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This time of year, many patients arrive at Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care with podiatric issues triggered by winter’s cold. We frequently see men and women of all ages suffering from chilblains. This sounds like an old-fashioned complaint, but chilblains are very modern, and very real.

What Are Chilblains?

 

Chilblains, also known as pernio, are an abnormal dermatologic reaction to exposure to cold. Small blood vessels in the skin become inflamed, causing pain, itching, red patches, swelling, and blistering on the hands and feet.

Who Is at Risk of Chilblains?

Are you at risk of chilblains? Factors to consider include:

$1·      Family history: If your parent or siblings get chilblains, you are more prone as well.

$1·      Poor circulation: Patients with diabetes or vascular disorders are particularly at risk.

$1·      Hormonal changes: Because women do present with chilblains more frequently than men, scientists suspect a hormonal connection.

$1·      Poor nutrition: Be sure to eat a diet rich in lean protein and colorful fruits and vegetables.

$1·      Other illnesses including connective tissue and bone marrow disorders.

Symptoms of Chilblains

Chilblains are characterized by small itchy, red swellings on the skin, which become increasingly painful, swell, and often dry out, leaving cracks in the skin and exposing you to the risk of infection. On the feet, these symptoms occur most often on the toes, particularly the smaller ones. They can also occur on areas of the feet exposed to pressure, such as on a bunion or where the second toe is squeezed by tight shoes. They can also occur on the fingers, the face, and the ear lobes.

Preventing Chilblains

The best way to prevent chilblains is to keep the body warm, especially the feet and lower legs. Dress warmly and keep skin covered whenever possible. This is especially important for individuals who have poor circulation and/or limited mobility. 

Treating Chilblains

Chilblains will usually get better on their own. See your podiatrist if the pain is unusually severe, if you suspect an infection, or if your symptoms don’t improve in a week or two. If the symptoms extend into the warm season, see a doctor to rule out other conditions.

If you are suffering from chilblains or any other problem related to your feet, ankles, or lower legs, click here or call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 to schedule an appointment in our comfortable and convenient Pikesville office. Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova are experts with decades of specialized experience and education. They will provide you with a thorough examination, accurate diagnosis, individualized treatment, and comprehensive follow-up. You’ll be feeling better quickly and back on your feet before you know it.

Friday, 12 January 2018 00:00

Exercises for Healthy Feet

So many patients set their sights on improved health and wellness in the new year. If you’ve resolved to eat more healthily and exercise in 2018, don’t forget your feet! They’re the foundation of any exercise plan. Before doing any foot exercises, be sure to spend a few minutes stretching and breathing deeply to prepare. If you have arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular problems, or heel pain that might affect your ability to exercise, be sure to visit the podiatrist before beginning any exercise program. Stop any exercise that causes joint pain.

Here are some tips fromBoris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM that you can implement to take care of the bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons of your feet, ankles, and lower legs in the new year:

$1·      Walking is the single best exercise for your feet. With every step, you put your foot through its full range of motion, stretching and strengthening muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Not only is walking good for your feet, it’s one of the best forms of exercise for your entire body. Studies show that it’s effective at burning calories, improving circulation and cardiovascular health, and improving mood.  Too cold for you outside in January? Try a treadmill or join a walking club at your local mall.

$1·      Improve flexibility and increase stability. Consider adding a gentle yoga or tai chi class to your weekly schedule. Did you know that studies show that no matter how old you are, you can still improve your flexibility? It’s never too late to start.

$1·      Create a routine that you can implement in just a few minutes at home. Try some or all of these exercises:

$1o   Point and flex your toes. Repeat 10 times on each side.

$1o   Fan your toes, weaving your fingers between them if you can, then squeeze your toes together for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times on each side.

$1o   Point and flex your ankle. Repeat 10 times on each side.

$1o   Roll each ankle 10 times clockwise and 10 times counterclockwise.

$1o   Holding on to a chair or a wall if you need to, lift your heels so that you are standing on the balls of your feet. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times.

$1·      Finish your exercises with a bit of massage. Roll a golf ball or tennis ball under the ball of your foot for a minute or two.

$1·      Feeling sore? Try a foot soak in warm water with Epsom salts or a bit of essential oil to ease muscles that aren’t used to being taxed.

Are you experiencing discomfort in your feet, ankles, or lower legs? Resolve to live without pain in the coming year. Call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 or click here today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova in our comfortable and convenient Pikesville office.

