Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for: October, 2015

By Dr. Rion Berg
October 30, 2015
Category: foot conditions
Tags: psoriasis  

Today the internet reminded me that it's World Psoriasis Day and so as a Seattle podiatrist I wanted to let people know that while this condition is most often found on the scalp, knees, elbows and torso it's also found on the feet.

Causes and Appearance

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that appears as raised, red, scaly patches on the skin that cause itching, burning, and stinging. When it shows up on the feet it's sometime hard to distinguish from other foot conditions such as Athlete's foot. On the toenails it can have a pitted appearance and can be confused with fungal toenails. Psoriasis can also be found on the soles of the feet.

Triggers

Psoriasis triggers vary by person. Some people are primarily triggered by stress while others are triggered by things external to the body such as injury, vaccinations, and sunburn. Allergies, diet, and weather have also been thought to trigger psoriasis but more research is needed.

Treatment

  • Stress reduction - in the case of psoriasis the body over responds to stress causing the system to increase inflammation and increase the pain and itch. Decreasing stress through meditation and exercise are most often recommended to alleviate these symptoms.

  • Keep skin hydrated - creams and oils that can lock in moisture such as Amerigel or coconut oil will help prevent and ameliorate symptoms. Other ideas can be found in this Psoriasis Skin-Care Product Guide.

  • Remove scales - it's important to reduce excess skin and prevent psoriasis plaques from cracking and flaking through scale removal. Over-the-counter lotions that contain salicylic acid, lactic acid, urea or phenol will help (National Psoriasis Foundation).

  • Medication - there are also prescription drugs that will help reduce the itch.

If you have a skin condition on your feet or some other foot problem, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "Happy Feet for the Rest of Your Life" , mailed directly to your home.

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

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By Dr. Rion Berg
October 28, 2015
Category: Fungus toenails
Tags: laser treatment  

zombie toenails fungal toenailsDo you start unconsciously reciting "Double double, toil and trouble" each time you look at your feet? Are your loved ones suggesting a bit too strongly that you go as a witch or zombie this Halloween? If you're tired of looking at your dreadful digits, you may have gone too long without doing something about your ugly, fungal toenails.

No one should have to live with feet that resemble a Zombie's.

Before you hit your first Halloween party, create a new chant. "Imagine, imagine, beautiful toenails." And say that three times a day. OK it may not be Shakespeare but if it helps you pick up the phone and make an appointment with Dr. Rion Berg, then it's worth all the trouble, without the double double.

How we kill the fungus

Getting rid of fungal toenails does not require a secret potion or incantation, but it does mean you'll need to come and see us at Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City. We provide laser treatment which is safe, painless, and takes just 30 minutes. The laser penetrates the nail to kill the fungus growing beneath it.

What you need to do to keep the critters down

In addition to laser we'll give you all the supplies you need to keep the critters down. One tool is the Shoe Zap that sounds like something Frankenstein would use but don't worry it will only zap the the fungus and bacteria in your shoes.

What you can do to avoid it in the first place

Fungus lives everywhere, but it lives in some places in greater numbers than others. It particularly loves dark, damp environments like feet that live inside shoes. Although anyone that wears shoes can get toenail fungus It's most common in athletes or those who've had trauma to the nail, folks who go barefoot in showers and locker rooms, and women and men who frequent questionable spas to get pedicures. Check out Our Guide to Eliminating Ugly Fungal Nails to learn more about prevention.

More information about fungal nails

Fungal Nails are More Than a Cosmetic Problem in Diabetic Patients
How To Convince Your Husband to Get His Fungal Toenails Treated
It's Been Life Changing - Results of Laser Treatment for Toenail Fungus

We want to keep your ugly, scary toenails from being a lifelong problem. Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "Happy Feet for the Rest of Your Life" , mailed directly to your home.

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

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Photo  credit: Home Sweet Nails


By Dr. Rion Berg
October 22, 2015
Category: Heel pain

With so much information on the internet, it's easy to assume that we can diagnose our own health problems. For example, you may have read that the horrible heel pain you feel in the morning is plantar fasciitis. You decide to run out and buy an over-the-counter insert since this is one of the treatments you read about. Although you may think this is a good idea, it's not.

According to a new study in the March/April edition of the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, although your self-diagnosis would be right 73% of the time there are other conditions that can exist simultaneously.

Thirty-four percent of the time you'd also be likely to experience a torn ligament or a plantar fibroma. These conditions are treated very differently from heel pain. While patients typically see significant relief from plantar fasciitis inflammation in 3-6 weeks post-treatment, a torn ligament often requires 2-5 months of recovery time and possible surgery.

You may also have read that stretching is one of the best things you can do for plantar fasciitis, and it is. Except if you have a torn ligament. Then you could actually do more damage to yourself if this was the case.

