It's easy to forget about your feet during the winter months because they are usually covered up with warm cosy socks, slippers or boots. But if you have any foot problems such as Toenail Fungus, Bunions, excessively dry cracked heels or Warts, now is the time to take care of them before the spring, before you pull out your sandals! Some foot problems can take weeks and even months to resolve. For example, if you opt for Laser Treatment to treat that stubborn toenail fungus, while the laser instantly kills the Fungus, it will take weeks for your toenails to grow out clear. Warts can take multiple treatments to eliminate as can severly cracked heels. And of course, if you have a bunion or anything else that requires surgery, you will need to allow time to heel and recover.
So, now is a good time to visit your podiatrist - make that call.
Thanksgiving is the busiest travel time of the year. That means thousands of people moving through airports which also means thousands of shoeless feet walking through security. This can be potentially risky for your feet as conditions like toenail fungus, warts, bacterial infections and athlete's foot can be spread! So, what can you do to keep your feet safe? Wear thick socks. And if that doesn't work with your shoe choice, then at the very least, wear nylon hose to protect yourself. The other lurking danger is the risk of a heavy bag falling on your barefeet so stay alert and aware of your surroundings.
On that note, have a Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels.
Why is it that our feet can be sweaty even when the rest of our body isn't? And why do some people suffer from smelly feet? The answer lies in the fact that our feet have the most sweat glands in the body - roughly 250,000 in fact! So when we get hot, the first place to sweat is our feet. Sweating is our body's cooling mechanism - the evaporation of sweat is what cools us. Now here's the rub: most of the time we are sweating (think exercise) we are wearing socks and shoes so there is nowhere for the sweat to evaporate. Especially if you are wearing socks and shoes made from synthetic materials. So, your feet stay wet and hot and bacteria (which are everywhere) and thrive in warm moist environments, multiply and release odor - hence, smelly feet. There are things you can do to minimise this problem: choose cotton or wool socks as they allow your feet to breathe, go barefoot as much as possible and wash your feet with warm soapy water and dry them thoroughly.
If you suffer from excessive sweating on your feet, you could opt for a Botox treatment to block the nerves and "paralyze" the sweat glands.
Follow these tips and your feet will smell like roses....or at least, will not be stinky!.
During the summer months, we are mostly concerned with how our feet will look in sandals and flip flops, but as the colder weather returns and we start to slip our feet back into closed shoes, we may experience pain or discomfort caused by any one of a number of foot ailments. For example, if you suffer from bunions, squeezing your foot back into a winter shoe or boot can be a painful experience. The same holds true for corns, hammertoes, nerve pain and ingrown toenails. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce or alleviate these problems.
Dr Hendizadeh of Associated Podiatrists in Connecticut and New York, treats patients for a variety of foot ailments. He says many foot or ankle problems are caused by improper footwear, physical stress, or small mechanical changes within the foot. Many of these can be avoided by following a few simple guidelines. For example, ingrown toenails which can be very painful when wearing tight fitting shoes, can be avoided by trimming your nails straight across and using a little petroleum jelly on the corners to soften the nails and prevent them from curling inwards.
Foot fungus, in the form of athlete's foot or toenail fungus, can become a problem in the colder months when our feet are mostly enclosed in socks and shoes. Fungus thrives in a dark moist environment so it is important to avoid a sweaty foot situation by wearing moisture-wicking socks and letting your feet air out. Dr Yale, also of Associated Podiatrists, recommends that you wash your feet regularly, especially between the toes, and be sure to dry them completely.
Bunions are particularly problematic in closed shoes. Wearing shoes that are too tight is the leading cause of bunions. A bunion is a bone deformity caused by an enlargement of the joint at the base and side of the big toe. Bunions are not hereditary, but they do tend to run in families, usually because of a faulty foot structure, and because they are bone deformities, they do not resolve by themselves. The goal for bunion treatment is twofold: first, to relieve the pressure and pain cause by irritations and second to stop any progressive growth of the enlargement by choosing shoes that are wider and do not put pressure on the bunion. Padding and orthotics (shoe inserts) are often used to reduce friction and skin irritation and to stabilize the joint and put the foot in the correct position in the shoe. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary.
Hammertoe is a condition where the toe is bent into a claw-like position. It is usually caused by a muscle/tenden imbalance which can be aggravated by shoes that don't fit properly. Hammertoe can affect any toe, but most frequently occurs to the second toe which is often longer and forced into a cramped position in tight fitting shoes. Avoid shoes with pointed toes, shoes that are too short in the toe area and high heels which force the toes against the front of the shoe.
Neuromas, which can be very painful, are enlarged benign growths of nerves, most commonly between the third and fourth toes. Neuromas are caused by tissue rubbing against and irritating the nerves. Pressure from ill-fitting shoes or abnormal bone structure can also lead to this condition. Depending on the severity, treatments may include orthotics, cortisone injections, and, in extreme cases, surgical removal of the growth.
Plantar fasciitis, commonly referred to as heel pain, is an inflammation on the bottom of the foot and can be caused by a variety of foot injuries or improper foot mechanics and can lead to severe heel and/or arch pain. Treatments range from icing and foot exercises to the prescription of custom orthotics to correct the foot position and help alleviate pain.
The bottom line is that many foot and ankle problems can be avoided by choosing your shoes wisely - don't be a slave to shoe fashion. Your first priority should be comfort.
If you experience ongoing pain in your feet or ankles that is not alleviated by good care and treatment at home, it may be time to visit a podiatrist. Your feet take 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day which adds up to 115,000 miles in a lifetime so it pays to take care of them.