Most adult feet have an upward curve in the middle. That’s called the arch. It’s formed by tendons in the foot that work together to support the bones. When these tendons work typically, you have a typical arch. When they are overactive, you have an atypically high arch. When the tendons are low-functioning, or do not function at all, the result is little or no arch. This is called flat foot or fallen arch, known medically as pes planus.

You can easily test yourself to see if you might have fallen arches. Follow these three steps:

  1. Get your feet wet.
  2. Stand on a flat surface where your footprint will show, such as a section of newspaper.
  3. Step away and look at the prints. You should see a curve along the inner edge of your foot. If you see a complete footprint, you might have flat feet and should be seen by a podiatrist as soon as possible.

Causes of Fallen Arches

Most cases of fallen arches in adults develop when the posterior tibial tendon (the main arch-supporting tendon) becomes weakened or injured, causing the arch to gradually become lower. With time, the shape of the foot changes and secondary symptoms start to appear. Other cases can result from a variety of causes, including:

  • Health conditions including arthritis
  • Damaged, torn, or inflamed tendons
  • Bone fracture or dislocation
  • Atypical anatomy present from birth
  • Broken or dislocated bones
  • Nerve problems
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Aging

Symptoms of Flat Feet and Fallen Arches

Many people have flat feet with no problems. Others may experience some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Foot pain, especially in the areas around the arches and heels
  • Swelling on the soles of the feet, where the arch should be
  • Restricted or painful foot movement
  • Back and leg pain
  • Discomfort when standing or walking
  • Challenges wearing shoes comfortably

Common problems associated with fallen arches include heel pain, tendonitis, increased fatigue and arthritis of the foot and ankle.

 

Treatment for Flat Feet and Fallen Arches

Treatment for flat feet and fallen arches depends on the severity and cause of the problem. Your foot doctor may suggest one or more of these treatments:

  • Rest, elevation, and ice to relieve pain and reduce swelling
  • Stretching exercises or physical therapy
  • Over the counter or prescription medications including pain relievers or anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen
  • Injected medications to reduce inflammation, such as corticosteroids
  • Custom orthotic devices

If pain or foot damage is severe, your doctor may recommend surgery. 

Are you concerned about fallen arches or any other issue related to your feet, ankles, or lower legs? Click here or Call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 to schedule an appointment in our comfortable and convenient Pikesville office. Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova will thoroughly examine your feet, expertly diagnose any current or potential problems, and provide you with an individualized treatment plan and comprehensive follow up care.

Most adult feet have an upward curve in the middle. That’s called the arch. It’s formed by tendons in the foot that work together to support the bones. When these tendons work together, you have a typical arch. When they are overactive, you have an atypically high arch. When the tendons are low-functioning, or do not function at all, the result is little or no arch. This is called flat foot or fallen arch, known medically as pes planus.

You can easily test yourself to see if you might have fallen arches. Follow these three steps:

  1. Get your feet wet.
  2. Stand on a flat surface where your footprint will show, such as a section of newspaper.
  3. Step away and look at the prints. You should see a curve along the inner edge of your foot. If you see a complete footprint, you might have flat feet and should be seen by a podiatrist as soon as possible.

Causes of Fallen Arches

Most cases of fallen arches in adults develop when the posterior tibial tendon (the main arch-supporting tendon) becomes weakened or injured, causing the arch to gradually become lower. With time, the shape of the foot changes and secondary symptoms start to appear. Other cases can result from a variety of causes, including:

  • Health conditions including arthritis
  • Damaged, torn, or inflamed tendons
  • Bone fracture or dislocation
  • Atypical anatomy present from birth
  • Broken or dislocated bones
  • Nerve problems
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Aging

Symptoms of Flat Feet and Fallen Arches

Many people have flat feet with no problems. Others may experience some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Foot pain, especially in the areas around the arches and heels
  • Swelling on the soles of the feet, where the arch should be
  • Restricted or painful foot movement
  • Back and leg pain
  • Discomfort when standing or walking
  • Challenges wearing shoes comfortably

Common problems associated with fallen arches include heel pain, tendonitis, increased fatigue and arthritis of the foot and ankle.

 

Treatment for Flat Feet and Fallen Arches

Treatment for flat feet and fallen arches depends on the severity and cause of the problem. Your foot doctor may suggest one or more of these treatments:

  • Rest, elevation, and ice to relieve pain and reduce swelling
  • Stretching exercises or physical therapy
  • Over the counter or prescription medications including pain relievers or anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen
  • Injected medications to reduce inflammation, such as corticosteroids
  • Custom orthotic devices

If pain or foot damage is severe, your doctor may recommend surgery. 

