My Blog

Posts for category: Diseases of the Foot

By Howard Schaengold, DPM
December 17, 2012
Tags: Aching Feet   Gout   arthritis   uric acid  


Foot Pains“Oh, my aching feet!” How many times have you found yourself yelling, “Oh, my aching feet,” but then shrugged it off, figuring that aching feet are a natural part of life? You don’t have to put up with aching feet.  Your podiatrist in Sammamish urges you to not ignore that ache in your feet.  When pain occurs, it is the first sign that something isn’t right, so a trip to Howard Schaengold, DPM is in order.

Gout is a form of arthritis, and it can often cause extreme pain to your feet.  Approximately one million Americans suffer from gout, and although its source is a systemic problem within the body, there are some suggestions for how to treat gout that may help reduce your chance of having a gout flare-up. 

Diagnosis and Treatment

Because the joint inflammation of gout can resemble that of a joint infection or other form of arthritis, diagnosing gout requires removing a small amount of fluid from the joint and examining it for uric acid crystals.  Once diagnosis is made, your podiatrist in Sammamish can recommend a gout treatment plan to help:

  • Stop acute attacks
  • Rapidly relieve pain and inflammation
  • Avert future attacks
  • Prevent the development of tophi, kidney stones and kidney disease   

Gout treatment will most likely involve anti-inflammatory medications to relieve acute pain and inflammation, as well as urate-lowering drugs to control urate levels and prevent future attacks.

Other gout treatment strategies might include the following:

  • Avoid foods with high purines, such as organ meats, anchovies, shellfish, bacon and gravies, and increasing intake of dairy foods.
  • Avoid alcohol, which increases the production of urate and impairs excretion
  • Lose weight to reduce blood urate levels
  • Avoid medications that contribute to hyperuricema, including diuretics

With proper treatment by Dr. Howard Schaengold of Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic, gout is one of the most controllable forms of arthritis.  So when pain occurs, don’t just deal with it, seek treatment immediately. 

By Howard Schaengold, DPM
October 01, 2012

Skin Cancer and Foot Care

Skin cancer is common, accounting for nearly half of all cancers in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society. Despite these shocking statistics, less than one third of Americans apply sunscreen regularly to protect themselves from the sun’s harmful rays—and when they do, the feet are often overlooked.

During the spring and summer seasons especially, the feet are exposed to the sun’s damaging rays, putting them at just as great of risk for skin cancer as other frequently exposed parts of the body, such as the face and arms.  For this reason, podiatrists warn patients to pay extra attention to their feet during months when feet are exposed to avoid the harmful effects of the sun.

Prevention

The good news is that skin cancer of the feet is very preventable. For starters, always apply a generous layer of sunscreen to the tops of the feet, on and between the toes, and to the soles of your feet. Reapply every few hours if you are outdoors for an extended period of time. If you are on the beach or at the pool, opt for water shoes rather than flip-flops which offer a sun-blocking mesh cover. And finally, inspect your feet regularly for unusual skin changes or abnormal growths.

Common Warning Signs

Because skin cancer of the feet can easily be mistaken for other, less serious problems, such as a wart, rash or fungal infection, it is important for patients to report any questionable symptoms to their podiatrist.  Detecting skin cancer early is the key to optimal treatment.

Podiatrists are trained to diagnose and treat abnormal skin conditions of the feet. If a lesion is determined to be cancerous, Howard Schaengold, DPM will recommend the best course of treatment for your condition.