No Sweat!

Sweaty feet can be both uncomfortable and embarrassing. When sweating becomes excessive, it’s called hyperhidrosis. It’s more common in men than in women, and more common in young adults than older adults.

Causes

Excessive sweating of the feet seems to be an inherited problem. No one knows exactly why it occurs, but people who sweat excessively seem to have a different “set point” than other people. Most people sweat when it’s hot out, or when they become warm. People with hyperhidrosis sweat excessively almost all the time.

Symptoms

The most obvious symptom of hyperhidrosis is feet that sweat excessively. Some people sweat so much that their feet may slip around inside their shoes.

The feet may also have a whitish, wet appearance; sometimes, foot infections are present as well. (constant wetness breaks down the skin, allowing infection to set it.) Foot odor is common.

Home Care

Good foot hygiene is essential. Wash your feet daily with an antibacterial soap; be sure to wash between the toes. Dry the feet thoroughly, then apply cornstarch, foot powder, or an antifungal powder to your feet. Breezee Mist® Foot Powder safeguards against offensive foot odor and dries excessive foot moisture. Wear wicking socks that draw the moisture away from your feet instead of trapping it. Synthetic blends are designed to wick moisture away from the skin and work best to keep the feet dry. One hundred percent cotton socks absorb moisture but do not wick it away from the skin and frequently lead to blisters, so they should be avoided.

It’s also a good idea to change socks during the day. Stash an extra pair of socks at school or at work, and change socks mid-way through the day.

A technique called iontophoresis, which uses water to conduct a mild electrical current through the skin, has been found helpful for people with sweaty feet. People can purchase iontophoresis machines for at-home use.

When to visit a Podiatrist

If your feet sweat excessively, make an appointment with one of our Foot Healers doctors. According to the US National Library of Medicine, less than 40 percent of people with excessive sweating seek medical care. A podiatrist can help you control this embarrassing condition.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Most often, excessive sweating of the feet is diagnosed based on your reporting of symptoms and a physical exam of the feet. Our podiatrists can also do a starch-iodine test to confirm the diagnosis. First, an iodine solution is applied to the bottom of the feet. After the solution has dried, cornstarch is sprinkled over the area. The treated area turns dark blue if excessive sweat is present.

Treatment options are tailored to your symptoms. Prescription roll-on antiperspirants may be applied directly to the feet. Botox injections can temporarily control excessive sweating of the feet. (The effect generally lasts for about six to nine months.) Severe cases of sweaty feet may be treated with a surgical procedure called a sympathectomy, which interrupts the nerve signals that tell the body to sweat excessively.

Prevention

Good foot hygiene can preven foot odor and foot infections, two common side effects of sweaty feet.

If you are concerned about excessive sweating, contact Foot Healers to set up an appointment.

Show Your Feet Some ‘Love’ during Tennis Season!

Dust off that racket and slip on those shoes, it’s tennis season! Tennis provides a total aerobic body workout, and regular play is a relatively safe and enjoyable way to stay fit.  It’s a great way to get in shape for summer and have fun with the whole family.

 

Whether you’re an amateur or seasoned pro, proper shoes are crucial to injury prevention when playing the sport. Shoes should be specifically designed for tennis. Unlike running shoes, proper tennis shoes “give” enough to allow for side-to side sliding. Running shoes have too much traction and may cause injury to the foot and ankle. In addition, running shoes don’t have padded toe boxes, which can lead to toe injuries for tennis players.

 

Heels should be snug-fitting to prevent slipping from side to side, and both heel and toe areas should have adequate cushioning. The arch should provide both soft support, and the toe box should have adequate depth to prevent toenail injuries. If you’re unsure which shoe is right for you, a podiatrist can recommend one that is best for your foot.

 

If you have bunions or other special considerations, do not buy shoes without consulting a podiatric physician. If you already wear prescription orthotic inserts, make sure that any potential new shoe feels comfortable with it in place.

 

As always, it’s a good idea to have your feet and ankles evaluated by a professional foot care specialist before taking to the court. Your podiatrist can check for excessive pronation or supination (turning inward or outward of the ankles), and if necessary prescribe a custom orthotic device for insertion in the shoe to correct the imbalance.

 

Because of the stress on calf and hamstring muscles, thorough stretching before a match can prevent common injuries to the leg. Stretching out after a match alleviates stiff muscles. Basic stretches such as the hurdler’s stretch, the wall push-up, and standing hamstring stretch will loosen up the muscles enough to prevent pulls and other injuries. Your podiatric physician can explain how to do these exercises.

