Friday, May 30, 2014

Why should I visit a Podiatrist?

Often, people say they have foot pain and do not know what to do! If your foot or ankle hurts, visit a podiatrist...a foot and ankle specialist! Podiatrists attend podiatry school after graduation from college, and this is a four year program, very similar to traditional medical school but focusing on the lower extremities (from the hip down). However, we still take the same medical school classes, like biochemistry, physiology, histology, gross anatomy of the entire body, pharmacology, and others. During podiatry school, we begin working in podiatry clinics, learning the basics of foot care and also get surgical exposure and training on how to assist in surgeries. After podiatry school, we enter a two or three year residency program that offers further and more intense clinical training, rotations with other specialties (dermatology, emergency medicine, internal medicine), and surgical education and training with the foot and ankle specifically. Podiatrists are specialized and highly trained with all conditions of the foot and ankle. There are some podiatrists that sub-specialize in certain areas, like dermatology, sports medicine, limb salvage or foot and ankle reconstruction, and pediatrics, and you may need to referred to one of those podiatry groups if you have a very specific condition that needs special care. If you have foot pain, choose a foot specialist and pick a podiatrist! Visit for more information on podiatry! Dr. Bender, 6931 W. North, Oak Park, IL 60302.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ouch! I have a sunburn on my Foot?

Often, we go to the pool and slather our bodies with sunscreen. However, many people come into the office with a sunburn on the tops of their feet. The intense rays of the sun can also affect our feet, so it is critical to apply sunscreen to our feet to protect our skin from the rays. A sunburn on the feet will be red, hot, painful, and potentially be itchy or develop blisters or sores. Sunburns damage the skin and increase the risk of skin cancer later, so it is essential to use protective sunscreen or socks and shoes. Happy Spring!

Monday, May 19, 2014

How do I GET RID of this ingrown toenail?

Ingrown toenails can be an annoying problem. They hurt. They can get infected. They make certain shoes difficult to wear. There are permanent procedures, called matrixectomies, that can get rid of the ingrown nail border for good. The toe is numbed up with an injection. After the anesthesia takes effect, the nail border is removed, and a chemical is placed in the border to destroy the root of the nail. This creates an open sore that may take one or more weeks to heal and will require soaking and bandaging. This procedure only destroys the border where the chemical is applied, and the remainder of nail grows normally. The remaining nail will be narrower, but after complete healing, it is hard to tell that a procedure was performed at the site. Plus, the toe is no longer painful! Have Happy Feet! Call for your foot appointment, 708-763-0580.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ingrown toenails

Patients come into the office daily complaining of ingrown, painful toenails. They often ask two questions. Why did I get this? How can I stop it from continuing? Ingrown toenails can be caused by a variety of issues: genetics, bunions, hammer toes, pressure against shoes, fungus, improper cutting of nails, and trauma. For some people, it is a genetic issue, and they have battled ingrown nails since childhood. Often, they have other family members with the same issue. Other people have structural issues, like bunions, hammer toes, and long toes, that cause the edge of nail to push into the skin due to abnormal bony issues. Improper shoes that are too tight, do not have enough room in the toe box area, or have a stiff material that rubs on the area can cause this problem. Fungal nails cause the nail plate to develop an abnormal contour, thickness, and shape, which can lead to incurvation. Finally, trauma from stubbing the toe, dropping something on it, or it getting injured in a sporting activity can lead to curvature. Many people try to dig the nail out themselves, which can make the issue worse. Ingrown nails can be treated most effectively by a podiatrist. The podiatrist will use sterile instruments to cut the edge of nail out. Sometimes, anesthesia will be needed if the edge is deeply embedded in the skin. There are permanent procedures, as well, which use a chemical to kill the root of the nail, so the edge of ingrown nail will not grow back. It is best to schedule an appointment with a foot doctor to determine which option would work best for you. Dr. Bender, 708-763-0580

Friday, May 9, 2014

New Phone System!

A new phone system has been installed at my office. There are many kinks that need to be worked out. If you are trying to reach me, you can email (or any of my other five email addresses), request an appointment on my website, text me (if you know the number!), send a Facebook message, knock on my door, stop my around town....It has been a challenging week.... But TGIF!