Are you concerned about fallen arches or any other issue related to your feet, ankles, or lower legs? Click here or Call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 to schedule an appointment in our comfortable and convenient Pikesville office. Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova will thoroughly examine your feet, expertly diagnose any current or potential problems, and provide you with an individualized treatment plan and comprehensive follow up care.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017 00:00

Your Guide to Selecting the Best Winter Boots

Every winter, millions of Americans purchase new boots for themselves or a family member. Will you be among them this year? Whether you’re making your purchase in person or online, it’s important to keep some guidelines in mind when making your selection.

·      Choose waterproof boots. Always treat new boots with a waterproofing product for extra protection. Damp feet are more likely to feel cold and are more vulnerable to fungal infections. You can further protect feet from moisture by selecting boots made of natural materials that allow proper airflow and keep feet dry. Rubber is a fully waterproof option, but rubber will not allow feet to breathe. If you choose rubber boots, they should be lined to help absorb foot moisture.

·      Don’t choose your boots based on a stylish appearance. It’s better to carry your fashion-forward footwear with you and get changed out of your boots at your destination. While custom orthoticscan be added, rigid boots limit natural foot movement and provide little, if any, arch support. A more flexible style is a better option. Boots with narrow toes and high heels may look nice but can cause pain and numbness. Winter boots should offer plenty of toe room and a low, wide heel for stability.

·      Stay safe from falls that can cause ankle sprainswith a “lug sole,” a thick rubber sole with deep grooves. This will provide the best traction on snow and ice.

·      Keep feet warm by selecting a pair of fully lined, insulated boots. This is especially important for patients with circulatory issues such as Peripheral Arterial Disease or Raynaud’s Disease that can cause feet to feel cold. Shearling is a great option for those who can afford it.

·      Remember to wear wool socks inside your boots. Socks made of wool will keep feet warmest, and will do the best job of wicking away dangerous moisture.

The best way to keep your feet feeling great this winter is to visit the podiatrist for an exam. Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova are board-certified specialists and are expert in treating all issues related to the feet, ankles, and lower legs. They will provide you with a comprehensive examination, accurate diagnosis of any existing or potential problems, an individualized treatment plan, and through follow up.  Click here or call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 to schedule an appointment in our comfortable and convenient Pikesville office today.

Friday, 15 December 2017 00:00

Living With High Arches

Many patients live with atypical foot anatomy. Some have bunions, hammertoes, or Haglund’s deformity. Others have a condition that podiatrists refer to a pes cavus. You know it as high arches. Pes cavus can develop at any age and usually occurs in both feet. It results in an excessive amount of weight being placed on the ball and heel of the foot when walking or standing and can lead to pain and other complications.

What Causes Pes Cavus?

Atypically high arches can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

$1·      neuromuscular disease or disorder, such as cerebral palsy

$1·      heredity

$1·      injury or nerve damage

Spotting Pes Cavus

Be on the lookout for the following signs, which may indicate that you have high arches:

$1·      supination: heels tilt inward while standing, and feet roll toward the pinkie-toe side

$1·      a hollow-looking instep when you stand, with weight centered on the heel and the balls of the feet

$1·      if you sit in a high chair or on a counter and allow your feet to hang, the front half of the foot appears to drop below the level of the heel

$1·      toes that always appear to be “clawing” and that develop corns on top or at the tips

$1·      pain in the foot, ankle, knees, hips, or lower back when standing or walking

$1·      discomfort in shoes

Treating Pes Cavus

If you are experience foot pain, you should schedule an appointment with your podiatrist as soon as possible. With years of specialized training and experience, a podiatrist is the best medical professional to treat your feet, ankles, and lower legs. Your foot doctor may recommend options including:

$1·      new shoes with cushioning and arch support

$1·      corn and callus removal

$1·      physical therapy

$1·      custom orthotics

Are you living with foot pain? Do you suspect that you may have high arches or another anomaly in the structure of your feet? Call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 today or click here to schedule an appointment with Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM in our comfortable and convenient Pikesville office. Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova will carefully examine your feet and use state of the art technology to offer an accurate diagnosis, and then work with you to create an individualized treatment plan and provide ongoing care as appropriate.

