Texas Foot Doctor's Blog
Posts for: July, 2012
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 bleeding or pain when walking occurs, it may be time to seek professional care from your podiatrist at Academy Foot and Ankle. Left untreated, heel fissures can become so deep and painful that it leads 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 the 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 the thick layer of skin
When to Visit Southlake
What may begin as an annoyance or simple cosmetic issue, cracked heels 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 heels are severely cracked or painful and conservative treatments aren’t effective, visit our Southlake 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 with conservative treatment options.
Athletic individuals of all ages may complain of ingrown toenails because organized sports may cause disturbing effect on your feet. Academy Foot and Ankle helps care for all maladies resulting from recreational activity. You have to watch out for signs that may require medical attention so that foot problems will not get in the way of your games.
Ingrown toenail or onychocryptosis refers to the abnormal extension of your toenail which is pushed towards the surrounding skin. The great toenail is primarily affected by this condition. You will notice a sideways growth of the edge of your nail into the skin of your toe.
The following are the signs and symptoms of ingrown toenails often manifested on the great toenail:
· Yellow or clear drainage
Although ingrown toenails can also be caused by improper trimming, fungal infections, inappropriate shoes and trauma, it is also often associated with sports because of the pressure it causes on your foot. Examples of these types of sports include baseball, cycling, tennis, golf and winter sports.
Baseball is a team sport that requires a lot of stretching and involves foot muscles, ankles and legs. It also requires a lot of sliding and running which puts a lot of stress on the aforementioned parts. Cycling entails a lot of pressure in order to transfer your energy to the pedals for it to move. Tennis puts a lot of pressure on your feet because you are required to move from side to side on a carpeted, rubberized, concrete or asphalt flooring. Golf players also have to walk few miles within three to five hours. Your feet also support your body when you make that swing. Winter sports also create strain on your feet aggravated by the weather condition.
Rapid movements during these sports activities may irritate your nail folds and the toe’s edges. Although you can prevent ingrown toenails, you should seek the help of a podiatrist in case of infection or severe symptoms. Contactyour nearby podiatrist for more information.
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 from Academy Foot and Ankle 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.
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.
Keep your feet fungus free
Coupled with good foot hygiene, you can also prevent toenail fungus by alternating your shoes. And if you suspect a fungus infected nail, visit Academy Foot and Ankle 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 to a professional one for attractive summer feet you'll be proud to show off. But don't leave nail polish on all summer long. Remove it periodically to allow your nail bed to breathe.
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. 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 Southlake, Hurst, Fort Worthkeller & Flower Mound, TX office for a thorough evaluation.