Posts for: February, 2017
Dry, cracked heels are not only unsightly, but they can also be a source of pain and embarrassment. When the fissures in your heel become so dry and cracked that they bleed and hurt when you walk, it’s time to seek professional care from your podiatrist. Left untreated, heel fissures can become so deep and painful that they lead to an infection.
Cracked heels are most commonly caused by splitting of the skin as a result of severe dryness or thickening of a callus on your heel. Severe cases of dry, cracked heels can occur for numerous reasons, including:
Cold winter weather or dry climates
- Having diabetes
- Scrubbing feet too harshly
- Soaking in a hot bath or shower for too long or too frequently
- Not moisturizing the feet
- Increased weight
- Walking barefoot or wearing open-backed sandals or shoes
- Prolonged standing at work or home
- Chronic skin problems, such as eczema or psoriasis
Here are a few tips for keeping heels from cracking:
Moisturize your feet daily.
- Avoid walking barefoot or wearing open-backed shoes.
- Opt for mild soaps that won’t dry out your heels.
- Increase your water intake to keep your body hydrated.
- Limit time in the shower as hot water dries out the skin.
- Use a pumice stone or file as directed by your doctor to gently decrease thick calluses.
When to Visit Our Office
Cracked heels may begin as an annoyance or simple cosmetic issue, but they can lead to pain and serious infection if not managed properly. Most cases of dry, cracked heels will get better with a little foot pampering or over-the-counter foot cream.
When your heels are severely cracked or painful and conservative treatments have proven ineffective, visit our office. People with diabetes are at an especially high risk for health problems, and should not wait to have dry feet cared for. Severely cracked heels need moisture to avoid pain, bleeding and infection. A podiatrist can work with you to relieve your cracked heels, and get you back on your feet again.
Treating bunion symptoms may actually be easier than you imagined.
If our podiatrist has recently diagnosed you with a bunion you may want to point that finger at your family. After all this deformity (among other foot disorders) is extremely inheritable. So, if your mom has complained about bunions, chances are good that you may be dealing with this issue at some point in your life, too. Whether pain has started to set in or you are finding that bunions are putting a damper on your lifestyle, it’s time to visit our Clinton Township, Mount Clemens and Sterling Heights, MI, podiatrists - Dr. Thomas Hosey, Dr. Ryan Murphy and Dr. Kristen Patterson - for some answers.
Can you manage bunion symptoms without surgery?
Absolutely! In fact, surgery isn’t often recommended and is certainly not the first course of action. There are so many simple and less invasive approaches to reduce your bunion pain, swelling and discomfort. Here are just some of the ways to treat your bunion:
The first step is to throw out any shoes that may be putting pressure on the bunion. Besides offering enough cushioning and support, the soles should be wide enough to give your toes room to move around. If toes are bunched together, the shoes are far too tight and could be making your bunion worse.
Consider placing a gel pad over the bunion, particularly before wearing shoes. By applying this additional protective layer over the bunion you can prevent irritation from friction and also reduce your chances of developing a callus.
You can also choose to wear orthotics, or prescription shoe inserts to help redistribute the weight when walking or running. Talk to our Clinton Township, Mount Clemens and Sterling Heights foot doctors about whether orthotics are right for you. In some situations, wearing a splint at night to realign the toe and keep it straight can also ease pain.
If your bunion is particularly agitated, you can reduce pain and inflammation with ice packs, soaking your feet in warm water or taking over-the-counter NSAID pain relievers. If bunion pain gets worse or doesn’t seem to be relieved by these measures, we may recommend cortisone injections to reduce inflammation.
When should I consider bunion surgery?
Following these recommendations is all most people will need to keep their bunion symptoms in check. Of course, those with severe bunions that cause persistent pain and affect their quality of life may want to weigh the pros and cons of their surgical treatment options.
Hosey Foot & Ankle Centers in Clinton Township, Mount Clemens and Sterling Heights, MI, is here for you. Don’t let bunion pain affect your life. Turn to us right away.
The summertime is a great time to show off your new sandals and allow your feet to breathe. But since the warmer months can be rough on your feet, it's important to give your feet a little extra care to keep them looking great and feeling healthy. Here are a few tips for keeping your feet in tip-top shape during the summer.
Keep feet clean
The best line of defense against fungal infections is proper hygiene and regular inspection of the feet and toes. Wash feet with soap and water daily, and dry them thoroughly to prevent infection. Wear shower shoes in public places, like pools and locker rooms. And to prevent ingrown nails and toenail fungus, keep toenails trimmed straight across.
Avoid walking barefoot
Walking outside in the summertime without shoes increases the risk of injury and infection. You never know what’s sitting out on the beach, and the last thing you want is to unexpectedly step on a sharp rock or piece of debris and cut your foot.
Protect feet from the sun
Wearing sunscreen is extremely important in the summertime - and that means lathering up the exposed skin on your feet and ankles too. If you’re a habitual sandals wearer, make sure to put sunscreen on before putting your feet in your shoes!
Keep your feet fungus free
Coupled with good foot hygiene, you can also prevent toenail fungus by alternating your shoes. If you suspect a fungus infected nail, visit us right away for early treatment.
Treat your feet to a pedicure
Eliminate rough, dead, winter skin and improve the appearance of your toenails with a pedicure. Do it yourself, or pamper yourself with a professional pedicure for attractive summer feet you'll be proud to show off.
The American Podiatric Medical Association recommends getting your pedicure in the morning, when salon foot baths are at their cleanest. Don’t shave your legs prior to your pedicure, even if you’re tempted to! When your legs are freshly shaven, they can have small cuts that allow bacteria to enter. Also, ensure you or the person performing your pedicure does not cut your cuticles, because they are your nail’s barrier to infection.
After the pedicure, don’t leave nail polish on all summer long. Remove it periodically to allow your nail bed to breathe, and then you’re free to swap to another festive summer color!
Prevent painful blisters
Sandals and flip-flops can lead to irritating blisters when they rub against your bare skin. Use padding or bandages to prevent and reduce friction.
Examine your flip flops
Flip flops are great for allowing your feet to breathe all summer long, but thong sandals can result in sore feet and ankles due to their lack of support. Choose styles with arch and heel support to keep feet healthy and pain-free.
Following these easy steps during the summer months can go a long way in keeping your feet looking and feeling their very best. Inspect your feet daily, and if you encounter any unusual foot problems or experience pain, contact our office for a thorough evaluation.