How you treat your feet will have an affect on the total health of your body. That’s what Dr. Howard Blank of Westchester Foot Care says. And, he’s been seeing more patients as the general population ages and people are working longer hours at jobs that keep them standing.
Having opened his White Plains practice in 1983, Blank now has three partners: Dr. Chowdhy, Dr. Chamani and Dr. Qada, and two additional locations. He also has offices in New Rochelle and Yonkers.
Blank has seen a lot of growth over the years and has adjusted to stay current with the times. He just opened a lab on the premises in White Plains where he can make his own casts. “Not sending the orders out, not only saves time because the patient can have the cast sized and made during one visit, it also saves money and that gets passed along to the patient,” Blank said.
Being entrepreneurial in nature, Blank also has retail outlets to sell the other item patients usually require and often have difficulty finding – attractive and sensible footwear, often in wider widths and measured to custom fit.
Blank owned Comfit Shoes in White Plains that burned down a few years back during the famous Bengal Tiger restaurant fire. He had combined the Eastchester Bootery, Foot Solutions and Tru-Fit into one business, which has now moved to the Scarsdale location at 455 Central Park Avenue.
Once a patient has been treated custom-made shoes can be ordered and checked by the doctor that prescribed them.
Of the many problems Blank solves, foot problems caused by overweight and diabetes are the most common. High fashion shoe designs for women also account for many patient visits.
Walking in flip flops in the summer and Uggs in the winter will cause arch problems in no time, he says. There’s no support, and the foot needs support. High-heeled shoes (and some designs are really outlandish) cause other problems.
“It’s really common sense,” Blank contends, and he likes to give his patients advice on their overall health, such as what they eat and how much exercise they get.
“So many patients purchase shoes that don’t fit right. I have bags that I give away to the needy,” Blank claims. These are shoes that have not been worn he says.
When it comes to preventive foot care, Blank is adamant about seeing the right professional. Getting a pedicure is one thing, but for some problems like in-grown toe nails and fungus, you really need to see a podiatrist,” he warns. “The pedicurist might try to help, but some are very aggressive in working with the cuticle and more often than not they aggravate problems without realizing it.”
In the winter, feet need to be kept warm, but being bundled up all day causes them to sweat and that is a ripe environment for fungus. “Keep your feet dry and clean,” Blank advises. He also says wearing the same pair of shoes every day is not a good idea because the constant wear will aggravate an existing condition. It’s much better to have a wardrobe of shoes, he says.
Blank realizes that foot care is something people don’t usually think about until they have a problem and then they don’t tend to take care of it right away.
For this reason, he spent over three years working on a website that allows people to search and read up on possible conditions. “You can go to the website and key in symptoms and try to figure out what ails you and how you might fix it,” Blank concludes.
To find out more visit www.westchesterfootcare.com. The White Plains office is located at 200 Martine Avenue; Tel: 914-997-2601. For more information about Comfit Shoes visit comfit shoes.com or call 914-358-4027.