Posts for category: Foot Care
By Northside Podiatry
April 09, 2021
While there are many reasons for foot pain, if the pain is concentrated in the ball of the foot (between the arches and your toes) then you could be dealing with an overuse injury known as metatarsalgia. Metatarsalgia can be incredibly painful, making it difficult to stand or even walk without discomfort. If you suspect that you might be dealing with metatarsalgia, a podiatrist can quickly diagnose and treat your condition.
What are the signs of metatarsalgia?
You could be dealing with metatarsalgia if,
- You have foot pain that is exacerbated by standing, walking, or flexing your foot
- Foot pain gets better with rest
- You have a sharp or burning pain in the ball of the foot
- There is a sharp or shooting pain in the toes
- Your toes tingle or feel numb
- You feel as if you have a stone in your shoe
Foot pain can happen for a variety of reasons, and mild symptoms typically won’t need medical intervention; however, if your foot pain lasts more than a few days then it might be time to consult your podiatrist.
What causes this foot problem?
Certain factors can certainly increase your risk of developing metatarsalgia. These risk factors include,
- Experiencing stress fractures in the toes
- Wearing high heels or shoes with a narrow toe box
- Being overweight or obese
- Having certain foot deformities such as bunions or hammertoes
- High arches
- Intense or endurance exercises such as long-distance running
How is metatarsalgia treated?
You can ease metatarsalgia pain and discomfort on your own through simple lifestyle changes including,
- Avoiding certain activities and exercises that make the pain worse (e.g., running)
- Wearing properly fitted and fully supportive shoes
- Avoiding high heels or shoes that are too tight
- Placing shoe inserts or padding under the metatarsal bones for further support
- Icing the area multiple times a day
- Taking a pain reliever or anti-inflammatory medication
Any new or worsening foot pain should be addressed by your podiatrist, as different injuries and conditions will require unique and individualized care. Don’t ignore your foot pain. If you suspect that you might have metatarsalgia, call your foot doctor today.
By Northside Podiatry
March 11, 2021
Tags: Flat Feet
Are you flat-footed? If so, you join the ranks of about 18 million American adults over age 21 that also have this common foot condition, reports the National Foot Health Assessment. Having flat feet simply means that you don’t have arches in your feet, which means that the entire foot touches the ground when you stand or walk. While flat feet won’t cause problems for some, others may regularly deal with achy, sore feet or pain in the ankles, legs, or thigh. If you are dealing with foot pain and you think it may be due to flat feet, your podiatrist can help.
What causes flat feet?
Sometimes flat feet are simply inherited (thanks mom and dad!). Other times they develop as a result of a weakening of the posterior tibial tendon due to age-related wear and tear, physical activity, and overpronation. Those who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop flat feet.
Should I be concerned about my child’s flat feet?
The arches of the feet develop during childhood, so it’s not normal for your baby or toddler to have arches. Their flat feet are perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. Arches typically won’t form until your child is two or three years old, and some children won’t develop arches until the age of five.
What are some ways to treat flat feet?
If you aren’t experiencing any symptoms then there is no reason to seek treatment for your flat feet; however, if you are dealing with foot pain, particularly around the heel or arches of the foot, then you should talk with your podiatrist about ways to ease your pain and prevent further flare-ups. Some conservative ways to treat flat feet include,
- Wearing properly fitted shoes that provide ample cushioning and support for the entire foot, particularly the arches and heel
- Consider getting prescription orthotics from your podiatrist, which can evenly distribute the weight throughout the foot rather than putting added pressure on the arches or heel
- Losing weight, if the patient is overweight or obese
- Taking pain relievers such as ibuprofen, which can reduce pain and swelling
- Talking to your podiatrist about special exercises that you can do to improve the strength and function of the ligaments, tendons, and muscles of the foot to reduce pain
- Weighing the pros and cons of surgical intervention
Fallen arches and flat feet can impact a person’s ability to walk or run. If you are dealing with pain and other issues due to flat feet, a podiatrist can provide you with simple solutions to ease discomfort and improve how your feet function as a whole.
By Northside Podiatry
February 12, 2021
Tags: Smelly Feet
It’s an embarrassing problem. Smelly feet can make you feel self-conscious. You can’t get comfortable or take your shoes off without worrying that everyone will notice your stinky feet. Have you ever wondered what might be going on to cause this problem in the first place? While some people are more prone to smelly feet than others, your podiatrist can provide you with some tips to get rid of offensive-smelling foot odors.
Did you know that there are about 250,000 sweat glands in a pair of feet? Sweat glands are more heavily concentrated in the feet than any other part of the body so it’s not too surprising that you may deal with smelly feet at some point. Common causes for stinky feet include:
Poor ventilation: If you wear shoes all day, or you choose shoes made from non-breathable materials, then you may find yourself dealing with some pretty offensive feet at the end of the day. Give your feet some time to breathe or look for shoes made from more breathable fabrics.
Bacteria: Just like the rest of your body, there are bacteria on your feet that also thrive off sweat. Unfortunately, when the bacteria feed off sweat they also produce acid, which is responsible for that unpleasant odor.
Fungus: Unfortunately, our feet are also a popular place for fungus because they are warm, moist, and prone to sweat. Even if bacteria aren’t to blame, it could be a fungus. If you are dealing with a red, itchy rash on your feet, you could have Athlete’s foot, which can also cause smelly feet.
