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All about ingrown toenails in Levittown, NYDoes your big toe hurt? Does it feel like something is biting down into it? Chances are good that you have an ingrown toenail - the medical term is onychocryptosis. (tuck that one away for a possible appearance on “Jeopardy!”) A corner or a side of your toenail is growing into the skin and if you leave it unchecked, it could wind up becoming infected - including a possible bone infection. This can be problematic for many and very dangerous for people who have diabetes. 


This is a problem that affects many people and is often the reason for a good portion of visits to a podiatrist. While these appointments can help in the short term, they can also become recurring if your foot is not properly attended to afterwards at home. 


Here’s all you need to know about ingrown toenails




The first thing that you will likely notice is that your toe is very sore and tender to the touch. There may even be redness around the area where the toenail is growing into the skin. If it’s not treated it could possibly become infected and pus may come out of the area.




While incorrectly cutting your toenails is often the culprit, things like wearing shoes that crowd your toenails can do it. The shape and length of your toenails can also play a part - some are just curved and that can cause an ingrown toenail. Even something that may seem relatively harmless, like stubbing your toe, can lead to the toenail growing inward. 




There are ways that you can deal with this at home, including soaking your feet and then lifting the nail and putting a piece of dental floss or cotton under it. Put antibiotic ointment on it and bandage it. Pain relievers like Tylenol may help. This is only for irritated areas, not infected ones. If there’s pus, see a podiatrist immediately. Other options may involve getting part or all of the nail removed, depending on how bad it is. 


Once the issue is fixed, you need to remember to trim your toenails straight across. Don’t curve the nail. The same goes for if you visit nail salons - the person doing it should cut across. Also, don’t let them grow too long… but don’t keep them too short, since that might also cause the nail to grow into the skin. 


It’s important to wear shoes that fit properly and also protect your feet. Consider wearing steel-toed shoes if you work at a job that puts your feet at risk. You only get two feet. Guard them. 


Diabetes and Ingrown Toenails


The reason why ingrown toenails can be especially dangerous for diabetics that there’s usually already a lack of blood flow in the foot area and that can lead to difficulty in healing if the toe becomes infected. Add the fact that patients often may be unaware that there’s even an issue down there because they lose feeling in that area and it can be a dire situation that may even wind up resulting in amputation. It’s important that diabetics check their feet daily for any cuts, blisters or ingrown toenails. If anything is found, they need to see a medical professional as soon as possible.


Ingrown toenails can be an aggravation for many people, with three million annual cases. But all it takes is some sense and care when it is treated and everything can resolve within a few months. Be diligent, though, and pay attention to the shoes that you wear and the way that you cut your toenails. If you are worried about that last part, you can even ask your podiatrist to do it during an exam. They do this all the time, and it’s not anything to be embarrassed about.


When it comes to ingrown toenails, Dr. John J Hickey has seen a good amount of them over the course of his career. If you live in the Levittown area, he can help ensure that your situation gets under control. He will also show you the best way to cut your toenails so that it doesn’t happen again. Give him a call to make an appointment: 516-735-4545.


Published by:

Levittown Podiatry

2870 Hempstead Tpke, Suite 103,

Levittown, New York 11756

Phone: (516) 735-4545



Chronic ankle instability can lead to an element of uncertainty for day-to-day life of many people. They may wonder if this will be the day that their ankle rolls when they step off a curb or walk down some stairs. It can be quite embarrassing to take a tumble on a crowded street or busy office building. Add the fact that they then will find themselves out of commission for at least the next couple of days due to a sprained ankle, then it can become downright nightmarish.


There are other signs for ankle instability - such as swelling or tenderness. The ankle may just have a persistent feeling of being wobbly or unstable. Being uncertain about walking around is not a good feeling, especially if one’s job requires them to be on their feet all day. Athletes may face this problem a lot.


Fortunately, there are options for people who have this, and they can depend on how severe the problem is. Sometimes there’s an easy quick fix, while other times, a more in-depth option is needed. Whatever the case, they still need to see a medical professional to help guide them to do what they need to.


Here are some of the best treatments for ankle instability.


