Huber Heights Office
Dr. Polansky is a Fellow with The American Academy of Podiatric Practice Management (AAPPM), which is an organization whose mission is “To positively change the lives, practices and communities of podiatric physicians through leadership education, practice management education and sharing knowledge.” This year, at the 2013 Mid-Winter Conference held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on February 27 through March 3, Dr. Polansky was awarded the President’s Award of Excellence in recognition of advancing the practice of Podiatric Medicine. Congratulations Dr. Polansky and continue to be the great Podiatric doctor and surgeon that you are!
Many patients have reservations buying custom orthotics when they can purchase an inexpensive insole from the local drug store. This week, I thought I’d talk about the available options, and the differences between the two products.
Custom Orthotics, while more expensive, are designed for you based upon an impression of your foot. There are various ways to take an impression of your foot, with most podiatrists using either the traditional plaster slipper cast, or a newer 3D scanner. These impressions are sent, along with special instructions, to labs that specialize in making orthotics. The podiatrist can specify the material the orthotics are to be made out of, the requested length of the orthotic, and modifications for specific conditions like a neuroma pad, all according to patient need and preference.
Over the counter insoles, while much less expensive, are not customizable. Instead of making an orthotic directly for your foot, you have to choose from a variety of standard options which one would work best for you. There are many different brands of insoles, and some brands are better than others. Different products aim to treat different conditions, and so it may be difficult to find an insole that has all the corrections you might need.
Some people with minor foot problems may be able to get away with purchasing a prefabricated device. But for those with more advanced deformities, or conditions such as diabetes, there is no replacement for a custom orthotic. You can think of custom orthotics as an investment in your foot health; while they might be expensive, they last a long time and offer more than their over the counter counterparts.
As cold weather nears, expect to see warm winter boots make their way out of the closet. Perhaps the most frequently seen winter boot is the UGG boot. These boots were originally worn by Australian surfers after they got out of the water, but are now worn by many women during the winter months to keep their feet warm.
They are slip-on rather than laced, which does not allow for a good fit. Finally, they don’t support your ankle, which can increase the risk of ankle sprains. If you have a pair of orthotics or inserts, try to insert them inside the boots to offer some support.
Despite the name, anyone can get Athlete’s foot. Athlete’s foot is a common term for a foot fungus that grows in warm, moist areas, especially where people walk barefoot. For this reason, it is possible to contract Athlete’s foot by walking barefoot in public areas such as locker rooms, changing rooms, and pool areas.
What are the symptoms?
Athlete’s foot commonly causes red, flaky, and cracked skin on the bottom of the foot or the skin between the toes. It is commonly itchy and painful.
What can I do to prevent Athlete’s foot?
First and foremost, it is best not to walk barefoot in the same areas as other people. Instead, we recommended wearing flip-flops or other waterproof footwear if using public areas such as locker room showers.
Try to keep your feet as dry as possible. If your feet get very sweaty, try to change your socks during the day. Avoid wearing the same shoes every day, and give your shoes a chance to fully air dry. Drying your shoes out will make it less likely for the fungus to grow.
If someone in your family has Athlete’s foot, it is best to clean and disinfect the shower or bath after they use it. Avoid sharing towels, as damp towels provide another environment for the fungus to grow.
How do you treat it?
There are several over-the-counter products to treat Athlete’s foot found at your local pharmacy.
If these do not work for your foot, at Advanced Foot and Ankle Care in Piqua Ohio, we can prescribe a prescription strength topical treatment, if necessary. For the most difficult cases, oral antifungal drugs may be necessary.