Find Answers From Our Roanoke Podiatrists About Your Foot and Ankle Pain...and About Our Practice!
We love to hear (and answer) your questions! Listed are some frequently asked questions we receive at office, as well as some answers to others that we think you may find very informative. Make sure to check out our blog as well, where you’ll find in-depth articles on common feet and ankle problems.
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Can I Treat Dry and Cracked Heels at Home?
If you have dry, cracked heels, you can blame your parents! This problem is often hereditary. Conditions like diabetes can cause dry heels as well, and sometimes your skin just dries out with age. Fortunately, in most cases, you can treat yourself at home.
The first step toward smoother skin is keeping your feet moisturized. After bathing, smooth dry areas with a pumice stone then liberally apply a rich, creamy lotion. Lock the moisture in by putting on socks, or even sleeping in them. You can also try soaking your feet in lemon juice—the acid from the lemon erodes away dead skin. Re-apply lotion often and avoid hot showers, as well as caffeine and alcohol. Drink plenty of water instead. Using a humidifier in your home can help too. If nothing seems to be working or you notice your cracked heels are bleeding, schedule an appointment with Dr. Jennifer Keller or Dr. Marshal Gwynn of Shenandoah Podiatry. You can reach our Roanoke, VA office at (540) 904-1458, or our Blacksburg, VA location at (540) 808-4343. We can help your heels be healthy again!
Are pedicures bad for my toenails?
Everyone loves to pamper themselves once in a while, and pedicures are a popular way to do so. However, before heading to the salon you should take some precautions to avoid possible problems. Otherwise your pretty feet could wind up with some unsightly issues, like warts, athlete’s foot, and fungal nails.
Foot baths are notorious breeding grounds for bacteria and fungus. It’s important to make sure the salon you choose follows strict sterilizing techniques, not only for the baths, but also the tools. Take some time between appointments as well so that toenails can take a breather from being painted. If you can’t stand being without color, it’s best to choose a polish with healthy ingredients such as the Dr. Remedy line of nail polish we carry at Shenandoah Podiatry.
For more tips on avoiding the possible risks from a pedicure, or if you’d like to pick up some of our polish, just call (540) 808-4343 in Blacksburg, VA, or call (540) 904-1458 in Roanoke. Dr. Jennifer Keller and Dr. Marshal Gwynn are happy to help keep your feet and nails healthy and looking good!
How can I prevent ingrown toenails?
Proper grooming techniques go a long way when it comes to preventing ingrown toenails. Be sure to keep nails clean and trim them straight across, never following the curve. In addition, nails should be kept even with the tips of your toes—any shorter and pressure from your shoes could direct the nail to grow into the surrounding tissue. Shoes that are too tight or narrow can pinch toes as well and cause nails to become ingrown, so it is important to have well-fitting footwear, too.
You can avoid this painful problem by following these tips. However, if despite your best efforts you suspect that your toenail is becoming ingrown, make an appointment with Dr. Jennifer Keller or Dr. Marshal Gwynn at Shenandoah Podiatry today. It is especially important to do so if you have diabetes, as an ingrown toenail can result in serious complications. To learn more or to schedule a visit, call (540) 904-1458 for our Roanoke, VA office, or (540) 808-4343 for our Blacksburg location.
Should children's flat feet be treated?
All babies are born with flat feet, but normally around age 6 an arch begins to develop. Sometimes, though, children’s feet stay flat and an arch never forms. This may never bother your child and in that case, there is no need for treatment. However if the condition causes pain, inhibits movement, and is keeping your little one from participating in activities, then treating flat feet becomes necessary to ease discomfort, as well as to prevent future foot problems.
Stretches can help to loosen a tight Achilles tendon, a common issue for those with this condition. There are also exercises to help strengthen the arch. When choosing shoes for your child, opt for a pair with plenty of support and cushion. You may even want to slip in a soft insert for added comfort.
For more information on treating flat feet in children, visit Shenandoah Podiatry. Dr. Jennifer Keller and Dr. Marshal Gwynn are happy to answer your questions and help your child get back to doing all the things that kids do! For an appointment, call (540) 808-4343 in Blacksburg, VA, or (540) 904-1458 in Roanoke.
Why is my Family History Important for foot care?
Your family history provides our doctors with important insight into your health and that of your feet. You may have inherited conditions that can affect your feet, like diabetes or heart and circulatory problems. Biomechanical and structural issues that you are born with can cause any number of foot conditions, too. Knowing if you are prone to certain problems can not only help us treat them, but possibly prevent them from occurring in the first place. Your family history alerts us to possible complications that may arise as well. It also helps us to determine reasons behind issues that you are having, which in turn allows us to develop an appropriate treatment plan.
To learn more, contact Dr. Jennifer Keller and Dr. Marshal Gwynn at Shenandoah Podiatry in VA. You can reach us by calling our Blacksburg office at (540) 808-4343, or by dialing (540) 904-1458 for our Roanoke location.
What insurance do you accept?
We accept most insurances including:
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
United Health Care
Mutual of Omaha
Coventry Health Care
Carilion Clinic Medicare
Tricare and Tricare for Life
AND MOST OTHERS!
Will I need a referral?
Our office does not require referrals, however if your insurance provider requires a referral, we will need a formal referral sent from your primary care doctor. Some insurances that usually require referrals are:
United Healthcare Services Co. of the New River Valley
Also, most HMO Plans
Is insurance going to pay for this visit/treatment/product?
All visits are subjecto to co-pay and deductable. All information given to us by the insurance company is only a quote and not a guarantee of payment.
Will the procedure (ingrown/wart) be done during my first visit?
We will try to do most procedures the same day as long as time permits and with ingrown nails as long as the patient has no heart condition, joint replacement or reason they need to be on an antibiotic prior to the procedure. In some cases we have sent an antibiotic to the patient’s pharmacy and scheduled them to come back later that same day after taking the antibiotic one hour prior to the procedure.
What is different with Betterforms (Shenandoah Podiatry’s over the counter insert) and custom orthotics than the one’s I can get made on the machine at Walmart?
The over-the-counter inserts you purchase in stores such as Walmart are prefabricated based on shoe size only, the scanner at Walmart will check if you have a high arch, flat foot, etc. but still is just prefabricated and not custom made to your feet. Our OTC inserts are also prefabricated but have a better arch support and heel cup to help keep your foot stable and is a great alternative for those with insurance policies that won’t cover custom orthotics or cannot afford them. Custom orthotics are the best option if you want an insert designed to support your foot and correct any malalignment you may have.
Why do you need to know when I was seen by my family doctor last?
With any patient seen for diabetic foot care or at risk foot care, the insurance companies require the date of your last family doctor visit, diabetic doctor or cardiologist be listed and be within the past six months when submitting the insurance claim in order for the visit with us to be covered.
Why do you need to get my weight, blood pressure, etc. to treat my foot problem?
These are all a part of your vital signs which are recorded at each visit as part of your chart. If we see that your blood pressure is low or high we may suggest you be seen by your Family Doctor. Some medications we may prescribe may depend on weight for the dose amount.