Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Dr. Bender Quoted in August, 2017 issue of Women's Running

Dr. Bender was quoted in the article "My Toes Hurt," in the August, 2017 edition of Women's Running, written by Nicole Radziszewski. This article explains why poorly fitting shoes and the repetitive pressure that running creates on the toes and toenails can create several issues: blood to form under nails, painful toenails, loosening of nails, bacterial infections, and fungal nails. Shoes with a bigger toe box and proper length can minimize toe pain in runners. Check out the article at your local book or magazine store or request a copy from Dr. Bender!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Can I stop this ingrown nail from coming back?

Ingrown toenails can be pesky, annoying, painful, and also may interfere with our lives. They make shoes, sports, and even daily activities challenging. Ingrown nails can be caused by genetics, improper shoe gear, incorrect cutting of the nail, trauma or injuries to the nail, fungus or psoriasis, and other causes. There are many patients who get this condition repeatedly and want to permanently correct it, so what can be done? There is a procedure called a matrixectomy which can solve this problem of recurrent ingrown nails. After numbing up the toe with an injection, a portion of nail is removed from the area where the ingrown nail is occurring. A chemical called phenol is applied to the area, so the nail border will no longer regrow. There is a longer recovery time for this procedure than when the nail is simply removed. However, the problem of recurrent ingrown nails can be solved with this matrixectomy. It is important to note that this procedure cannot be performed if there is an infection in the nail or surrounding tissue, and there are certain patients who are not ideal candidates for this procedure. Please see your podiatrist to see if it will work for you! Dr. Bender,

Monday, June 12, 2017

Keeping Children's feet Safe in the Summer

School is out in Oak Park. Camp is in session. The pools and parks are open and busy. Now is the time to think about keeping your children's feet safe for the summer. Here are some handy tips! 1. No barefoot walking! It is important to have a supportive gym shoe or sandal on when playing outside. Barefoot kids can step on twigs, leaves, rocks, and other outdoor items when they are having fun in the yard or park. This can lead to pain, blisters, sores, and infection if not treated properly. Worse yet, walking around the pool locker rooms or snack bars without shoes can cause kids or adults to develop warts (a virus that loves warm, moist environments). 2. Wear supportive shoes! Many flip flops offer no support to the feet and are not recommended for children's growing feet. Running and playing in these types of shoes makes kids (and adults!) less stable, and each summer people come into the office with blisters, abrasions, broken toes, and pain from flip flops. Want to know about some supportive shoe options for kids or adults...ask me! 3. Keep the feet dry! After a swim in the pool, make sure to dry the feet before putting on socks and shoes, as it will reduce the chance of warts, athlete's foot, blisters, and foot odor. Also, it is important to change the socks frequently during the summer months for these same reasons. Keeping an extra pair in a camp bag or gym bag allows kids to change their socks if they feel damp. 4. Come to the office if something looks or feels funny! It is so much easier to treat one wart before it multiplies and spreads. A mildly tender ingrown nail is much easier to treat before it becomes infected. Finally, heel pain and other aches are easier to control if you come to the office sooner.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Warm Weather and Warts

As the temperatures start to rise, people are more eager to be outside and to be active. This is concerning for a nagging foot condition like warts. Warts are caused by a virus that thrives on warm, sweaty feet. During warm weather, warts can spread and flourish. It is important to seek treatment of these annoying and painful bumps or spots on the feet with a podiatrist. There are many in office and at home treatments that can be curative over time, as warts usually do not go away after just one treatment. In addition to treatment by a doctor, the patient should make some changes as well. First, it is essential to keep the feet as dry as possible by changing socks regularly, using powder or spray on the feet to keep them dry, and drying them thoroughly after bathing or sports. Second, airing out the shoes, and even spraying them out with lysol is helpful as the virus that causes warts often lives in our warm, hot shoes along with fungi and bacteria. It is also important not to touch the warts with your hands or fingers, and if you do, the hands should be washed to prevent spread. Have a nagging wart? Give us a call, 708-763-0580, or visit us at for online scheduling.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Athlete's Foot-What is it?

