John Hollander, DPM

Watch Out for BBQ Foods That Cause Gout!

Fourth of July weekend brings out a variety of celebratory traditions, including fireworks and wearing red, white, and blue.  Another common one is the outdoor cookout.  Families and friends gather in backyards and on porches to enjoy grilling and eating together. For anyone with gout, however, this tradition could set up a painful attack later.  You can still grill this holiday weekend, but you should keep in mind certain foods to avoid with gout.

Foods that are high in purines can increase the production of uric acid in your body, making it more likely the crystals will collect in your joints—especially your feet—and cause pain.  By avoiding these foods and drinks, and eating other healthy choices, you can decrease your odds of developing an uncomfortable problem.

Reduce your intake of meat, including poultry and fish.  Watch your fat consumption, too, since saturated fats impair your ability to eliminate uric acid.  Instead, choose low-fat options, especially for dairy products and snack foods like potato chips.  Limit the snacks you consume with high-fructose corn syrup as well.  This may mean skipping the soda or sweetened juice.  You should also avoid alcohol, especially beer, since it seems to have a link to gout attacks.

Instead, get extra protein with beans or legumes.  Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and look for whole-grain and starch-rich carbohydrates.  Rice, potatoes, oats, barley, and other whole grains are good options.  Choose water or a 100% juice to drink over other alternatives.

Changing your diet now is better than waking up at night with a painful gout attack.  This may mean eating only one burger or hot dog, saying no to the beer, and looking for fruits and veggies to fill up your plate this holiday weekend.  Pay attention to what you consume and watch for the foods to avoid with gout. If you experience a gout flare up, contact John D. Hollander, DPM, in Santa Rosa, CA. You can call (707) 578-1222 or use our online request form to reach us.

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Can I Get a Fungal Infection from the Swimming Pool?!

The summer heat is here early, and that means many people are seeking ways to stay cool.  They wear shorts and t-shirts, stomp around in sandals, flock to ice cream trucks, and look for activities that can keep them cool.  Swimming remains one of the best and most popular options for the whole family and Santa Rosa’s public pools are open for summer hours.  However, if you want to keep your feet looking good in your sandals, you may need to spend some of your summertime preventing fungal nails.

While swimming is a great way to stay cool, it can also increase your risk for contracting a fungal nail infection.  Places like public pools are breeding grounds for the pathogens that cause the condition.  Damp floors and protected corners, especially in locker rooms, foster the fungus and expose your feet to it.  Some simple precautions, though, can help you keep your nails clean and healthy.

Make sure you wear water moccasins, sandals or shower shoes when you walk through changing rooms, use public showers, and when you stand on the pool deck.  This helps protect you from direct contact with potentially contaminated surfaces. Wash your feet thoroughly with soap every day, and pat them dry with a clean towel. Keep your nails trimmed and scrubbed as well.

Try to avoid wearing the same pair of shoes every day so each set can air out. Definitely change your socks daily, and avoid sharing them with others. You may want to pre-treat your nails with an anti-fungal spray or powder after cleaning them, and before putting on any type of footwear as well.

You do not want to contract a nail fungus infection, but you also do not have to give up activities like going to the pool to avoid it. Taking a few preventative measures can make a significant difference for the comfort and health of your feet. If you would like any help this summertime preventing fungal nails, or treating an existing infection, contact our expert team here at John D. Hollander, DPM in Santa Rosa, CA. Call (707) 578-1222 or use our online request form to reach us for questions or an appointment.

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8 Tips and Tricks to Fabulous Feet (Summer Edition)

The warm weather season is upon us and that means it’s time to put on sandals and flip flops.  But before you head outside, you’ll want to make sure you have beautiful and healthy feet- not dry, rough or uncomfortable feet! Getting your feet into fabulous shape and keeping it that way is easy to do.  Just follow these simple ideas on a regular basis to maintain your feet all summer long.

TIPS

Tip #1:  Keep your foot file in the shower.  Giving your heels a quick file just before you finish your shower is a great way to keep the calluses at bay and your feet looking smooth.

Tip #2: Hydrate. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day helps to keep your calluses at bay and keeps your skin from drying out.

Tip #3: Trim your nails after a foot soak or shower. This makes trimming thicker nails much easier. Remember, trim across, not around the nail.

Tip #4: SPF- it- up! We tend to show favoritism to our bodies when it comes to applying SPF. Often it is our feet that get the short end of the stick! Keep the skin on your feet healthy and free of flakes by applying an SPF to them too!

Tip #5: Enrich your nails. Don’t just apply any nail polish to your toes, use one that provides your nails with enrichment! Try a polish like Dr.’s REMEDY* which has ingredients like garlic bulb, lavender and tea tree oil.