Physical Therapy

The physical therapist will work with the patient in order to strengthen the area around the ankle. It may involve doing exercises to make the ankle muscles stronger so that they can resist possibly rolling over. Range-of-motion techniques may be used. The whole goal here is to retrain muscles so that they can do the job that they were required to do in the first place. Ultimately, the physical therapist will likely give the patient a routine to continue at home. 


Another option is for the patient to wear an ankle brace to provide stability. This way, they won’t have to be worrying as much about what will be happening when they are walking around. They should still do exercise,though, so that they can keep the muscles strong and not be worried about possible atrophy. It can keep ankle sprains from occurring again. Another possibility is to wear high-top shoes that can also support the ankle. 


Pain medication can help keep any swelling or discomfort at a minimum. It’s best to talk with a doctor before starting any regimen, but over-the-counter ibuprofen can be a good choice. The patient just needs to follow the directions and not overdo it or keep on taking it beyond reasonable limits. 


This is generally the last option when all else has failed. Sometimes the ankle just gets too weak and surgical reconstruction or repair is needed. After that has been done, then the patient will likely have to undergo physical therapy to get back to where they were before the injury. 

Once a pattern of ankle rolling has begun, it takes a lot of attention to making sure that one doesn’t put themselves into a situation where it can possibly recur. That means that wearing high heels shoes is not a good idea - it’s better to preserve your teeth than risk an injury in the name of fashion. Things go in and out of style - healthy ankles are for life.

Dr. John J Hickey can help you get the best support for your ankles so that you won’t have to worry about being laid up with a sprained ankle in the future. He will use his extensive knowledge of podiatry to ensure that you have healthy feet. If you have any questions, give him a call at 516-735-4545 to make an appointment.

Published by:

Levittown Podiatry

2870 Hempstead Tpke, Suite 103,

Levittown, New York 11756

Phone: (516) 735-4545



All about plantar fasciitis in Levittown, NYThere’s tissue that connects in the foot and supports the foot’s arch. When something affects it, it’s called Plantar Fasciitis and people who get it have pain in the bottom of the foot as well as the heel. It usually starts when they put their feet on the ground and start walking and shows up as pain in the heel.


People who usually stand on their feet all day tend to get this problem Fortunately, for most, there are ways to deal with it. 

Read more to learn about how to deal with plantar fasciitis. 

Diagnosis and Treatment

First, the doctor will examine your foot and have you have X-rays and an MRI to rule out things like stress fractures. 

The good news is that most of the people who have plantar fasciitis tend to not need surgery. Instead, they will likely need to do the following: 

  • Resting - This is the best thing to do since it allows the condition to subside. Stay off your feet for as long as possible.
  • Stretching - Doing certain stretches involving the arch of the foot can prevent plantar fasciitis from rearing its head again. It will keep everything loose throughout the day.
  • Icing - People do this to keep any swelling from possibly occurring. Be careful to only do it for 20 minutes at a time to avoid damaging the skin or foot via frostbite.
  • Taking painkillers - These can reduce the discomfort and inflammation - take things like Motrin or Aleve. Do this especially if your job will be difficult about having to stay on your feet instead of being able to sit. 


Other Methods

Additionally, once they have done enough of the above, they can proceed to the next set of things, which include: 

  • Night Splints - People wear these while sleeping overnight in order to stretch out their calves and feet
  • Orthotics - Sometimes these can support the arch of the foot, especially those who have flat feet and can give them a curve. These are inserts that can go into regular footwear.
  • Physical Therapy - Seeing a physical therapist can be beneficial - they can perform stretches on you and then show you certain ones you can do in the comfort of your own home to stay on track. 



If the conventional ways do not work, then there are other options, including and up to surgery: 

  • Extracorporeal shockwave therapy - Shockwaves are sent into the foot to stimulate healing.
  • Injections - A doctor may inject a steroid, but this should not be done often since the fascia can weaken and rupture. Also, there is an option for platelet-rich plasma which can help healing.
  • Surgery -This is the worst-case scenario where all else has failed. The surgeon will detach the fascia from the heel bone. They can do it through a small incision.
  • Ultrasonic Tissue Repair - This is done to break up damaged tissue which is then suctioned out. 