Wednesday, 06 December 2017 00:00

Avoid Foot Pain and Keep Feet Feeling Great

We all spend so much time on our feet during the holiday season, walking the malls, standing and mingling at cocktail parties, and more. It can make anyone’s feet hurt! What can you do to keep your feet feeling great now and into the New Year? Here are some suggestions from Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM:

1. Take a few minutes in the morning to help your feet wake up. Roll your ankle in each direction. Spread your toes and squeeze them together. With your leg straight, flex your ankle and pull your toes toward your face, then extend your ankle and point your toes.

2. Wear shoes that fit. When was the last time you had your feet professionally measured? Head to the shoe store for a fitting and invest in a new pair of shoes. Choose a pair made of breathable fabric with a wide, roomy toe box and a low, chunky heel. Non-stick rubber soles will add stability and reduce the risk of falls.

3.  Accept assistance. If walking is physically challenging for you, lean on a friend or loved one. Use a cane if it helps. Consider a walker. Contemporary models are more sleek, lightweight, and easy to use than those you may remember from years ago.

4. Take a break. If walking is physically challenging, or your feet feel uncomfortable, have a seat for a few minutes. Elevate your feet if you can.

5. Put those high heels on a high shelf. High-heeled shoes with narrow toe boxes force the feet into unnatural positions. Long-term use can lead to ingrown toenails, hammertoes, and bunions. Save your stilettos for special occasions or, even better, retire them completely.

6. Maintain a healthy weight. Excess pounds put stress on the back, hips, lower legs, ankles, and feet. Obesity is a contributing factor in fallen arches and heel pain. Eat in moderation, even at your next cookie swap or holiday buffet.

7.  Stay hydrated. A healthy fluid intake is essential to preventing foot cramping. Aim for a minimum of 64 ounces per day.

Of course, the best thing you can do to ensure that your feet stay comfortable is to visit the podiatrist regularly. Call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 or click here to schedule an appointment with Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova in our comfortable and convenient Pikesville office. Your feet and ankles will benefit from a thorough examination, careful diagnosis of any existing or potential issues, individualized treatment, and ongoing follow up care.

Friday, 01 December 2017 00:00

Holiday Gift Ideas for Feet You Love

 

The holiday season is here and many people are making lists and checking them twice, then heading out shopping to buy gifts for friends and loved ones. Give the gift of healthy, comfortable and beautiful feet this year! Check out this list of recommendations from Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM. Many options can even be ordered online from home, saving you a trip to that crowded mall.

Improve Balance with Yoga

Is someone you know dealing with diminished balance? Falls can be a real concern. Gentle yoga can help. Research local studios and assemble a basket with a gift certificate for classes, new yoga mat, and a pair of specialty socks with rubber grips on the bottoms.

Spa Pedicure

If you’ll be giving a salon gift certificate to someone on your list this year, be sure to purchase a set of pedicure tools (toenail clipper, cuticle nipper, emery board and more) to accompany it. A spa pedicure is a lovely mid-winter indulgence but the possibility of contracting plantar warts, athlete’s foot and fungal nail infections due to less-than-perfect sanitary practices is real. Bringing tools from home reduces this risk.

New Shoehorn

It can be hard for many people, especially the elderly and the very overweight, to reach their feet and to put on their shoes. A shoe horn is a practical gift that can help. Choose a long one that reduces the need to bend and put a big red bow on it.

Socks, Socks, Socks

Everyone loves new socks! Choose a fuzzy pair with aloe-infused fibers to keep feet soft, or a wool pair that will keep feet warm during outside activities. Did you know that new socks are the number one request from people living on the streets? Consider giving socks from a company that donates a pair for every one purchased, or one that even a donation to a charity that provides socks to homeless citizens.

Think of the feet as the canaries in the coal mines of our bodies. Foot health is a reflection of overall wellbeing, and a harbinger of things to come. If it’s been a while since someone on your list has been seen by a podiatrist, call 443-872-7052 or click here to schedule an appointment to be seen in Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care’s comfortable and convenient Pikesville office. Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova will provide your loved one with a compete examination, expert diagnosis of any existing or potential issues, an individualized treatment plan, and thorough aftercare.

Hyperhidrosis is the word that medical professionals use to refer to unusual and excessive sweating not triggered by exercise or nervousness. Anyone can be affected. According to the International Hyperhidrosis Society, 3 percent of Americans live with the condition. Their sweat glands activate sooner and remain active for longer periods of time than they do in people without the condition.

Hyperhidrosis can appear anywhere on the body, but it’s typically observed in the armpits, the face and head, or the palms of the hands. Plantar hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating on the feet. Routinely damp feet can create other challenging podiatric situations, including nail fungus, athlete’s foot, and foot odor.