TRICKS

Trick #1: Avoid blisters in your new shoes by wearing them around the house at first. This will help you figure out where you will have rubs. You can then prevent discomfort before it starts by applying a cushy bandage or using an anti-rub stick.

Trick #2: You don’t have someone to massage your achy tired feet? Take an iced water bottle or a tennis ball and rub the bottom of your feet on them.

Trick #3: Love the beach but hate the sand aftermath? Sprinkle baby powder or flour on your feet. It will help absorb any left-over moisture to help the sand come off easier.

 

If you find that your feet could use a little extra care, we offer Medical Pedicures in office, that range from a no-fuss soak and trim, up to a luxurious full hour service. If you would like to schedule a medical pedicure or have concerns about your feet, please call our office today at (707) 578-1222.

*You can purchase a wide selection of Dr.’s REMEDY nail polish at our Santa Rosa Office.

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Homemade Summer Margaritas

Nothing feels better on a hot summer day, than the taste of an ice cold beverage.  And what could be better than a freshly made margarita?!  Sit back and relax, or impress your pals, with these simple to make frozen margarita recipes.

Simple syrup is needed for all our recipes. To make a batch, add 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water to a pot. Whisk mixture over a medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Once sugar is dissolved set it aside to cool.

Peach Margarita (Serves 2)

Ingredients

½ cup frozen peaches

¼ cup simple syrup

1 ½ ounces tequila (white)

½ ounce orange liqueur

1 cup ice

Lime for garnishing glass

Sugar or salt to rim the glass

Directions

In a blender combine: peaches, syrup, tequila and orange liqueur with your ice.

*Add fruit to thicken up mixture. Or add water if mixture is too thick.

Pour your Peach Margaritas into 2 glasses.

Rub the rim of each glass with a lime and dip the glass rim into sugar or salt.

Garnish glass with your lime wedge.

Enjoy!

 

Mixed Berry Margarita (Serves 4)

Ingredients

1 cup frozen mixed berries

½ cup simple syrup

3 ounces tequila (white)

1 ounce orange liqueur

2 cups ice

Lime for garnishing glass

Sugar to rim the glass

Directions

Blend the mixed berries in a blender until there are no longer large chunks. Pour the mixture through a large sift to remove the seeds (if you like seeds, skip this process).

Pour strained berry mixture back into blender. Add remaining ingredients: simple syrup, tequila, orange liqueur and ice into the blender and blend to your desired consistency.

Pour your Mixed Berry Margarita into 4 glasses.

Rub the rim of each glass with a lime and dip the glass rim into sugar.

Garnish with your lime wedge or a few left-over berries.

 

Fresh Lime Margarita (Serves 2)

Ingredients

½ cup fresh lime juice

¼ cup simple syrup (or agave syrup)

1 ½ ounces tequila (white)

½ ounce orange liqueur

2 cups of ice

Lime for garnishing glass

Salt to rim the glass

Directions

Blend all the ingredients in a blender (except your garnishing lime and salt) until desired consistency.

Serve your Fresh Lime Margarita in 2 of your favorite glasses.

Rub the rim of each glass with a wedge of lime and then dip the glass rim into salt.

Clink glasses and take a sip!

 

If you are concerned about processed sugar, you can substitute the simple syrup for agave syrup.  And if you don’t want to squeeze your own lime juice, you can pick up a wonderful bottle of organic lime juice in your juice isle.

Don’t forget to utilize your local farmers market by buying local and fresh fruits. Pop your freshly washed and cut fruit into the freezer until you are ready to make your drinks. Because fresh ripe fruit tends to be sweeter, you may want to experiment with your simple syrup quantities.

Use these recipes as an excellent excuse to have your friends or neighbors over. They’ll be glad you did! Cheers to you!

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Have You Had Your Daily Does of Foot Care?

 Father’s Day is just around the corner and what better gift could there be than foot care?  Knowledge of how to correctly care for your feet is a wonderful gift, but Dad might also appreciate a day at the spa having his feet spruced up.  Most of us don’t take care of our feet very well on a daily basis.  We sometimes take them for granted, but they do so much for us that we should give back to them too.

Keeping your feet looking nice and feeling great shouldn’t be a chore.  It should be a daily routine you look forward to performing.  Start by soaking your feet in warm water for a few minutes.  Try adding some essential oils or black tea to the water.  After you’ve relaxed for a bit, use a pumice stone or emery board on your calluses.  Moisturize your feet if they’re very dry or cracked, but don’t put any lotion between your toes, as they might stay too moist, which could increase the risk of fungal infection.  Trim your nails, but not too short.

Taking care of your feet doesn’t end with just washing and grooming them.  Your footwear is also a crucial element of having healthy feet.  Choose shoes that offer support for your heels and arches.  Wear ones that are appropriate for the activity you are doing.  If you’ll be standing for a long time, you might consider adding a gel insert that will offer more cushioning.  When you do wear sandals, make sure you apply sunscreen to the exposed parts of your feet consistently throughout the day to prevent skin damage or melanoma!

