Dr. Debra J. Aleck and AssociatesÂ
3511 Western Branch Blvd.
Portsmouth, VA. 23707
(757) 397-FOOT (3668)
Arch - The arch of the foot is the area of the bottom of the foot between the heel pad and toe pad.
Acrokeratosis verruciformis - a hereditary dermatosis characterized by the presence of numerous flat wart-like papules on the dorsal aspect of the hand, foot, elbow, and knee.
Ankle - the part of the leg just above the foot; the joint between the leg and the foot. It is a hinge joint formed by the junction of the tibia and fibula with the talus, or ankle bone. The bones are cushioned by cartilage and connected by a number of ligaments, tendons, and muscles that strengthen the joint and enable it to be moved. Because it is in almost constant use, the ankle is particularly susceptible to injuries, such as sprain and fracture. It is also often one of the first joints to be affected by arthritis or gout.
Ankle clonus - a series of abnormal reflex movements of the foot, induced by sudden dorsiflexion, causing alternate contraction and relaxation of the triceps surae muscle.
Athlete's foot - a fungal infection of the skin of the foot; called also tinea pedis. It causes itching and often blisters and cracks, usually between the toes. Causative agents are Candida albicans, Epidermophyton floccosum, and species of Trichophyton, which thrive on warmth and dampness. If not arrested, it can cause a rash and itching in other parts of the body as well. It is likely to be recurrent, since the fungus survives under the toenails and reappears when conditions are favorable. Although Athlete''s foot is usually little more than an uncomfortable nuisance, its open sores provide excellent sites for more serious infections. Early treatment and health care supervision insure correct diagnosis and prevention of complications. Specific diagnosis is made by microscopic examination or culture of skin scrapings for the fungus.
Extreme exposure of your feet to cold for a prolonged period can lead to a serious condition called frostbite. Frostbite starts by producing pain and a burning sensation in the exposed areas. This is followed by numbness in toes or feet and changes in skin color, from pale or red to bluish-gray or black. People with a history of frostbite often get it again in the same place.
Superficial frostbite injuries refer to those that involve the skin and subcutaneous tissue. When the damage goes more deeply, beyond the subcutaneous tissue and into muscles, nerves, tendons, or bones, they are classified as deep frostbite injuries. The extent of the injury impacts the prognosis for healing and long-term complications.
Children, the elderly, and diabetics are more prone to frostbite because of the size of their extremities or poor circulation. People who live or work outdoors also have a higher likelihood of contracting frostbite because of their increased exposure to the cold.
If you suspect that you have frostbite, seek emergency medical care as soon as possible. Get out of the cold and into a warm environment as quickly as possible. Keep the feet dry and warm. Do not expose the flesh to extremely warm or hot temperatures (such as a fire or portable heater). A gradual and steady warming procedure should be followed.