Monday, November 27, 2017

Your Kid’s Feet: Smelly, Sweaty, and Causing Their Knee pain!?

Your Kid’s Feet: Smelly, Sweaty, and Causing Their Knee pain!?

Ah, youth.  I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t hear at least one my friends or colleagues say, “I just can’t do that like I used to.”  We tend to look back at our youth as time of limber muscles and ache-less backs, and unlimited energy.  But the truth is that our kids can have some pretty serious foot issues, too – some that might not even be apparent to you. 

Fairfield County is sports-obsessed.  And I don’t just mean the traditional stick-and-ball sports.  My girls are dancers and they put in at least 10 hours a week in practice time -- plus all the weekend-long competitions – a pretty typical scenario that I am sure is very familiar to most of us raising kids here in this “next station to heaven”.  And what does this all have to do with a podiatric blog, you might ask.  Check their feet!

While we might get misty eyed at the remembrance of our spry youth, the truth is that the rigorous training and practice schedules our little athlete-warriors are going through can have a disastrous effect on their feet.  And what’s more, the foot is the true gateway to one’s overall body health.  Sore hips, tight backs, even head and neck pain can very often be traced back to a foot issue that is causing your child to have an uneven gait that then throws their whole-body mechanic out of whack.

So, what are we really talking about here?  There are two issues we’ll talk about: visual and systemic.

Let’s start with visual.  Have you looked at your kids’ feet lately?  If your kid is an athlete, my guess is at some point after a big weekend tournament, or in my girls’ case a big dance competition, their feet look something like this….

There’s not much I can do about the shoes that your child dances in, or the cleats they play soccer in - but I can educate them on how best to strap or tape up before practice, game or competition.  I can also educate them on what socks are best to avoid blisters, how they can avoid mangled toe nails, and everything else that might be effecting their feet.  But most of all, I can help educate them on what is a proper shoe to wear when not dancing/playing soccer etc. - hint, it’s not an Ugg! (Or a flip flop for that matter.) Wearing the right shoe 90% of the time (meaning the 10% of the time they are not dancing/running/jumping/kicking/skating) will have an immediate impact on their overall comfort level and will lead to a lessened likelihood that they will be injured when competing.

The lesser known area where a podiatrist like me can help is with systemic issues.  NEWS FLASH ALERT:  The coolest fact about the foot is that it’s is connected to the rest of the body!  (collective “duh”).  That means that when your warrior-athlete kid is complaining of ankle, knee, hip or back problems, it’s probably stemming from their feet!  You do not have to have foot pain, to have issues with your feet!

Are your child’s feet flat?  (In fact, are your feet flat?) Do they need an orthotic in their everyday shoe?  Would they benefit from lower extremity strength exercises or a simple stretching program?  Plan a visit to my office for a foot screening and to discuss these issues and what I can do to help! 

Dr. Tauber currently has office hours in Bethel, CT (  New Canaan Podiatry will be open in early 2018.

The Time to Act is Now!

Want Beach-Worthy Toenails? The time to take act is now!

One of the more frustrating problems with getting old for some of us is that our toenails can become a problem – yellowed, fungal, crusty, just yuck.  But I promise you, no one needs to think, “I’ll never wear flip-flops again!”.  Your unsightly toenails are indeed treatable.  BUT, it does take some time to get those tootsies in tip-top beach shape.
  You can’t start treatment right before Memorial Day 
and expect beach-worthy toes for the Summer! 
**do your feet look like this?**

To effectively clear a fungal infection in toenails usually takes about 6-12 months.  The first thing that we are going to do is take a small sample of the toenail to make sure that it is definitely a fungal nail infection.  We’ll take a simple nail clipping and send it to a pathology lab where the exact microorganism that is causing the problem can be identified – which allows us to design the most appropriate treatment plan together.  There is a possibility that you don’t have a fungal infection – in which case we’ll have a whole different treatment regimen (that’s a separate blog post).
If we are dealing with a fungal infection, we have three treatment options: 
Option #1  The most effective treatment is oral Lamisil. If you are over the age of 18, healthy, not pregnant or nursing, and have no prior liver problems; then Lamisil can be safe for you to use.  However, there are some occasional side effects associated with Lamisil and we’ll review those together before prescribing to make sure it is appropriate for you. 
Option #2  Topical medication treatment options are also available.  However, these need to be used every single day without interruption for at least one year.  While this can be a bit tedious, there are no systemic side effects associated with topical anti-fungal medications.  Not all topical medications are alike and we’ll talk through which ones have better efficacy and are covered by your insurance.
Option #3  You want to avoid side effects, but you don’t want to take 12 months to rid your nails of fungus?  Then Clearanail micro-drilling might be right for you.  This treatment method creates small micropores in the nail, so that it acts as a matrix to hold the topical medication in and bathes the nail bed – which makes your topical medication more effective, and decreases your treatment time.  Don’t worry, this is a painless procedure (I swear) that is performed in my office.

So if you have been hiding your toes in the sand, unwilling to let those piggies see the sunlight, have no fear….we can treat them!  It just takes some time.  No one can get rid of fungus in a few days or a few weeks.  If you want to make your feet beach-worthy by the Summer, the time to act is now (hint, hint….make an appointment!).  

Kids Shouldn't Be Sidelined by Heel Pain

A common complaint among my young, athletic patients is heel pain.  Typically, this complaint will come from a boy between the ages of...