athletes

Summer Foot Care for Healthy Feet

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Summer Foot Care

One of the best things about the summer and warm weather is that you can have your feet out of the boots and feeling the warm air. Shoe-free time with your feet in the sand and grass gives us a feeling of freedom and contentment. But, one must take care of the feet while they are out enjoying the warmth and fresh air.

Taking care of your feet in the summer is very important. Even if you are just out soaking in the sun, your feet can become severely burned. That fancy hotel you may be staying at for summer break? The shower may be great, but the athlete’s foot that is lurking will not be kind to your feet. As a matter of fact, athlete’s foot can be hanging out in all kinds of public places.

Wouldn’t you rather be outside enjoying the beautiful weather instead of having to visit the foot doctor? Here are a few basic tips to remember when you and your feet are enjoying the weather.

  1. Remember to apply sunscreen to your feet. Be sure to apply the sunscreen to the top and sides of your feet. If you have been in the water make sure that you reapply the sunscreen.
  2. Where flip flops or other protective footwear when you are walking around in public areas. Wear flip flops in the showers and the bathroom areas. Protecting your feet from athlete’s foot, plantar warts, ringworm and other infections is important.
  3. Different activities, while you are out, may require different footwear. Make sure you are wearing the appropriate shoes for the activity that you are doing.
  4. Drink plenty of water when you are out in the hot weather. Water is great for overall health and will help minimize any swelling in your legs and feet.
  5. If you injure your foot while you are out, then you will need to contact your podiatric physician. Do not let foot injuries go for too long without having it looked at by the physician.

Warm Weather Foot Gear

  • Always have flip flops available for visits to the pool, hotel rooms, and the spa.
  • Antibiotic Cream- for minor skin injuries
  • Band-Aids and Sterile Bandages- For scrapes and cuts
  • Emollient Creams- to keep feet hydrated
  • Advil or Motrin- to reduce pain and swelling of feet
  • Sunscreen- to protect feet from painful sunburn
  • Aloe Vera- for sunburned feet
  • Blister Pads- to protect against blisters
  • Clippers- to keep toenails trimmed
  • Emery Boards- to file the sharp edges of the toenails
  • Pumice Stone- to help with callused skin

If you have injured your foot and thought, you may have a sprain or worse a break you will need to see your foot doctor. Most people will call their regular doctor or go to the local emergency room. By contacting your foot doctor, you will be treated by the foot professional. Never let a foot injury go unchecked. If you break a bone in your foot and do not get it checked by the physician, you will have more problems later on. A simple x-ray will let you and your doctor know if you have a broken bone in your foot.

Have questions concerning your foot health? Contact Quality Foot Care by calling (215) 230-9707.

What is Athlete’s Foot?

 

 

Athlete’s foot will usually begin as a rash that can cause intense itching. Athlete’s foot is also known as tinea pedis and usually starts between the toes. Athlete’s foot will usually strike those people who wear tight-fitting shoes and have feet that sweat. The more your feet sweat the worse the symptoms seem to be.

Signs of Athlete’s Foot

Most common signs of athlete’s foot are itching, burning and stinging. Athlete’s foot is also very contagious and can be picked up from floors, towels and showers. Anywhere that a person has walked barefoot that has athlete’s foot will be contaminated.

Athlete’s foot is related to a few other fungal infections including jock itch and ringworm. Athlete’s foot can be treated with over-the-counter antifungal medications. If you find that the over-the-counter antifungal medications are not working it is time to see your foot specialist. There are medications available that can be prescribed and will reduce the discomfort quickly. Athlete’s foot can cause your feet to hurt and bleed if it is not taken care of.

You may notice that athlete’s foot can become worse at night after taking your shoes and socks off. Some forms of athlete’s foot can become so severe that it will cause blisters and open sores. If you have blisters try not to scratch them and open them up. If you do touch your blisters or feet be sure to wash your hands right away. Athlete’s foot can spread to your hands.

Time to see your Foot Specialist

If you suspect you have athlete’s foot and you have diabetes then you need to see your foot specialist right away. If you notice swelling, redness and have a fever then put a call into your podiatrist. There is no need having to suffer when your doctor is a phone call away.

What Causes Athlete’s Foot

Caused by the same organisms as jock itch and ringworm, athlete’s foot thrives in damp places that are warm. Try to wear shoes that allow the feet to breath at all times. Try to wear white cotton socks over those that are heavier and do not allow your feet to breath.

Avoiding Athlete’s Foot

  • Wear shoes that allow your feet to breath.
  • Do not share mats, bed linens, towels, socks or shoes with someone who has athlete’s foot.
  • Do not walk barefoot in public areas including public showers. Wear flip-flops to protect your feet when in public areas.

Athlete’s foot that is not taken care of can spread to other parts of your body including your nails, your hands and your groin area.

What to Expect From Your Foot Doctor

Your foot doctor will examine your feet. You will be asked when this rash started. Does any other family member have athlete’s foot? Have you been in public showers, swimming pools or other areas where athlete’s foot may have spread?

If you have questions about athlete’s foot be sure to ask your doctor. The better informed you are the less chance of contracting this type of rash again.

Cowboys Aren’t the Only Heel Spur Victims: A Podiatrist’s Advice on Heel Spurs

For most people, the word “spurs” conjures an image of a cowboy’s riding boots. In the world of podiatry, spurs are a common foot problem. Heel spurs are occasionally problematic calcium deposits on the underside of the heel bone. They are often painless, but become a daily frustration requiring treatment in the cases where they do cause pain.

Causes of heel spurs include strains of the foot muscles and ligaments, stretching of the plantar fascia, and recurrent tearing of the membrane covering the heel bone. Athletes participating in running and jumping activities are more likely to experience spurs. Other risk factors include excess weight, running on hard surfaces, poorly fitting shoes with improper arch support, and abnormalities in walking  which place excessive stress on the ligaments, heel bone, and nerves close to the heel.

The reason that some heel spurs start causing pain is the development of inflammation at the location where the spur formed. The spurs themselves are not painful—it is the soft tissue they damage that results in the often described feeling of a knife sticking in the bottom of the feet. Most people experience heel spur associated pain when they first stand up in the morning.

There are many non-surgical treatment options for heel spurs. Stretching exercises, special orthotics, and taping of the foot to rest stressed tendons and muscles have all been cited as being effective. In some cases, corticosteroid injections can help relieve the soft tissue inflammation. For the 10% of people who do not respond to these treatments, surgery might be an option to consider. Minimally invasive removal of the spur itself or release of the plantar fascia usually take care of the problem, but as with all kinds of surgery, there are some associated risks.

If you would like to diagnose your heel pain or explore your treatment options, call 215-230-9707 to make an appointment with Dr. Ken Lefkowitz and his staff at Quality Foot Care in Doylestown.