Texas Foot Doctor's Blog
Posts for: June, 2015
Going barefoot? Beware!
Tips for a safer barefoot summer in North Texas!
Parents and families can prevent cuts, puncture wounds and other injuries from going barefoot by following some simple recommendations from one DFW foot and ankle surgeon.
"Shoes are the best way to protect your family's feet from injuries," says Paul Marciano, DPM with Academy Foot and Ankle Specialists. "But if your summer just wouldn't be the same without kicking off your shoes or sandals, you can still make it a safe season."
Academy Foot and Ankle has offices in Southlake, Hurst, Keller and Highland Village and offer these tips for a safer barefoot summer:
--See a foot and ankle surgeon within 24 hours for a puncture wound.
Why: These injuries can embed unsterile foreign objects deep inside the foot. A puncture wound must be cleaned properly and monitored throughout the healing process. This will help to avoid complications, such as tissue and bone infections or damage to tendons and muscles in the foot. Foot and ankle surgeons are trained to properly care for these injuries.
--Make sure you've been vaccinated against tetanus. Experts recommend teens and adults get a booster shot every 10 years.
Why: Cuts and puncture wounds from sharp objects can lead to infections and illnesses such as tetanus.
--Apply sunscreen to the tops and bottoms of your feet.
Why: Feet get sunburn too. According to FootHealthFacts.org, rare but deadly skin cancers can develop on the feet.
--Inspect your feet and your children's feet on a routine basis for skin problems such as warts, calluses, ingrown toenails and suspicious moles, spots or freckles.
Why: The earlier a skin condition is detected, the easier it is for your foot and ankle surgeon to treat it.
--Wear flip-flops or sandals around swimming pools, locker rooms and beaches.
Why: To avoid cuts and abrasions from rough anti-slip surfaces and sharp objects hidden beneath sandy beaches, and to prevent contact with bacteria and viruses that can cause athlete's foot, plantar warts, and other problems.
--Use common sense.
Why: Every year, people lose toes while mowing the lawn barefoot. Others suffer serious burns from accidentally stepping on stray campfire coals or fireworks. Murky rivers, lakes and ponds can conceal sharp objects underwater. People with diabetes should never go barefoot, even indoors, because their nervous system may not "feel" an injury and their circulatory system will struggle to heal breaks in the skin.
If you have any questions or concerns, make an appointment today with one of the doctors at Academy Foot and Ankle Specialists at 817-424-3668.
Sunscreen on Your Feet?
Doctor urges sunscreen use and exams to prevent skin cancer on feet!
When at the pool or lake we all lather up with sun screen to protect our skin from the harmful rays of the sun. But do we remember to apply sunscreen to our feet?
Many don’t realize skin cancer can occur on the feet from unprotected sun exposure, and overlook applying sunscreen to the area. The doctors at Academy Foot and Ankle Specialists warn skin cancer of the foot is prevalent and can even be fatal if not caught early.
While all types of skin cancer, including squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma, can be found on the foot, the most common is the most serious form, melanoma. Symptoms can be as subtle as an abnormal-looking mole or freckle found anywhere on the foot, and often go unnoticed without routine foot exams.
According to foot and ankle surgeons at Academy, early diagnosis is key to effective treatment for the condition. But because people aren’t looking for the early warning signs or taking the same precautions they do for other areas of the body, often times skin cancer in this region is not diagnosed until later stages.
“I advise my patients to regularly inspect their feet, including the soles, in between their toes and even under their toenails, for any changing moles or spots and to have any suspicious areas promptly examined by a foot and ankle specialist,” Dr. Suttle explains.
For more information on skin cancer of the foot contact one of the Foot and Ankle Surgeons at Academy Foot and Ankle Specialists at 817-424-3668. Or visit www.texasfootdoctor.org for more information!
Ouch! Nothing ruins a summer vacation faster than a painful or injured foot.
From the airport to your hotel room, there are steps you can take to prevent foot and ankle pain and injury. The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons offers 10 tips for keeping your feet safe this summer:
- Wear comfortable shoes to the airport. You never know how long you will wait in line, how far you will walk to the terminal, or if you will have to make a mad dash to make a connecting flight. Loose-fitting flip-flops and sandals increase your risk of tripping, falling and spraining your ankle. Sprains should be evaluated by a foot and ankle surgeon within 24 hours to ensure proper healing. Many people suffer repeated sprains because they didn't see a doctor for previous injuries.
- Wear socks with those comfortable shoes. Not only do socks protect skin from shoe friction that can cause blisters and calluses, they can also keep you healthy. You're required to remove your shoes before you enter the walk-through metal detectors at airports. Walking barefoot through an airport exposes your feet to bacteria and viruses that could cause plantar warts and athlete's foot.
- Avoid bringing new shoes on vacation. They can be stiff and unforgiving. If you plan to dance the night away or do a lot of walking, wear shoes that will make your feet as happy as you are.
- Check your children's shoes for fit and comfort.
- Pack flip-flops or sandals, and use sparingly. Use them in place of walking barefoot in locker rooms and around pools, where you may pick up athlete's foot, a plantar wart infection or toenail fungus.
- Pack an antifungal cream or powder. If you're staying in a hotel or using public pools, using an antifungal product can help prevent athlete's foot. You can pick up some prescription strength spray at all Academy Foot and Ankle locations without an appointment.
- Place a towel on the floor before entering the shower or bathtub. This can prevent slipping when you exit. The towel will also help dry toes and protect them from infections.
- If you are traveling more than two hours, be sure to stretch your legs and pump your feet. This will help circulate the blood to prevent deep vein thrombosis, or dangerous blood clots in the legs.
- Consider wearing compression socks on the plane to help prevent blood clots and deep vein thrombosis by pushing the blood through the legs and back to the lungs and heart.
- Pack a small first aid kit. Chances are you'll develop a blister from that long walk through the shopping village or scrape your foot on a piece of coral at the beach. Clean your feet with saline (eye solution works!), apply a small amount of antibiotic cream and cover with a band-aid or gauze. If you suffer a puncture wound, see a foot and ankle surgeon within 24 hours for professional cleaning of the wound to prevent infections and other complications.
Osteoporosis, which means “porous bone,” is a condition in which bones become weak and thin due to lack of calcium. People with osteoporosis have an increased risk of bone fractures (breaks). There are many reasons people have osteoporosis: age, inadequate calcium levels, inadequate Vitamin D levels.
Osteoporosis is often called the “silent disease” because many people do not realize they have it. However, pain can occur when a bone becomes so weak that it breaks.
Osteoporosis is most commonly seen in women over age 50, but younger people and men can also have it. While the bones of the spine, hip, and wrist are the most common bones to become fractured as a result of osteoporosis, metatarsals and other bones in the feet can be affected. In fact, some people first find out they have osteoporosis because of a fracture in the foot.
Increased pain with walking, accompanied by redness and swelling on the top of the foot, is a sign that you should see a foot and ankle surgeon for x-rays and examination.