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Causes of Calluses

Calluses can develop anywhere that there is repeated friction. However, the common callus usually occurs when there’s been a lot of rubbing against the hands or feet. Calluses are rarely painful and typically develop on the soles of your feet, especially under the heels or balls, on your palms, or on your knees. If a callus on the foot becomes very painful or inflamed, visit Dr. Frank Killian of Mercer-Ocean Podiatry, PC to get the issue under control.
Pressure and friction from repetitive actions cause calluses to develop and grow. Some sources of this pressure and friction include wearing ill-fitting shoes, wearing shoes and sandals without socks, or by wearing socks that don’t fit properly. At Mercer-Ocean Podiatry, PC, a callus is diagnosed upon examination and simple over-the-counter treatments may be recommended. In severe cases, calluses may require regular shaving to keep them from becoming too large. While treatment for calluses is not always necessary, it may provide you with…

Diabetic Foot Care

Diagnosed diabetics should be taking the time for proper foot care in their routines. A diabetic’s weakened immune system and reduced blood flow to the extremities like feet can mean small injuries have the potential to wreak havoc due to the body being unable to heal itself in this area.  Dr. Frank Killian of Mercer-Ocean Podiatry has helped many diabetics manage their foot care and encourages all diabetics to continue their foot care at home.
In addition to managing blood sugar properly, diabetics should pay special attention to their feet.  A short daily inspection and a few minutes encouraging circulation are simple preventative measures that can make all the difference for a diabetic.  A diabetic body’s diminished capacity to heal itself in the extremities can sadly lead to amputations when injuries and infections go unnoticed. This is why a daily inspection of both feet can prevent huge problems.  Look for any abrasions, redness, swelling, and irregularities in the toenails.  Man…

What is an Ingrown Toenail?

Dr. Frank Killian of Mercer-Ocean Podiatry has seen many patients who have dealt with ingrown toenails.  When the toenails grow, the curved sides of the nail can grow downward into the skin and create an ingrown toenail. This can cause pain, swelling and irritation, and in cases where the nail is actually cutting into the skin, it leaves the toe open to infection. 
Ingrown toenails are common and treatable, but prevention is important for those prone to ingrown toenails.  It can be hereditary, and these patients are advised to take the same precautions that can help anyone avoid ingrown toenails.  Wearing socks or shoes that are too tight in the toe area should also be avoided.  Properly trimming your toenails is the most important thing to do to prevent toenails from becoming ingrown.  Cutting the toenails too short or at an angle can encourage the nail to grow into the flesh.  Toenails should be cut straight across, and left long enough that you can get one fingernail underneath the …

What is a Hammertoe?

The toe contains two joints that allow it to bend in the middle and the bottom. When a patient has a hammertoe, a deformity allows the middle joint to become flexed, or bent downward. This can happen to one toe or all of them and usually develops over time due to arthritis, or ill-fitting footwear. Hammertoes may only be reversible by surgery, but Dr. Frank Killian of Mercer-Ocean Podiatry, PC, will explore non-invasive treatment options first.
If you feel pain in the toes and have difficulty finding shoes due to hammertoe, have no fear. Common causes of hammertoe include a traumatic toe injury, arthritis, an unusually high foot arch, or wearing shoes that don’t fit properly. Treatment for hammertoe typically involves fitting the patient with soft shoes that have roomy toe boxes. Additionally, Dr. Killian may suggest toe exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles.
If you have questions or concerns regarding hammertoe treatment, please give us a call. To learn about services provide…

How to Properly Trim the Toenails

At Mercer-Ocean Podiatry, Dr. Frank Killian doesn’t just provide patients with education on the foot and ankle conditions that he treats, he provides you with the tools to optimize your foot health in the comfort of your own home. There are a right way and a wrong way to do most things, and trimming your toenails falls into this category. To avoid ingrown toenails and cutting nails too short, utilize these tips.

Cut straight across – Guide the clippers across the nail of each toe and avoid cutting into a curved shape.
Use appropriate toenail clippers – large clippers are for toenails, small clippers are for fingernails.
Leave nails a little long – If you cut them too short, ingrown toenails occur. It can also leave your nails susceptible to infection.
Cut nails when they are dry, not wet – wet nails may be likely to tear, bend, or not cut smoothly because they’re softer when wet. Cutting dry nails will give you a cleaner, smoother cut.
Make a few small cuts – don’t try to clip the toenail…

Bunions

Bunions are one of the most common problems we deal with at Mercer-Ocean Podiatry. These bulges on the side of the foot at the base of the toe are the result of a bone deformity, and while they are not always painful, they are often inconvenient.
The causes of bunions are poorly understood, although they mostly occur in women and seem to be correlated with genetics and arthritis. They are caused by the big toe pushing against its neighbor, pushing the big toe’s base out of alignment. Some people get bunions on the little toe for the same reason. The bulge may be red and swollen and the misalignment may put stress on other structures in the foot, resulting in inflammation and skin damage.
The only permanent solution for a bunion is surgery to cut away the protuberance and realign the rest of the toe bones. However, doctors often observe that swelling decreases when the patient wears shoes that are roomier and provide better structural support. Podiatrists can help patients to get the rig…

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

When patients come to Mercer-Ocean Podiatry complaining of foot pain, one of the potential causes we’ll test for is tarsal tunnel syndrome. This disease is the result of a compressed nerve and can also cause numbness and tingling.
The tarsal tunnel is a structure on the inward-facing side of the foot near the protruding ankle bone. The tibial nerve branches off from the sciatic nerve further up the leg and passes through the tarsal tunnel on its way to the bottom of the foot. There are several reasons why the tarsal tunnel may be too narrow for the nerve, including inflammation, cysts, and bone deformities. Inflammation may be from overuse, such as can occur with osteoarthritis or when the foot rolls too far inward while walking, which is called overpronation. Symptoms may be felt at the bottom of the foot instead of near the tunnel, causing lay observers to misidentify the problem.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome may improve on its own given rest, ice, compression, and elevation. But podiatrist…