Foot care is a rewarding experience; after all, they do take you everywhere you want to go.  Call Dr. John Hollander at 707-578-1222 to schedule an appointment in our Santa Rosa, CA office.  We will answer your questions and give you more tips on taking care of your feet.

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Hello Hiking, Bye-bye Neuroma Pain

Hiking in Santa Rosa, CA can be a thrilling and rewarding experience. From the beautiful vistas of Sugarloaf Ridge State Park to the old-growth redwoods in Armstrong Woods and to the wide open spaces, we have it all. If you experience neuroma pain it can keep you from enjoying the great outdoors. If your toes are hurting, now is the time to get healthy and address the pain!

A neuroma is a condition in which the nerves between the metatarsal bones become inflamed. You can often feel a thickening at the base of your toes, and the area may be painful or feel as though it is burning, making it difficult to walk. It is believed that wearing shoes that are restrictive or too tight can contribute to the formation of a neuroma. The pain is usually made worse when more pressure is put on the area, so wearing high heels that force your weight onto the ball of your foot is not recommended.

Treatment for a neuroma is usually conservative and non-invasive. Sometimes a simple change in footwear is all that is needed. Make sure your shoes have plenty of wiggle room for your toes, and that they offer adequate support. Additionally, you can add a shoe insert or a custom-made orthotic to ease your pain. You can also try calf stretches, which can relieve some of the pressure on your foot. If these treatment methods do not work for you, you can go on to more invasive measures. This might include steroid injections or cryotherapy. As a last resort, surgery may be a viable option.

We know how frustrating it can be to suffer from neuroma pain. You may feel unable to enjoy your life to the fullest because of the discomfort. Call today so we can get you back on the path to foot wellness, and then out on those hiking trails. Call Dr. John Hollander at (707) 578-1222 to schedule an appointment in our Santa Rosa, CA office.

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Can Nail Polish Actually Prevent Toenail Fungus?

Toenail fungus, once you get it, it takes time to treat! So how can we prevent it from occurring in the first place?  Well, there are a few things we can do to stave off that yucky fungus.

  1. Keep your feet clean and dry
  2. Avoid walking barefoot in public places like gyms and pools
  3. Wear breathable footwear
  4. Never wear another person’s footwear!

In addition to these fungal prevention tactics, you can also add an extra punch of prevention by using an enriched nail polish*.  A great brand to try is Dr.’s REMEDY, which was formulated by actual podiatrists!

Dr.’s REMEDY nail polish contains ingredients like garlic bulb oil and tee tree oil that are naturally good at staving off fungus due to their anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.  It also contains Vitamin B and C, Biotin and Wheat Protein which are all good for nail health and strength!

If you’ve found yourself with a bought of toenail fungus that is not resolving on its own or with over the counter medications, call our Santa Rosa office today to learn more about anti-fungal laser treatment. Our office number is (707) 578-1222.

 

*Dr.’s REMEDY nail polishes are a cosmetic. Dr.’s REMEDY is not FDA approved and cannot make claims to cure fungus.

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Why Does My Toe Bend That Way?!

Do you have a toe or toes that look bent out of shape, but you don’t recall any trauma happening to them? You could have a case of Hammer Toe, Claw Toe or Mallet Toe!  Not to worry, they are not dangerous conditions to have, but they can be quite uncomfortable and most importantly- treatable and preventable!

While Hammer Toe, Claw Toe and Mallet Toe all look similar, it is a matter of which joint(s) in the toe that is bending, that classifies which condition you have.

A Hammer toe occurs when the proximal interphalangeal joint (PIP or middle joint) of the toe is bent abnormally.

A Claw toe occurs when both the middle joint (proximal interphalangeal/ PIP) and the first joint (distal interphalangeal joint/ DIP) is bent.

A Mallet toe occurs when only the first joint, known as distal interphalangeal, is bent.

Other symptoms include redness, swelling, calluses, corns and ulcers at the joint.

CAUSES

 

Causes for these conditions are often due to an imbalance in the muscles surrounding the joint.  When one of the muscles around the toe weakens, it loses its ability to bend or straighten out. Muscles can weaken for a few reasons:

– Poorly fitting shoes, that cause the toe to bend while wearing them (e.g. high heels or shoes that are too small)

– A broken toe that does not receive treatment and heals abnormally

– Nerve damage caused by diabetes

–  Arthritis

TREATMENT & PREVENTION

As with many foot related conditions, the sooner you address a hammer, claw or mallet toe, the easier it is to treat!  If the condition is relatively new, your podiatrist may instruct you to perform special foot exercises and stretches that are designed to strengthen your toe muscles.  They may also prescribe a special shoe insert or recommend special corn pads or foot straps to help relieve your pain.  In cases with high pain, your podiatrist may give you a cortisone injection.  If the condition is left untreated for too long, you may have to have surgery in order to repair the toe.