When you come to see this Seattle podiatrist you won't need to worry whether you only have plantar fasciitis or some other condition. At the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City we use ultrasound and other diagnostic tools to make sure we know what's really going on with your feet.

More information about heel pain:

Is Heel Pain Stopping You From Hiking in the Pacific Northwest
Runners Heels Can Feel Like They've Stepped on a Nail
How Can I Reduce Inflammation in My Heel?

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "Happy Feet for the Rest of Your Life" , mailed directly to your home.

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

 


By Dr. Rion Berg
October 19, 2015
Tags: safe running  

running in the rainAs a web-footed Seattleite you're used to running in the rain. But you may have noticed the type of rain in Seattle seems to be changing. The misty rain you grew up with or experienced when you first moved to Seattle seems to have shifted to more constant rain that requires some adjustment to the type of gear you're used to wearing. Now that we've fallen back to standard time, it's getting darker earlier. The combination of rain and darkness make it even harder for drivers to see you.

Here are some tips that will help you run safely in the rain.  

Light Up Like a Jack-'O - Lantern

You might love wearing black but for runners, black can be deadly. Wear gear that is bright and neon colored. Purchase bright yellow, turquoise, and even white clothing at Brooks or Road Runner Sports. Additionally a reflective vest, belt, lights or snap bands will make you highly visible to drivers; these items can be purchased at REI.

Wear Shoes With Grooves

Although most running shoes come with grooves, it's important to replace your shoes every 500 miles so you have the tread that will keep you from slipping and turning an ankle. Also, slippery roads will put more demand on your muscles, ligaments, and tendons making it more likely to worsen existing foot problems. Go more slowly than you might have in dryer conditions.

Wear a Hat or Visor

Keeping the rain out of your eyes is critical for your safety. You need to be able to see road irregularities and drivers who may still not see you even if you're wearing all the right gear. Use an anti-fog cleaner on your glasses to prevent them from steaming up.

Wear Socks That Wick Away Moisture

Socks that wick away moisture are best for runners to prevent blisters. Look for socks made out of the nylon, CoolMax, polyester, wool, Lycra, and Spandex. Some brands I recommend are Smartwool Run Ultralight, CEP short socks , or Balega Running Socks.

Wear Gear To Keep Dry

Not all raingear is alike. As Seattle moves into a harder rain weather pattern, in addition to wearing a jacket bright enough for drivers to see you, finding a jacket that will keep the rain from getting in and keeping your sweat at bay is essential. Some reasonably priced highly rated jackets are Under Armour Scrambler Hybrid Jacket for Women and the Columbia Outdry Ex Tech Shell Jacket for Men .

Of course if you're runs have become painful due to foot problems, don't wait any longer to come see us.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

For more information about heel pain in runners download our eBook, "The Complete Guide to Stopping Heel Pain in Runners".

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+


By Dr. Rion Berg
October 16, 2015
Category: foot conditions
Tags: diabetes   MRSA  

As we watch the news and learn about the career ending MRSA infection acquired by Daniel Fells of the NY Giants, it's scary to consider that your kid may be vulnerable to this potentially life threatening bacteria. As a podiatrist who has treated many wounds and saved limbs, I wanted to let you know about the things you can do to keep your young athlete safe.

First, what is MRSA?

MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant staph aureus. Methicillin was the antibiotic used to treat staph aureus in the past but now this new form is resistant to it making it much more difficult to treat and more dangerous to the person who gets it. MRSA is highly contagious and can be easily transmitted through body contact which is one of the reasons athletes in high contact sports such as football, basketball, and soccer need to be educated about it.

Fortunately there are specific symptoms for young athletes and their parents to watch for and specific things that can be done to prevent it.

Symptoms of MRSA

The symptoms of MRSA include:

  • Swollen, painful, red bumps

  • Heat or warmth

  • Pus or drainage from a wound

  • More advanced signs are fever, chills, body aches, rash, or shortness of breath and can mean the infection has entered the bloodstream (be aware that some of these symptoms mimic the flu)

Prevention of MRSA in Young Athletes

  • Good hand hygiene is extremely important. Kids should wash their hands before and after workouts and practice.

  • Scrapes, cuts, and injuries should be washed thoroughly and bandaged.

  • Kids should not share soap, towels, or razors.

  • Athletes need to shower immediately after practice.

  • Athletic equipment should be wiped down before and after use

If someone you know shows these signs and symptoms, contact your primary care physician immediately or call 911 if symptoms have advanced.

Does a loved one have diabetes and an ulcer that is not going away? Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "Happy Feet for the Rest of Your Life" , mailed directly to your home.

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.