Hormones: Sometimes hormones can play a role. That’s why teens and pregnant women are more likely to deal with this problem.
How to Treat Smelly Feet
If you are dealing with smelly feet, some simple remedies help. Some of these home remedies include,
- Wash feet at least once a day with soap and warm water. Make sure that you dry your feet thoroughly after.
- Make sure to dry feet as soon as possible after dealing with sweaty or perspiring feet.
- Choose socks made from materials that wick away sweat and improve ventilation.
- Apply deodorizing sprays or powders in shoes every day after wear, and make sure to wait 24 hours before wearing the same shoes again.
If you’ve tried the at-home options above and you’re still dealing with smelly feet, then it’s worth turning to your podiatrist for more effective solutions. Some prescription-strength medications and sprays can help target bacteria and fungus, and also reduce perspiration.
Those dealing with hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating, may find electrical stimulation to be an effective way to reduce severe and heavy sweating caused by this condition.
We know that even though bromodosis isn’t dangerous, that it can still be embarrassing. If you are having trouble getting your smelly feet under control, your podiatrist can help.
By Northside Podiatry
February 01, 2021
Dry, flaky feet are incredibly common, particularly during the cold, winter months; however, if you find yourself dealing with dry or cracked feet throughout the year, especially around the heels, you may be wondering what you can do about it. Instead of just waiting until your feet become dry and flaky, your podiatrist can provide you with some easy skin care tips to keep your feet supple and free from dry skin all year long.
Wear Appropriate, Supportive Footwear
Certain shoes can leave you prone to cracked heels and dry skin due to friction from wearing loose-fitted shoes. People who wear sandals and other open-heeled shoes are more at risk for developing cracked heels. Instead, opt for closed-heeled shoes that fit properly and provide support.
Lose Excess Weight
If you are overweight, you may be surprised to discover that this could be contributing to your dry, cracked heels. This is because your feet take on all of your weight while standing, walking, and running. By safely dropping that excess weight through a healthy diet and regular exercise you can alleviate some of the pressure placed on your heels to reduce the risk of cracking.
Avoid Hot Showers
While we know just how luxurious it feels to stand in a steaming hot shower, especially during the winter months, this could be contributing to dry skin on your feet and cracked heels. If this is something you deal with regularly you may look at your current bathing or showering ritual to see if that could be the culprit. Simply use warm and not hot water, which can strip the skin of the oils it needs to stay moist.
Apply a Moisturizer
You should moisturize your feet every day to prevent dry skin from happening in the first place. Moisturizers that contain lactic acid, glycerin, or petroleum jelly can help to lock in moisture in your feet. Moisturize every time you get out of the shower and throughout the day, especially before going to bed. If you are prone to very dry, cracked feet, you may wish to moisturize and then wear socks to bed.
If these simple home measures don’t work, then you’ll want to consult your podiatrist to see if they can recommend a prescription-strength moisturizer or cream to reduce dryness and inflammation. Since dry, cracked feet can sometimes be a sign of an underlying health problem like diabetes, it’s a good idea to see your doctor if you’re dealing with this problem regularly.
While dry skin isn’t usually a concern for healthy individuals, if you have diabetes, you’ll need to be extra careful when it comes to treating even minor problems like dry, cracked, or flaky skin. To be on the safe side, it’s best to speak with a qualified podiatrist to find out how to treat cracked skin to prevent infection. Call your foot doctor today.
Everything from wearing shoes that are a little too loose to increasing the number of miles you run can leave you dealing with painful blisters on your feet. Blisters can be quite a nuisance, making it difficult to move around, especially when wearing shoes. If you deal with blisters rather regularly here are some simple ways to treat the problem.
Keep the Blister Intact
If possible, try to keep the blister intact. Do not try to pop or drain a blister that hasn’t popped on its own. It’s important not to put pressure on the blister, so avoid any shoes that may be too tight. If you’re going to put on shoes, make sure to apply a bandage (some band-aids are designed specifically for covering blisters) to the area first.
Keep Popped Blisters Clean
If the blister popped on its own, clean it with warm water soap (do not use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide on the blister). Once the area is clean, apply an over-the-counter antibiotic cream to the area and apply a bandage over the blister. These simple steps can prevent an infection from occurring.
Drain the Blister Yourself
You should only drain a blister if it’s very large, painful, or affects your ability to move. In this case, you should sterilize a needle with alcohol and then make a small hole in the blister to let it drain. You may need to carefully squeeze the blister to help it drain fully. Once the blister has drained, rinse out the area with soap and warm water before applying antibiotic cream to the area and placing a bandage over it.
Replace Bandages Daily
You mustn’t keep the same bandage on your blister day in and day out. You should check the blister every day to make sure it isn’t infected. You should clean the area daily with soap and water and then reapply another bandage.
Of course, if you have diabetes or nerve damage in your feet, you mustn't try to drain or treat the blister yourself. Even something as small as a blister could become infected or lead to serious complications. You should see your podiatrist right away for any blisters that develop on your feet.
If you develop signs of infection such as pus, increased redness, or swelling of the blister, you must see your podiatrist right away for treatment. While blisters aren’t usually a cause for concern in most healthy individuals, it’s also important that you practice good foot care to prevent blisters from happening.