You can prevent an onset of hammer toe, claw toe or mallet toe by wearing shoes that provide ample wiggle room for your toes and arch support and, performing exercises that encourage your toes to stretch, wiggle and bend freely.

If you have noticed that one or more of your toes are bending in an abnormal manner, schedule an appointment with Dr. Hollander right away! He can provide you with the best method to treating your bent toe and getting it back into shape! Call today at (707) 578-1222 for questions and appointments.

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How To Tell a Foot Sprain From a Fracture!

If you’re like me, you probably jump at every opportunity to get out side and play. Whether that mean going for a walk at Sugar Loaf, playing a game of bocce ball in the yard or volleyball at the beach, just about any outdoor activity can sometimes lead to an injured foot or ankle, if we aren’t careful! So if you happen to injure your foot or ankle, how can you tell if it’s a sprain or fracture?

A sprain is trauma to the ligaments. It can range in severity and may involve damage to the surrounding tissues. You may find that you have bruising, pain, swelling and inflammation. To treat a sprain, you must rest your feet by following the RICE method: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Discontinue the activity that caused the sprain while your foot heals. You may find that physical therapy or MLS Laser Therapy can help get you back to full strength.

A fracture is an injury to the bones. A bone can be broken in one place or in multiple areas. When a bone breaks, it can cause damage to surrounding parts of the foot including the ligaments and the joints. You will feel immediate pain, and there might be swelling, bruising and redness. In most cases where there is a fracture, you will not be able to put any weight on the foot because of the pain and instability. Any time you suspect a broken bone, come in and see us as soon as possible so that treatment can occur. Your bone may need to be set back into its correct position, and you will have to immobilize the area (by way of a cast or splint) until it heals.

For more information on treating a foot sprain or a break, call Dr. John Hollander at 707-578-1222 to schedule an appointment. You want any injury—to you or your child—to be treated quickly and so it will heal well and avoid future complications, so please, do not hesitate to give us a call.

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How to Finally Get Rid of a Plantar Wart!

How to deal with Plantar WartsYou’ve tried the old duct tape method and over the counter wart remover products, and yet that pesky wart is still there causing discomfort to your feet. So, what can you do? When at home remedies fail then it is time to visit a podiatrist. Podiatrists have access to more aggressive solutions and methods to get rid of your pesky plantar wart.

First and foremost, prevent your warts from spreading by keeping them covered with a bandage until you begin treatment. And remember, do not touch them and always use good hygiene practices.

The first line of defense a podiatrist will use in treating your plantar wart is either a stronger salicylic acid medicine or a freezing medicine.

Salicylic Acid: Similar to the products you purchase at the store, but at a prescription strength. The Salicylic Acid is designed to remove layers of the skin a little at a time. This topical method is applied on a regular basis until the wart is gone.
Cryotherapy: If your podiatrist suggests freezing your wart, also known as cryotherapy, this procedure will be done during your office visit. Cryotherapy is the method of applying a liquid nitrogen to the wart. The chemical reaction causes a blister to form around the wart, which will later slough off. This method can be painful, so often the doctor will apply a numbing solution prior to the procedure.

If your plantar wart does not respond to salicylic acid or cryotherapy, the next step would be to consider other wart removing alternatives.

Alternative Acids: When your wart doesn’t respond to salicylic acid, your doctor will scrap off the surface of the wart and apply trichloroacetic acid with a wooden toothpick. This method will require a few visits back to the office for each application.
Laser Treatment: A laser is used to cauterize tiny blood vessels inside the wart. This will then cause the wart to die. This method can also be helpful if a patient is unable to comply with regular applications of other medications.
Immune Therapy: A combination of medications or solutions are used to stimulate your immune system so that it can fight off the viral warts. Surgical Removal: This method is often used as a last resort due to the possibility of leaving a scar.  The wart tissue is either cut off with a scalpel or a needle carrying an electrical current will be inserted into the wart killing it.

Your feet are vital to everything you do, so take time to inspect them daily—including the soles. This condition is common in children, so parents should look at their children’s feet often. Those with compromised immune systems may also be more susceptible to this common condition.

Whether you have one or a cluster, we’re here to help you put the spring back in your step. For more information on plantar wart treatments, call Dr. John Hollander today at (707) 578-1222. You can also schedule an appointment at our Santa Rosa, CA office by requesting an appointment online. We want your feet to stay wart free so that you can feel confident and comfortable, so go ahead and put away your duct tape and give us a call!

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