Causes of Plantar Hyperhidrosis

Many factors can trigger an episode of plantar hyperhidrosis, including anxiety, warm temperatures, illness or fever, and wearing socks or shoes made of non-breathable fabrics.

Who is at risk of hyperhidrosis? Three main factors come into play: age, gender, and family history. Hyperhidrosis is more common in younger individuals than older people, and more men than women suffer from it. Further, if your parent or sibling has hyperhidrosis, your odds of a diagnosis are increased.

Preventing Episodes of Plantar Hyperhidrosis

If you notice that your feet tend to get unusually sweaty, begin keeping a record of how and when sweating episodes occur. This will help you and your foot doctor identify triggers that can be avoided.  What else can you do to keep your sweaty feet dry and odor-free? Here are some helpful tips from Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM:

 

$11.     Occasional foot soaks may control odor. When added to soaking water, black tea, baking soda, vinegar, or fresh sage have all been shown to mitigate sweating and odor.

$12.     Eat carefully. Some patients report that hyperhidrosis episodes are triggered by spicy foods.

$13.     Reduce your stress levels where you can. This will improve all areas of health and wellbeing, and can reduce the intensity of your hyperhidrosis.

Remember to practice good hygiene. Wash and dry feet twice daily. Use foot powder or corn starch to absorb sweat. Spray your feet with antiperspirant. Wear clean socks every day; change them mid-day if you need to. 

Medical Treatment for Plantar Hyperhidrosis

The most dramatic treatment option for heavy sweating is injections of botulinum toxin A (Botox). It works by preventing the release of a chemical that signals the sweat glands to activate. Iontophoresis is a procedure in which a medical device is used to pass a mild electrical current through water (usually using shallow pans for feet) and through the skin's surface. It’s painless and there are no significant or serious side effects.  For patients who have not been helped by treatments like Botox and iontophoresis, prescription oral medications are available.

Is excessive sweating having a negative impact on your life? You’re not alone. Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova have been helping patients just like you for many years and they can help you, too. Call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 or click here today to schedule a convenient appointment in our comfortable Pikesville office.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017 00:00

It’s Time to Give Up Your High Heels

Originally designed for use during horseback riding, high heeled shoes have been fashion-forward footwear for more than 400 years. Today, 72% of women wear high heels. 31% wear them to work daily and 50-77% choose them for parties and special occasions.

Those stilettos may be nice to look at, but wearing them often causes a host of issues for the body, especially in the feet, ankles, and lower legs. Every time you wear high heeled shoes, you put your body out of alignment. It’s not so terrible if it only happens once in a while, but the long-term result of constant misalignment can be pain not only in your feet, but in your shoulders, neck and back as well. Further, the intense and ongoing reshaping of the feet can lead to a variety of deformities.

$1·      High heels decrease the “base of support,” the amount of the sole of the foot that is in contact with the ground. This diminishes balance and places you at an increased risk for falls, ankle sprains and fractures.

$1·      High heels cause increased stress along the sole of the foot and can contribute to plantar fasciitis.

$1·      Style usually dictates that high heeled shoes have narrow toe boxes, which squeeze and push the toes together. This can lead to hammertoes and neuromas.

$1·      Long-time high heel aficionados often suffer from bunions, bony bumps that form at the base of the big toe. This hard knob sticks out of the side of your foot, causing pain and making it hard to wear any shoes comfortably.

$1·      Bone damage can occur after protracted wearing of high heels. Walking over a long distance or for an extended period of time in heels can cause stress fractures or cracks in the bones of the feet.

Switching to sensible, comfortable shoes with a roomy toe box and low, wide heels is the most sensible choice for everyday use. If you’re not yet ready to give up your heels:

$1·      Choose shoes with heels that are 3 inches or less. Anything higher will change the biomechanics of how you walk, compounding the stress you put on your back and hips.

$1·      Choose a newer, modern-looking pair of shoes with a chunky heel over a pair with a spiked heel. This will help distribute your weight more effectively.

$1·      Look for a pair of shoes with softer soles or built-in cushioning to reduce impact and stress on your muscles and joints.

$1·      Mix it up! Wear different shoes each day to change the stress points on your feet.

Are you experiencing discomfort or any other problem in your feet, ankles, or lower legs? Call us at 443-872-7052 or click here today to schedule an appointment with in our comfortable and convenient Pikesville office. At Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care, you can rest assured that podiatrists Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova will provide you with a thorough examination, accurate diagnosis, state of the art treatment and comprehensive follow up. 

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