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August 05, 2020
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Fungus and the Feet in Levittown, NYWe diligently take care of a lot of parts of our bodies. Our face? We wash our hair, shave, and moisturize to keep it looking fresh. Hands? We cut our fingernails and file them to keep them smooth along with moisturizing them. We soap up the rest of our bodies when we shower. Well… the vast majority of it. But we tend to ignore our feet.


When it comes to ignoring the feet, we do it so many different ways - we cram them into shoes that don’t fit or make you perform an odd balancing act every step that you take. Many of us also let our toenails grow to absurd lengths before remembering to cut them. All of this can lead to breeding grounds for fungus, which can make life very annoying and even dangerous to some.


It doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some of the fungi that affect the feet and how to care for and even prevent it.


Athlete’s Foot


Athlete's FootLike many other ailments and conditions, this isn’t just relegated to people who play sports or work out. The medical name for it is tinea pedis and you usually see it start in the area between your toes. It will look like a scaly rash and it starts because your feet get sweaty while also being squeezed into tightfitting shoes. Conveniently for the fungus, it’s also dark in there, which can help it grow.


You’ll feel itching, burning, and stinging in the area. Another reason why it’s called athlete's foot is that you can get it from the surface of things like gym locker room floors or even towels at the gym. It can be fixed with lotion that you buy over the counter at any drug store. You should also wear flip flops or shower shoes when using the shower at the gym and always make sure that you use a clean towel. Walking barefoot at home is one thing, but since so many people use a gym locker room, it can easily be spread. See a doctor if it doesn’t go away after two weeks or if you have diabetes, since that can lead to a secondary infection.


Toenail Fungus


This condition, known as onychomycosis, can start off as something inconspicuous - like a white or yellow spot under your toenail. That’s the fungus - it then begins to burrow further in and you’ll see the nail start to change colors, get thicker, and even start crumbling. There are times that it’s mild but oftentimes you will need to get treatment for it.


It’s usually caused by a fungus called dermophytes, and older adults usually get it. Their nails may also get deformed and an odor may be present. Diabetics need to constantly monitor the state of their feet since they also tend to lose circulation due to poor circulation. The fungal infection could turn into something worse for them. This type of infection is not anywhere near as contagious as athlete’s foot. People should use sterile nail clippers each time they cut their toenails. Treatment can include oral antifungal drugs, and medicated nail polish or nail cream. Surgery is the last option, where the toenail is removed.




The most important thing to keep in mind is to not ignore the problem. These are not things that will just go away. First, try to be proactive and keep your feet dry. Avoid walking barefoot in communal areas. Have over-the-counter cream handy if you are prone to getting it. But if the above steps are not working, then you need to get medical help to keep it from getting worse. We need our feet to get around. Take care of them!


When it comes to these conditions, the majority of the people will just have to endure some itchiness and rashes, but we can’t stress enough to any diabetics who are reading this - see a doctor. The same goes for those who are immune-compromised. The fungus can break down the skin and then you can wind up with ulcers of the foot or cellulitis. That’s because the blood circulation in that area is weak and healing can be very difficult.


Ultimately, you need to pay more attention to your feet. It doesn’t take that much time to ensure that they are in good shape. Wear comfortable shoes, not what the latest fashion magazines are touting. Also, do not let up treatment. The fungus can be quite persistent and can come back. Being armed with this knowledge can make life a lot easier for you.


Dr. John J. Hickey is no stranger to foot conditions. He has helped many patients over the course of his career at Levittown Podiatry. Give him a call today - 516-735-4545 - to make an appointment to see what he can do for you.


Published by:

Levittown Podiatry

2870 Hempstead Tpke, Suite 103,

Levittown, New York 11756

Phone: (516) 735-4545


How do I care for my feet in summer?The temperatures are soaring in the Levittown area and you know what that means: summer. That also means really, really hot days. While your whole body feels the effects, your feet can be a really big target. Since you need them to get from place to place or even to do things like walking to the refrigerator to get more water, it’s best to ensure that they are in the best condition possible.


Here are some of the best ways to care for your feet during the summer.


No Walking Barefoot Outdoors


This is an important distinction - of course you can walk around your own home barefoot. It’s when you’re outside that you need to have on some sort of protection for the bottom of your feet. Otherwise a lot of damage can occur that may make life a lot less fun for days or even weeks. Don’t even think of walking for any period of time on concrete during the summer. That will get your feet both dirty and possibly burned.


The beach is a prime example. Once people get there, they shed the shoes and run on the sand… which then feels like being on top of lava. Wait until you get your seat under the shade and then take them off. Or keep them on until you get near the wet sand, which is cooler. But you need to be careful there, as well. Seashells can cut feet.


