The newest member of the Belcara Health team brings with her both a sparkling personality and a new specialty that we believe all current and future patients can benefit from learning about.
Dr. Kelly Geoghan (pronounced “Gay-gan”) is a specialist in the field of cosmetic podiatry. Since graduating from the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine, Dr. Geoghan has developed a comprehensive, 14-year career in podiatric medical training with a wide-range of experience that has put her on the forefront of her specialty.
For those that weren’t able to make it to our Flawless Feet Seminar in mid-July to meet Dr. Geoghan, we wanted to provide excerpts from an exclusive interview with her that gives more insight into her field, her philosophies and how the Belcara Health community might benefit from her knowledge:
1. You have dedicated your medical career to the study of the foot and ankle. What drew you to this part of the anatomy to specialize in?
I get asked that quite a bit, but when you think about it, the foot and ankle play such an essential role in all of our lives, so therefore, it is important to keep them healthy. I also love that there is so much diversity that comes with that part of the anatomy, whether it be from a medical standpoint (from dermatological procedures to surgery) or the demographics of my patients. I get to work with children, with 90 year olds and everyone in between.
2. For those not familiar with ‘cosmetic podiatry’, what does it comprise of and who should consider this type of treatment?
Cosmetic podiatry is a unique aspect of the field. It contains everything from “Foot Facials”, which are 45-minute treatments to improve the way the feet look and feel; to treatments of specific medical conditions concerning the feet, such as remedies for toenail fungus, the deterioration of the padding on the bottom of the foot and conditions like hyperhydrosis, which is excessive sweating of the foot, which can be alleviated through the use of Botox. It can also include things like the creation of customized orthotics.
3. How have techniques and technology in the podiatry field improved and evolved?
There have been tremendous advances in the field, especially on the technology front. Let’s take the toenail fungus condition I mentioned earlier. A decade ago, a patient with this condition would have to be prescribed an oral medication and/or a topical medication to apply to the foot. These medications could have potential side effects and it would take between 9-14 months to see significant improvement. Today, we use a laser to address this issue, and the patient can typically see significant improvement in 2-3 weeks.
But it isn’t just technology that has evolved, it is the thinking behind procedures. As doctors, our thought process today is to fix the problem instead of just temporarily making it better. Bunions are a perfect example of this. 20 years ago, the thought was to just take the bump off of the foot, but today, we aim to reposition the bone to help avoid reoccurrence.
4. What tips can you offer to help someone keep their feet and ankles healthier?
Some of the best recommendations are also some of the most obvious. Cleanliness is essential to avoid many of the skin-related conditions that can damage your feet. Also, wearing footwear as often as possible – whether it be shoes, sandals, slippers, etc. – can protect from contracting something.
As for health on the injury front, again, many of the tips I offer are well known. For example, light stretches before and after exercising is highly recommended to help keep the ankle strong.
One tip I do like to recommend is in relationship to athletic footwear. I truly believe you get what you pay for when it comes to shoes to workout in. Always get a running shoe that is a reputable brand known for its quality. Also, once they start to wear out, it is imperative that you get a new pair instead of trying to stick with your favorite pair of sneakers.
5. What were your thoughts on how the Flawless Feet Seminar went?
I was very happy with how the event went (and a quick thank you to all those that were able to make it out). Everyone seemed very interested and I received some very good questions, mostly related to surgeries they had or needed.
One of my favorite parts about what I do is having the opportunity to teach others things they may not have known about their own bodies. For example, at the seminar, I gave a presentation on a number of different conditions and procedures related to the foot and ankle. While many were commonly known, I definitely introduced some new thoughts and words to the participants, and if this helps any of them become more aware and knowledgeable about themselves, than that makes me feel great.