As the temperatures increase and Spring sports are keeping kids and adults more active, people start coming into the office with itchy feet that are red, irritated, scaling, and sometimes blistered. They often ask why this has happened all of the sudden. Sometimes people have had it before, but other times, it is the very first time that they have experienced this annoying problem. Tinea pedis, or athlete's foot, is a fungal infection of the skin. Fungi prefer warm, moist environments, so sweaty, hot feet are a common location for athlete's foot. Pools, locker rooms, and other warm, moist environments are prime locations to develop this condition. Athlete's foot can develop any time of year but is more common during warmer months. During the winter, snow boots, insulated socks, and even warm slippers can lead to this condition also. How is this treated? It is essential to keep the feet as dry as possible by changing socks frequently. Spraying the shoes out with lysol or antifungal sprays and rotating shoes (not wearing the same pair every day) are also helpful and preventative solutions. Antifungal medication is also essential. Over the counter options that you can buy at the store may be helpful, but often stronger prescription medicines that actually are fungicidal (kill the fungus) may be necessary. Thus, it is important to make a podiatry appointment for proper assessment and treatment. After the condition is adequately treated, over the counter antifungal sprays or powder are helpful with keeping the feet dry. Wearing shower shoes or sandals in locker rooms and around pools is also essential. Finally, as mentioned, it is essential to keep the feet dry by changing socks frequently. Dr. Bender,, 708-763-0580

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

What is the Hallux?

Last night, my young daughter was talking about pain in her "thumb toe." This is not the correct term for the first toe of our foot, so I decided a quick explanation was in order! What is the big toe? What is the hallux? The hallux is another name for the big toe. There are two bones called phalanges that make up the big toe and several soft tissue structures attach to the big toe to help with its function. Does your big toe hurt? Give us a call, 708-763-0580, or visit to schedule an appointment.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Why kids should not go barefoot in locker rooms!

My children take swim lessons twice per week at our local YMCA, and I often exercise there myself several days per week. Over the years, I have noticed that both children and adults alike walk around the locker rooms, showers, bathrooms, and the pool barefoot, and this is not safe for the feet. People probably think the chlorine from the pool and regular cleaning of the locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms make them safe for our feet. However, warm, moist environments like pools, locker rooms, showers, bathrooms, and similar areas are great environments for viruses, bacteria, and fungi to grow and thrive. Warts are a common foot issue, and they are caused by a virus that is present commonly in warm, moist environments. Warts can present as raised areas on the feet (like bumps) or calloused areas. They can look white or have red or black dots throughout. They hurt when compressed from side to side, but depending on the location on the feet, they can cause significant pain with walking or by rubbing on shoes. Warts are easier for children to acquire due to their developing immune systems, but any human can get them. They are very challenging to treat, as our warm, sweaty shoes and socks can allow them to multiply. Thus, wearing a sandal of some sort at the pool or in locker rooms can protect the feet from this virus. Warts on the feet are challenging to manage at home, and they often require several visits to a podiatrist. Athlete's foot can be acquired in locker rooms especially, as the various fungi that cause this condition, again, like warm, moist environments. Athlete's foot or tinea pedis causes itchy, blistered, painful, and potentially raw skin on the feet and between the toes. It can rapidly worsen and spread because our feet are in warm, sweaty shoes and socks. Athlete's foot itself is uncomfortable, but it can get out of hand by progressing to open sores and secondary bacterial infections that will require medication and additional medical care. Finally, walking barefoot in locker rooms can lead to puncture wounds (sharp objects, pebbles, dropped items) or foreign objects entering the foot (splinters, metal pieces, hair). Some type of shoe or sandal can protect the bottom of the foot from stepping on unwanted objects. Wounds on the bottom of the feet and foreign objects can easily lead to pain and infection on the bottom of the child's foot. Protect your child's feet at the pool and in locker rooms! Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580