 

Your podiatric physician may advise you as to proper nail care and warning signs of nail problems. Feet should always be kept clean and dry. Socks should always be worn — tennis socks made of either acrylic or a blend of acrylic and natural fibers are preferable.

 

Visit one of our podiatrists at Foot Healers as soon as possible if you experience any foot pain or need assistance picking out the perfect pair of tennis shoes. Now that’s a winning strategy to keep you on the court all season long!

 

 

Content from apma.org

Men Who Manicure

 

No longer just for the woman who wants to update her toenail polish, pedicures have become a trend for even the most masculine of men, like Tim Tebow and Dwayne Wade.

 

However, these men probably do without the scented soap and sparkling nail polish. Rather, athletes and anyone who lives an active lifestyle should regularly get a pedicure in order to keep their feet clean and healthy.

 

According to Dr. Howard Osterman, the team podiatrist for the Washington Wizards(insert link), basketball players get regular pedicures every six months.

 

“They’re not the least bit embarrassed, and they see it as part of their training program,” Osterman says. “It’s as much medical as it is cosmetic.”

 

A regular pedicure and foot massage can increase blood flow, reduce pain, and overall, make your feet look clean and cared for. Removing areas of hardened skin can reduce pressure points while correctly cutting nails can prevent ingrown toenails.

 

Men, and women, can take a break from their strenuous lifestyle and relax while they soak their feet and experience an exfoliate scrub in order to remove the dead skin cells.

 

So men, mind your feet, man up, and get a pedicure.

April Is National Foot Health Awareness Month!


Are you aware of how amazing your feet are?!  In honor of National Foot Health Awareness Month, we think it’s about time you knew how really great they are.

 

The human foot is a biological masterpiece. Its strong, flexible, and functional design enables it to do its job well and without complaint—if you take care of it and don’t take it for granted.

 

The foot can be compared to a finely tuned race car, or a space shuttle, vehicles whose function dictates their design and structure. And like them, the human foot is complex, containing within its relatively small size 26 bones (the two feet contain a quarter of all the bones in the body), 33 joints, and a network of more than 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments, to say nothing of blood vessels and nerves.

Read more

High Blood Pressure and Foot Health

 

As a member of the health care team, your doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM) is vitally concerned about hypertension (high blood pressure) and vascular disease (heart and circulatory problems). There are several reasons for this concern. First, because you are a patient, your podiatric physician and surgeon is interested in all aspects of your health and your treatment program. Second, he or she supports the goals of high blood pressure detection, treatment, and control.

Your podiatric physician should know if you have any of the following cardiovascular or related conditions:

Hypertension and/or cardiovascular disease: Hypertension sometimes causes decreased circulation. A careful examination is required to determine if there is lower than normal temperature in any of the extremities, absence of normal skin color, or diminished pulse in the feet. The concern is that these are signs of arterial insufficiency (reduced blood flow). Increased or periodic swelling in the lower extremities is important because it may mean that hypertension has contributed to heart disease.

Rheumatic heart disease: Persons who have had rheumatic heart disease must be protected with prophylactic antibiotics prior to any surgical intervention. If you take medication for this condition, tell your podiatric physician. Any medication you may be taking for high blood pressure, a heart condition, or any other reason should be reported to the DPM to ensure that it does not conflict with medications that may be prescribed in the treatment of your feet.

Diabetes: This condition frequently affects the smaller arteries, resulting in diminished circulation and decreased sensation in the extremities. Let your podiatric physician know if you have ever been told that you have diabetes, particularly if you are talking medication or insulin for this condition.

Ulceration: Open sores that do not heal, or heal very slowly, may be symptoms of certain anemias, including sickle cell disease. Or they may be due to hypertension or certain inflammatory conditions of the blood vessels. Your DPM is on the alert for such conditions, but be sure to mention if you have ever had this problem.

Swollen feet: Persistent swelling of one or both feet may be due to kidney, heart, or circulatory problems.

Burning feet: Although it can have a number of causes, a burning sensation of the feet is frequently caused by diminished circulation.

 

Control of High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause fatal strokes and heart disease. As a health care provider, your podiatric physician assists in controlling this public health problem. There are three major areas in which he or she provides this important public service:

Detection: Many podiatric physicians routinely take every patient’s blood pressure and determine if it is elevated.

Treatment: After confirming that blood pressure is elevated and making this information part of the patient’s record, the DPM refers all patients with elevated blood pressure to their primary care physicians for evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment.

Long-Term Control: By encouraging patients at every visit to adhere to treatment, and by monitoring reductions in blood pressure, side effects of treatment, and referring for reevaluation as needed, the podiatric physician facilitates long-term control.

