elevated glucose levels are found to have a negative impact on the immune system.
  • Diabetic neuropathy – Severity of a wound can easily progress if a patient is unaware that he or she has been injured. Nerve damage, especially the numbness that often accompanies neuropathy, greatly contributes to this situation.

With these forces working against you, it is important to focus on steps you can take to improve the healing process and decrease the risk of serious complications:

  • Eat a healthy diet. This is simply good advice for anyone, but doing so will assist you in regulating glucose levels in your bloodstream and providing the nutrients your body needs.
  • Inspect your feet daily. Given the role that neuropathy can play with diabetes, it is essential to inspect your feet on a daily basis to catch wounds in their earliest, and most treatable, stages. Additionally, this can help you to find other issues as well and head them off before they become serious.
  • Keep pressure off of wounds. This will help ensure that your affected area receives the best possible circulation.
  • Engaging regularly in aerobic exercise will lower blood sugar, promote healthy circulation, and reducing chronic inflammation. Our office can identify the best exercises specifically for you.

For assistance with creating your diabetic foot care plan or careful treatment when issues arise, contact Houston Foot Specialists for the specialized wound care and attention you deserve. Call us at (713) 467-8886 or schedule your appointment with our Houston, TX office online today.

By Aleisha Allen, DPM
August 18, 2015
Category: Diabetes
Tags: Diabetes   Ulcers   Foot   wounds   care  

Given a population of 4.3 million people and the estimated statistic of 1 in 10 having diabetes, there are approximately 430,000 individuals affected by the disease in Harris County. If all those people moved away and formed their own city, it would be the 44th largest in the whole United States (according to 2014 U.S. Census Bureau estimates). Clearly, diabetes is a major health issue, but it becomes even more serious when you consider the critical situations posed by diabetic wounds.

Wounds can be a serious issue for anyone, even those who are otherwise healthy. Your skin plays a major role in protecting your body from external threats, especially those on the microscopic level. Any puncture, scrape, or cut creates an opening in that protective barrier. For those who live without conditions like diabetes and others that impair the immune system, the body does a sufficient job of fighting off the offensive intruders for the most part.

When you have diabetes, your immune system is not as effective, and wounds—even tiny ones—can cause a major threat to your health and safety. One of the complicating issues that accompanies diabetes is neuropathy, which often leaves nerves unable to either detect or relay the message when an injury happens. If you do not know that you have been hurt, you will not likely seek the treatment you need. This means that the condition can worsen, even to the point of dangerous levels.

There are two major pillars of effective diabetic foot care that can help – protection and detection. If you live with diabetes, you need to take steps to prevent a diabetic wound from developing in the first place. This means wearing footwear at all times and always checking your socks and shoes before putting them on your feet to make sure there isn’t anything inside that could cause damage.

Detection is best achieved through a daily foot inspection. Every day (right before going to bed is a good time) inspect both of your feet thoroughly to ensure there is no damage. Take the time to also note anything out of the ordinary, like discoloration or structural abnormalities.

Houston Foot Specialists can help you create an effective diabetic foot care plan, so contact us today by calling (713) 467-8886. You can also use our online form to schedule your appointment with our Houston, TX office.

By Aleisha Allen, DPM
August 05, 2015
Category: General
Tags: laser   therapy  

Fans of the popular TV show MythBusters know that Jamie and Adam have debunked such myths as airbag detonation could blow your thumbs off, humans only use 10% of our brains, and that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. It is always interesting to see what subject the team is going to tackle and watch their extensive research. To the best of our knowledge, the myth-busting pros haven’t tackled laser therapy for fungal toenails. We don’t know if The Discovery Channel will come calling over this, but Houston Foot Specialists is on the case!

Common myths regarding laser therapy include:

It will hurt. With regard to laser treatment for fungal toenails, many patients only experience a slight warming sensation, much like being in the sun. Other than that, it is not as painful as people may think.

It won’t work. Laser therapy, especially when it comes to treating toenail fungus, is actually quite effective. There are other forms of treatment that do work, but this can certainly be grouped in with them.

It’s not safe. When used by licensed professionals, laser therapy is completely safe. Actually, it is even approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the regulatory body for all medical devices.

Houston Foot Specialists is here to help you debunk any myths when it comes to foot and ankle care. Our professional staff has the experience and knowledge to give you the information you need, but we also provide skilled care and treatment for all of our patients. Whether you would like to learn more about any topic related to feet or require care for a painful condition, give us a call at (713) 467-8886 or make an appointment with our Houston, TX office online today.

By Aleisha Allen, DPM
July 28, 2015
Category: General
Tags: Pregnancy   Feet   edema   swollen  

Since its publication in 1984, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” has been the seminal book on pregnancy for millions of mothers-to-be. Written that year by Heidi Murkoff—and updated several times with new revisions—the book is a source of information and comfort for an estimated 93% of pregnant women who turn to guides. Even if you don’t pick up a book, there are certainly things you expect during those months of waiting, like random food cravings, emotional roller coaster rides, and the always fashionable “baby bump.” What you might not expect, however, is swollen feet from edema.

Edema is a condition often accompanying pregnancy that results in puffy feet. In addition to swelling, you can also experience skin that is stretched, shiny, or capable of retaining a dimple when you press on it for a couple of seconds. The condition is often mild, but it still can cause discomfort in your feet and ankles.

Fortunately, you can find relief from the discomfort with the following tips:

  • Move around. When your feet are uncomfortable, moving around may seem like the last thing you want to do, but this can actually be quite helpful. As you move and use the muscles in your legs and feet, excess fluid that has built up can be pumped back up toward your heart. If you need assistance with specific exercises, just let us know and we will be glad to help.
  • Elevate your feet. Keeping the swollen feet above the level of your heart at various points during the course of the day can help. Even better is propping your feet up on pillows when you sleep at night.
  • Get a foot rub. Massaging the problem area with firm pressure and strokes towards your heart may help guide the excess fluid out of the feet and ankles. If you’ve ever needed a reason for your partner to give you a good foot rub, this certainly qualifies.
  • Wear compression socks. These are designed to maintain pressure on the feet and ankles, which should prevent excessive levels of fluids from building up.

If puffy feet are getting you down, contact Houston Foot Specialists today and we will help. Our office can provide additional information and tips, or any foot or ankle care you might need, so give us a call at (713) 467-8886 or use our online form to schedule an appointment.

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1140 Business Center Drive
Houston, TX 77043

Podiatrist - Houston, Houston Foot Specialists, 1140 Business Center Drive, Houston TX, 77043 713-467-8886