Other things that people can do is watch their weight. Extra pounds can cause extra stress on the feet. They also need to change any athletic shoes that are worn out since they provide no support whatsoever to the feet. They could also do low-impact sports like swimming or biking since neither of those have any impact on the feet, 

Ultimately, this is something that goes away with rest, but there are some people who require surgery. Athletes can have continual problems. NBA player Tyreke Evans lost an entire season due to it in 2011 - it can make running and jumping extremely painful and basketball is a sport predicated on those two. For the vast majority, they will be able to resume normal life. 

Dr. John J Hickey has been working with podiatry patients for many years at Levittown Podiatry and he has helped quite a few of them deal with plantar fasciitis- often without having to use any of the last options. If you feel like you have this and live in the Levittown area, give him a call at 516-735-4545.

Published by:

Levittown Podiatry

2870 Hempstead Tpke, Suite 103,

Levittown, New York 11756

Phone: (516) 735-4545


How to avoid winter foot injuries in Levittown, New YorkWinter has arrived. That means that bone-chilling weather is bound to stick for the next several months. Since it’s still getting dark quite early, that opens the door for a variety of foot injuries that can make one grumpy the whole season.


Of course, frostbite is one of the main things that people need to look out for. It’s far from the only thing, though. There are a host of conditions and injuries that could wind up waylaying people for much of the winter - and they can easily be prevented with some preparation.


Knowledge is definitely power. These are some of the foot injuries that can happen during the coldest months of the year and how one can ready oneself.




This is not some warm dish that one eats after being out in the cold. Pernio, which is also sometimes called chilblains, is when one exposes their feet and toes to the cold for too long. That makes the capillaries spasm, which can then cause itching, blisters, and even ulceration.

Just like preventing frostbite, the best way to keep this at bay is to wrap up one’s feet with thick socks. It will keep the toes from being exposed and a possibly quite unpleasant scenario can then be avoided.


Cracked Feet


Just like chapped lips can rapidly worsen from being an annoyance to making one’s life miserable every time they open their mouth, dry feet can develop cracks and fissures and make taking a few steps an exercise in determination.


The solution for this one is fairly simple and can be bought at any local drugstore or supermarket. Just apply moisturizing lotion to the feet at least once a day. This will help keep the feet soft and will make waking or standing significantly less painful.




During the winter, the most likely cause of a fall is ice. Freezing temperatures can make even a modest rain become treacherous for pedestrians. Also, snow that either melts during the day can become icy. In any event, one misstep can lead to disaster.


A fall can be dangerous for people of all ages, but senior citizens are the most at-risk due to their bones being more brittle and thus even more breakable. They can suffer anything from a sprained ankle to a cracked hip.


Raynaud’s Phenomenon


This one tends to strike women and can also be caused by other underlying conditions. Again, the small capillaries are affected when toes and fingers are exposed to cold. Warm, thick socks will get the job done in preventing this from occurring.


Stress Fractures


Winter is a time where people like to do things like skiing or snowboarding. The twisting and turning, along with the unforgiving stiffness of the boots can lead to stress fractures. Skaters can also be prone to getting these. Being physically fit and adhering to proper form along with wearing thick socks can help prevent something like this from happening.


These don’t happen to just active people. There have been times when someone has stood on their feet for a long time on a hard surface - situations like an older person working at a polling station without the proper footwear.


There are precautions that people can take - like ensuring that their footwear is correct, not allowing their feet to get wet for long and also seeking a foot surgeon at a hospital immediately after the injury, though doing the RICE method can help in a pinch. RICE is Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. It can allow any swelling to go down and may make a trip to the doctor easier afterwards.


Ultimately, what it comes down to is preparation. Know what the conditions are like outside, wear the proper clothes and also be extra vigilant about what lies in front - like ice. If it’s possible, try to be out only during the day, but if that’s not an option, then just leave extra time to get to the destination because walking quickly in the dark can be even more dangerous.