Foot Health Tips

Diseases, disorders and disabilities of the foot or ankle affect the quality of life and mobility of millions of Americans. However, the general public and even many physicians are unaware of the important relationship between foot health and overall health and well-being. With this in mind, the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) would like to share a few tips to help keep feet healthy.
1. Don’t ignore foot pain—it’s not normal. If the pain persists, see a podiatric physician.
2. Inspect your feet regularly. Pay attention to changes in color and temperature of your feet. Look for thick or discolored nails (a sign of developing fungus), and check for cracks or cuts in the skin. Peeling or scaling on the soles of feet could indicate athlete’s foot. Any growth on the foot is not considered normal.
3. Wash your feet regularly, especially between the toes, and be sure to dry them completely.
4. Trim toenails straight across, but not too short. Be careful not to cut nails in corners or on the sides; it can lead to ingrown toenails. Persons with diabetes, poor circulation, or heart problems should not treat their own feet because they are more prone to infection.
5. Make sure that your shoes fit properly. Purchase new shoes later in the day when feet tend to be at their largest and replace worn out shoes as soon as possible.
6. Select and wear the right shoe for the activity that you are engaged in (i.e., running shoes for running).
7. Alternate shoes—don’t wear the same pair of shoes every day.
8. Avoid walking barefooted—your feet will be more prone to injury and infection. At the beach or when wearing sandals, always use sunblock on your feet just as on the rest of your body.
9. Be cautious when using home remedies for foot ailments; self-treatment can often turn a minor problem into a major one.
10. If you are a person with diabetes, it is vital that you see a podiatric physician at least once a year for a check-up.

Your podiatric physician/surgeon has been trained specifically and extensively in the diagnosis and treatment of all manner of foot conditions. This training encompasses all of the intricately related systems and structures of the foot and lower leg including neurological, circulatory, skin, and the musculoskeletal system, which includes bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves.

Want to read up on related topics? Visit our pages about high blood pressure or diabetes and feet.
Click here to schedule an appointment!

The 4 Sure Signs You Need To See a Podiatrist

 

The human foot, although comparatively small in relation, contains a quarter of all the bones in the body! Despite this fact, foot health is often overlooked or ignored by the average person. Due to this disregard, foot problems are among the most common health ills. You may be ignoring your feet if you are experiencing any of the common signs of unhealthy feet:

1)      Discomfort and pain. Foot pain should not be the norm; people mistakenly think its common for their feet to hurt.

2)      Skin is scaly and rough. This is often a sign that your shoes do not fit properly.

3)      Black and blue toenail(s) or bleeding underneath the nail.

4)      Toenail pain. Runners frequently experience this and it is often times due to the toenail hitting the edge of their shoes. Again, shoes should be fitted properly.

 

Although foot ailments can be hereditary, they regularly stem from the cumulative impact of a lifetime and neglect. So the next time you experience pain in your feet, pay attention… it will save you time, pain and money.

Seven Tips for Your Feet at the Beach

Heading to the beach this summer? Follow these seven safety tips to keep your tootsies in tip-top shape!

 

1.)    Along with the rest of your body, apply sunscreen to your feet ankles to avoid sunburn. Re-apply if you’ve been swimming!
2.)    Watch out for jellyfish. These little sea creatures are hard to spot, and they can cause extreme pain to your feet and legs if stung. Wear protective shoes if venturing into the water, and avoid going into jellyfish-infested areas. Just in case, be prepared and always know how to treat a jellyfish sting.

3.)    Walking, jogging and playing sports on soft, uneven surfaces like sand frequently leads to arch pain, heel pain, ankle sprains and other injuries. Wear supportive shoes for these activities, NOT flip flops!

4.)    Sharp coral, rocks and shells that have washed ashore can cut the undersides of feet. Swimming shoes should be worn to prevent injuries.

5.)    Brush off dry sand, rinse feet and dry off with a clean, previously unused towel to ensure feet are clean and dry.

6.)    If rinsing off under a public shower or hose, always wear shower shoes or sandals to avoid catching athlete’s foot.

7.)    Diabetics should ALWAYS wear shoes on the beach and remove them regularly to check for foreign objects like sand and shells that can cause sores, ulcers and infections.

7 Exercises for Fitter Feet

Learn seven exercises that will strengthen your feet and help prevent injuries.

Toe Lifts

Lift your big toe on its own, without the other toes lifting. Keep working on it until you are capable of doing it smoothly. Process to lifting each toe one at a time, until they are all in the air. Then, reverse and place them down again, starting with the 5th (smallest) toe, until you get your big toe.