Wear The Right Socks


You want your feet to be comfortable. Thick socks are great during the winter but can reduce your feet to a puddle of sweat in summer. Think of wearing low-cut socks that are thin and let your feet breathe. There are some who like to not wear any socks at all, but they have to wear the right shoes, otherwise they risk getting cuts and and other injuries to their feet.


Fix Blisters Quickly


This can be a result of the above situation with socks - or the lack thereof. Unlike other blisters, you don’t want to pop it. Doing this with your feet can lead to infection. Instead, cover the blister up. Put padding on it. That will allow it to go away while you go on about your daily business. Letting the blister linger can lead to more than just general discomfort - it can get infected. Be vigilant.




The temperatures are getting to be sky-high. Humidity is taking it to another level. So that means the chances of your feet getting dry go up astronomically. Having dry, cracked feet at ANY time of year is not fun, but especially not when it is 90 degrees outside. That’s why you have to moisturize your feet. It’s not a terribly time-consuming process - just lather on the lotion once a day. Do NOT put any between your toes - dry skin there keeps fungus away. Your feet will thank you.


Examine Your Flip-Flops


It’s summer, so that means flip-flops, right? Lounging by the pool or at the beach, they are a perfect addition to your footwear… correct? Not so. While they can offer short-term protection, they are not adequate for long-time wear. Boat shoes might be a better option, but the ones that wedge between your big toe and second toe are not the best.


That ease of slipping flip-flops on can be quite the drawback. Why? If you stumble, there’s no support to keep you from doing things like spraining your ankle. They can also come off at the worst time, like if you need to run. There’s also no arch support, which can lead to flat feet. You can wind up scraping your toes on the sidewalks. Stress fractures are a possibility.


A couple of other things that you can do is to make sure that you are always adequately hydrated. That can help prevent dry skin… and speaking of skin - wear sunscreen. Even on your feet, especially if you go barefoot at the beach or in the pool. You can wind up getting burned there.


The best part is that doing all of these things is not that expensive. You can probably pick up all the necessary items in one or two trips to a store or you can even order them online, which saves you the trips. It’s better to invest a little bit of money now rather than have to pay for more expensive things down the road. Then both your feet and your wallet will be in pain.


Things will stay hot for at least a couple more months in Levittown. Taking care of your feet during this time should be a top priority. If you follow the above steps, you should find yourself in good shape.  Otherwise you might find yourself at home literally cooling your heels while other people are out and about, enjoying what the season has to bring.


Dr. John J. Hickey knows all about keeping your feet in great shape during the summer months. Head over to his office at Levittown Podiatry and hear what he has to say. Then you can go enjoy the rest of the hot days with comfortable feet. Give him a call to make an appointment.


Published by:

Levittown Podiatry

2870 Hempstead Tpke, Suite 103,

Levittown, New York 11756

Phone: (516) 735-4545



Have you found that there is a thick layer of skin on some parts of your body? It may be your toes or feet or on your hands. Those are calluses that develop when there is a lot of friction in that part. You might get them on your fingers from playing an instrument… perhaps the drums or guitar. They also occur on your feet if you wear ill-fitting shoes.


For the purpose of this post, we’re going to focus solely (no pun intended) on what happens to your feet and how you can take better care to prevent this from happening and what kind of treatments you might need.


Read on to learn all about corns and calluses and what you can do about them.


Causes & Symptoms


The main cause of this tends to be from those shoes that may look great but are extremely tight on your feet. That creates friction and ultimately those corns or calluses. It can also happen if you wear shoes that would normally fit if you wore socks but you decide to recreate the 1984 Miami Vice look of going sockless. The cast of that show had people who could care for their feet 24-7. That’s not the case for you. 


If you get corns or calluses, you can see some hard raised bumps on your feet. If you don’t get them fixed, you could wind up having conditions progress to things like bunions, hammertoe or other deformities like bone spurs.




When you come to see your doctor, they will make sure that there isn’t something else causing those hardened bumps - like perhaps a wart or a cyst. They may take an X-ray to be absolutely sure. 


The most likely thing that the doctor will do is tell you to stop doing whatever is causing the problem. They may tell you to wear socks with your shoes. You may have to bump up a shoe size to ensure that you have the proper fit. They may remove excess skin using a scalpel (Do NOT try this at home). There are callus-removing medications that you can get over the counter. Surgery is an option but that’s for very rare scenarios involving how a bone is aligned in your foot.