Dr. John J Hickey has seen many types of foot injuries over the course of his career. He can work with all kinds of patients to ensure that their feet will be better protected while they recover. Come to Levittown Podiatry to see what he can do - call 516-735-4545 to make an appointment.


Published by:

Levittown Podiatry

2870 Hempstead Tpke, Suite 103,

Levittown, New York 11756

Phone: (516) 735-4545


Winter foot care mistakes with Levittown Podiatry, NYIt’s winter in Levittown and much of the country will be trying to stay warm. While people usually take care of the upper parts of their bodies by wearing heavy jackets, hats, and gloves and some lower parts by wearing thick pants, they often treat their feet like an afterthought. 


They remember, though, when their feet start hurting or worse. It doesn’t have to be that way. There’s a bunch of things they do wrong - and correcting them is not time-consuming at all. 


If these same people avoid making these mistakes, the winter should be really easy on their feet.


Not Moisturizing Feet Properly


Just like one’s lips and hands, people’s feet can get very dry over the course of the winter. This is because the heat in their place is usually very high because of either a radiator or a fireplace. It’s important to moisturize one’s feet like they would their hands and lips lest the skin cracks and things get very uncomfortable.


In this same vein, feet can sweat a lot inside the boots and this can be a breeding ground for bacteria. It might be good to put baby powder on their feet in the morning before putting on the boots so that the moisture can be absorbed. 


Not Switching Out of Winter Boots


It’s tempting to just leave the winter boots on at work. After all, it took 10 minutes of grunting and pulling just to get the things on, right? Why have to go through all that exertion when getting ready to leave? Very bad idea. 


Once inside, it’s extremely prudent to switch to regular shoes. Otherwise, keeping the winter boots on can cause people’s feet to get sweaty, which then can lead to bacteria growing on the skin. It’s also a good idea to turn the boot upside down once inside so that any moisture can drain out. 


Wearing Ill-Fitting Boots


Don’t sacrifice comfort for fashion. WInter boots should fit comfortably - and allow for extended walking outside. People wear poorly-fitting shoes that put feet into uncomfortable positions in the name of looking good. It’s cold outside - the vast majority of those out and about are not going to be playing fashion judges.


Also, because of things like dry skin, those boots can cause everything from blisters to cuts on the feet to infection. This is the time of year to really pay attention to how their boots feel and adjust accordingly.


Not Replacing Old Boots


The reason for this may be because people don’t want to spend money on new boots, figuring they can get a lot of wear on them. The only way this is a good move is if they live in an area where there is not a lot of snow. Otherwise, the boots will crack from wear and tear, allowing cold air and wet snow or rain to get in, which defeats the purpose.


Also, contrary to popular belief, adult feet don’t stop growing. Feet can change size, and it’s very uncomfortable to wear boots that are a fraction too snug. Replace the boots.


Rushing To Warm Cold Feet


It makes sense to wriggle out of one’s boots or shoes and then immediately stick them under a nice stream of hot water, right? Not so fast - doing that can lead to 


This is an especially crucial time of year for diabetics, since the circulation around their feet is cut off enough as it is and the cold can’t help. They should inspect their feet every day, wear proper shoes that don’t rub or cut and also keep their feet dry at the same time.


Also, wear the proper footwear. If it’s really cold and there’s snow on the ground, don’t try to get through with sneakers. They are going to get soaked and open up the possibility of frostbite - which would make the season quite miserable indeed.


Lastly - if people’s feet are not improving despite doing the above, it’s best to go see a doctor to ensure that there is no underlying cause - like diabetes, an underactive thyroid, or Reynaud’s. 


This piece is not meant to bash the upcoming season. There are people who love winter - which is fine for them. These tips should make it at least tolerable for you and your feet.


Dr. John J Hickey has seen many different kinds of winter foot care snafus over the course of his career as a podiatrist at Levittown Podiatry. He will be glad to discuss proper care at your next appointment - 516-735-4545.


Published by:

Levittown Podiatry

2870 Hempstead Tpke, Suite 103,

Levittown, New York 11756

Phone: (516) 735-4545


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