Toe Abduction

Our feet are always smashed and compressed inside our shoes, often too narrow for the toes to move. The narrow toe space in footwear creates weak toe abductors and tight adductors, which prevents your toes from spreading wide naturally. Stand up barefoot, with the weight on your heels so you can lift your toes. Now spread your toes away from each other without lifting them off the ground.

Stretching the Toe Flexors

Stand up and reach one leg behind, placing the top of the foot on the ground. Relax and stretch your ankle. If you experience cramping in your toes, take a break and return to the stretch. Work yourself up to holding 1 minute on each side.

Strengthen Bottom of your Feet

In this exercise, you can either use small pebbles that you will pick up with your toes, one by one, from the ground. You can also use a towel that you will scrunch with your toes. Try to feel the muscles in the bottom of your feet.

Foot Circles and Points with Therabands

Many foot problems happen because of the limited range of motion or flexibility in the ankle and surrounding muscles. The simple, restorative foot flex-and-point exercise and foot circles will create more movement in your ankles and bigger range of motion.

Walking Barefoot

Occasionally, you may want to walk around barefoot or in minimalist footwear, so you would exercise the muscles in your feet during body movement. You will feel the ground differently; you will create a new sense of balance and develop a light foot strike, which will help you to move lighter on the tennis court.

Rehab of Your Feet

Give your tired and beat-up feet more love. Besides strengthening and stretching, massage them occasionally, give them a hot bath, and soak them in good lotion or shea butter. You can also roll your feet on a golf ball or other small massage balls.

*Info gathered from http://bit.ly/1DRpe7T

 

Balance-Boosting Footwear Tips for Older People

Balance in all aspects of life is a good thing. We work hard but make time for fun, love our children while setting boundaries, and eat healthy to enjoy a sundae on Friday night. But mental equilibrium isn’t the only kind of balance that’s important in life. Good physical balance can help older people avoid the debilitating and potentially life-threatening complications of a fall.

When selecting a shoe to improve balance, keep these guidelines in mind:

Put shoes to the 1-2-3 test.

  • Step 1: Press on both sides of the heel area to ensure the heel is stiff and won’t collapse.
  • Step 2: Bend the shoe to check for toe flexibility. The shoe shouldn’t bend too much in the toe box area, but it shouldn’t be too stiff and inflexible either.
  • Step 3: Try twisting the shoe; it shouldn’t twist in the middle.

Have your feet professionally measured every time you shoe shop. Natural aging and health changes can cause the size of your feet to change. Measure both feet—late in the day—and shop for the larger foot.

Bring the type of socks you plan to wear with the shoes and walk around the store in the shoes before you purchase them.

If you don’t feel comfortable or steady in the store, don’t buy them. Shoes should feel comfortable and supportive right away; if they don’t feel good right away, breaking them in won’t improve things.

If you have specific health challenges or foot issues, talk to a podiatrist about the best footwear for your needs. If your podiatrist has prescribed orthotics—biomechanical inserts that go into your shoes—take them with you when you shop and try them out in the shoes you’re considering.

Quality shoes can be an investment. Before you buy, check to see if the brand and style you’re considering have earned the APMA Seal of Acceptance. APMA grants the seals to products found to promote good foot health.

*Info gathered from http://bit.ly/1qEvXu4

How to Prevent Heel and Foot Pain

About 40% of people have heel pain, making it the most common foot problem by a mile, found a survey from the American Podiatric Medical Association. Luckily, these three prevalent causes are also the easiest to prevent.

DO YOU: Exercise in old sneakers?

The risk: Worn soles can cause plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the tissue band (fascia) connecting the heel to the toes.

The fix: Replace shoes every 350 to 500 miles (or about every 3 to 6 months), or when the soles look beat up.

DO YOU: Spend the summer in flip-flops?

The risk: Little support in the arch and heel of these sandals can strain and stretch the fascia and Achilles tendon, which attaches calf muscles to the heel.

The fix: Wear sandals with arch support and that bend at the ball of the foot (not in the middle) to allow for a normal stride.

DO YOU: Sit for most of the day?

The risk:  Your calf muscles tighten up. When you walk, tight muscles can pull on the ligaments and tendons that attach to the heels, altering your gait.

The fix:Stretch by your desk. Facing a wall from 3 feet away, with feet flat on the floor and knees locked, lean forward and hold for 10 seconds as calf muscles stretch, then relax 5 times.

*Info gathered from http://bit.ly/1ttzax5