A popular remedy is to get a pumice stone or a nail file and sand away the callus, but being careful to not remove too much skin. If you have a foot deformity, then there are inserts that you can put in your shoes.


What to Do Afterward


Now that you have smooth feet again, what can you do to prevent recurrences? One of the best things that you can do for your feet is to put moisturizing cream on them. That can both keep your skin from hardening and cracking and also soften and corns and calluses. You want to be safe, though, and not take off too much skin.


Ultimately, it comes down to taking good care of your feet by doing things like ensuring that your shoes are well-fitted. This is very important if you have diabetes, since the flow of blood to your feet will be compromised. If you are wearing a new pair, be sure to protect certain areas of your feet, such as the heels, to keep them from becoming chafed or have those calluses form. Do this until the shoes are truly comfortable and broken in.


If things keep persisting, you can see a foot doctor to see what suggestions they have to get you on the right path to good foot health. Then you can go back to enjoying things like walking around outside and not have to worry about the state of your feet.


Dr. John J Hickey has nearly 40 years of experience working with patients and their feet. He can help you with your corns and your calluses and ensure that you are out and about walking pain-free again. Give him a call at 516-735-4545 to make an appointment today!


Published by:

Levittown Podiatry

2870 Hempstead Tpke, Suite 103,

Levittown, New York 11756

Phone: (516) 735-4545


Geriatric Foot Problems in Levittown, NYAlthough the distance of the years between your date of birth and your age may have widened some, that doesn’t mean that you have to feel older. Then again, certain parts of your body do show some signs of aging, no matter how young your spirit may feel. Feet have a particular bothersome habit of developing issues as you get older. Fear not. There are many ways that you can still enjoy your life in Levittown - you just have to add a few foot care routines each day. It’s not that time-consuming and you can reap tremendous benefits.


It’s always good to do research beforehand. But be sure to look at reputable sites that give you sound medical advice for your feet. Since the Internet has made it really simple for people to create web sites and sell unproven things or suggest possibly dangerous remedies, make sure that your source is a well-known one, like WebMd or something similar.


Here are some geriatric foot problems that you might encounter.


Common Issues


The main issues tend to be mild ones that can affect people of all ages. They include corns, calluses, and ingrown toenails. Make sure that you have the right footwear for your feet. Your immune system is not quite as robust and may have trouble keeping pathogens out - that may open the door for things like athlete’s foot and nail fungus.


Another thing to look out for is gradual flattening of the feet. Your connective tissues may loosen and you can develop tendonitis or plantar fasciitis. The skin of your feet, like much more your body, will get thinner and you will be losing padding in the heel, which means you don’t have protection from the ground. Metatarsalgia, which is pain in the ball of the foot can result as well as neuromas, which is pressure on the nerves of your foot.


Arthritis is where joints in your feet wear down and might even damage your feet to the point where walking is extremely painful or even impossible. Foot deformity is something you definitely do not want to have happen to you. Address arthritis as soon as you feel symptoms.


More Severe Ones

You want your feet to have adequate blood flow. Diabetes and circulatory issues present a big danger there. If that is compromised, that can lead to damage to your feet… up to and including tissue death, which might mean amputation. You need to pay strict attention to your overall health there and make sure that you are not losing sensation in your feet - which can then mask a host of other problems like cuts or bruises that won’t heal.


Overall Care


Check your shoes. Check your foot grooming equipment. Check your socks. Are they suitable for your needs? If you’re using a dull clipper, then it’s time to get a new one. Thin socks might feel comfortable but you need to have a well-fitting shoe to keep friction from causing blisters or calluses. Thick socks might be better but that might require a small bump in shoe size to accommodate that. But make sure that the socks are made of material that wicks moisture away instead of retaining it.


The most important thing to do is inspect your feet each day. See if there are any changes in the skin color, any cuts, or anything else. If the pain seems to worsen, then definitely seek out medical care. You need to find a balance to make sure that your quality of life continues to be excellent.


Of course, before you self-diagnose yourself of the above conditions, it’s always best to see a podiatrist to ensure that there are no underlying causes of your foot issues that might need more medical attention. That’s one drawback of the Internet. It has TOO much information at times. Only a doctor can verify. Once they have given you the OK, then you can go ahead and help your feet feel the best that they can.


Dr. John J Hickey is a podiatrist with many years of experience in helping people have healthy feet, no matter their age. He’s always happy to tell you what you can do for your foot care regimen. Give him a call at Levittown Podiatry to make an appointment: 516-735-4545.


Published by:

Levittown Podiatry

2870 Hempstead Tpke, Suite 103,

Levittown, New York 11756

Phone: (516) 735-4545


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



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