The Foot And Ankle Center Blog

As the days begin to lengthen and the temperature starts getting warmer, you may be starting to retire your winter boots in favor of your favorite open-toed shoes and sandals. With this change in your wardrobe, your toes are probably looking forward to seeing a bit of daylight. Now’s the perfect time to pay some extra attention to your feet and getting them in tip-top shape for spring and summer with an at-home pedicure!

Not sure where to begin? Read our 5 tips below to help give your feet the pampering they deserve from the comfort of your own home:

Give ‘em a Good Soak

After a long day at work, in the yard, or out adventuring, a nice warm soak sounds like heaven to your feet. It’s also smart to do before giving yourself a pedicure. Pour in some Epsom salts and your favorite aromatherapy crystals into a shallow basin, fill it with warm water, and feel the stress melt away as you soak your feet for about 10 minutes.

Exfoliate for Smooth Soles

Your feet have probably accumulated some rough patches over the harsh winter. Get silky-smooth soles by dipping a pumice stone in warm water and gently scrubbing away the dead skin cells. You can also use an exfoliating foot scrub with granules to help remove dead skin. Once you’re done, rub a refreshing foot cream over your feet. Never use a pumice stone on any injured or sore areas – you’ll want to see us for those issues!

File Your Nails Carefully

Although you may think of it as a mundane task that can be done quickly, clipping and shaping your nails properly can help you avoid ingrown toenails and infections. Cut straight across rather than rounding the corners, and try not to trim your nails too short. Just follow the shape of your toe and your feet will be looking pretty in no time. Don’t forget to use clean, sterile tools before you clip!

Don’t Go Overboard with Nail Polish

If you enjoy having painted nails, you probably want the color to be rich, bold, and beautiful. Here’s a trick that seems a little counterintuitive at first: a little bit of polish will go a long, long way! Putting on too much product will make the color more susceptible to chipping and smudging, which never looks good. Instead, use the following method – use three strokes for each nail, one down the middle and two on either side. Let that coat dry and apply one more layer in the same way. Your polish will look prettier for much longer this way!

Moisturize Your Toenails

We know it sounds a little weird, but keeping your toenails moisturized can actually be quite healthy for your nails’ health. As long as you don’t have toenail fungus, moisturizing daily can help keep your nails healthy and strong. Reach for lotion or vitamin E oil to get the job done. Just remember to keep the skin in between your toes dry to help you prevent certain infections like athlete’s foot.

At-home pedicures can help you have healthy, good-looking feet without breaking the bank. They can also help you become more aware of your feet and any issues that may pop up in time. Should you ever experience any pain, discomfort, or any other concerns, don’t hesitate to call your friends at Foot & Ankle Center at (314) 487-9300.

Most mornings are the same for everyone. People tend to wake up, get dressed, and put on their socks and shoes. When it’s warmer outside, some decide to ditch the socks even though they were designed for protection. Protection from problems like athlete’s foot – a chronic infection caused by various types of fungus. Curious how your feet can be at risk? Read more for 6 tips to prevent athlete’s foot.

Avoid Going Barefoot in Public

When at a public pool or after showering in the gym locker room, it’s easier to walk around barefoot. This is especially true if you forgot your sandals and don’t want to deal with wet socks. Although, the more time you spend barefoot, the more time fungus has to collect on your feet. According to Harvard Medical School, “Athlete's foot breeds in locker rooms, swimming pool changing areas, or any place that combines dampness and a lot of foot traffic.” Instead, wear sandals in these areas to avoid infection.

Let Your Feet Breathe at Home

While you’ll certainly want to avoid going barefoot in public, take some time at home to let your feet breathe. After a long day of being inside socks and shoes, feet will perspire and create moisture. If your socks and shoes are wet, let them dry before putting them back on. Put your feet up, relax, and let them air out for your benefit and comfort.

Wash and Dry Your Feet Daily

Whether you’re using a community shower or a personal one, it’s incredibly important to wash and dry your feet daily. Use the same amount of care that you do with the rest of your body and use with soap. Rinse and repeat if necessary. Then use a towel to dry off while in the shower and when you step out. Keep that towel for yourself – because foot fungus can spread easily. Your roommate or partner could get it from you by using the same towel. 

Change Socks and Shoes Consistently

It’s always important to make sure your feet are dry before putting them into your socks. Fungus grows when an environment provides it with moisture, warmth, and darkness. With you providing the wet feet, socks and shoes can be the perfect home for fungus. Now if you deal with sweaty feet, don’t worry too much just yet. Consistently change your socks and shoes to prevent the fungus from growing.

Practice Basic Foot Hygiene

It almost goes without saying, but make sure to practice basic foot hygiene and maintain your nails and skin. Longer toenails can leave more room for fungus to grow. Filing the skin on your feet is also important as removing dead skin cells and also prevents anything from growing.

Break Out the Spray

Antiperspirants are typically used on feet in spray form to prevent sweating. Using them between washing your feet and putting on footwear is the most effective method. Spray-on deodorant can also be an effective way to keep your feet dry and fresh. With these in mind, you will effectively decrease your chances of heavy perspiration and odor that may lead to athlete’s foot. There are many other life-changing products to help, too.

WebMD says that athlete’s foot is highly common among funguses and up to 25% of people will experience the infection in their lives. If you’re dealing with it, make an appointment with the friendly doctors at Foot & Ankle Center by calling (314) 487-9300.

Bunions – painful, bony bumps found at the base of the big toe – can negatively impact every moment of your day. Caused by joint misalignment, these bumps can hinder walking and exercising, make shoe shopping difficult, and can lower your quality of life. Although bunions are a fairly common foot deformity, many people needlessly suffer for years before seeking treatment.

Part of tackling bunions before they become a problem is to take proper care of your feet – and to know thy enemy. Read up on some interesting bunion facts below – your feet will thank you:

Blame Your Parents

That’s right – bunions tend to be a hereditary issue. Foot type, including their shape and structure, is hereditary, and some types are more prone to bunions, including those with low arches, flat feet, and loose joints and tendons. If someone in your immediate family suffers from bunions, you have a higher chance of developing them at some point.

They’re More Prevalent in Women

Several studies have shown that women are much more likely to develop bunions than men. In fact, 1 in every 3 women will experience bunions at some point in her life. Why? A few factors may contribute to this problem, including shoe choices and arthritic conditions, which can exacerbate bunions.

If the Shoe (Doesn’t) Fit

Speaking of shoe choices, tight-fitting shoes with narrow toe boxes or high heels are thought to increase your risk for bunions. According to a study by the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society, 88% of women are wearing shoes that are too small, which can increase your odds of developing bunions. Your foot size should change as you age, so make sure you check your shoe size before buying any new kicks.

A Little Care Goes a Long Way

Bunions develop slowly, so take some crucial steps now to keep your feet happy and healthy. Choose low- or flat-heeled shoes with a roomy toe box and good arch support. Avoid high heels and pointed shoes, which cramp and pinch the toes. Stretch out your feet every day to reduce tension as well.

See Your Podiatrist Sooner Rather Than Later

We recommend seeing your foot doctor at the first sign of a bunion. Unfortunately, bunions will get worse without treatment, but early treatment can help reduce your risk of experiencing more pain or extensive interventions in the future.

Suffering from bunion pain? Don’t wait! Make an appointment with the friendly doctors at Foot & Ankle Center by calling (314) 487-9300.

When the snow starts to melt, birds begin to chirp, and flowers finally grow again, that can only mean one thing – goodbye, winter and hello, spring! Now’s the time to get out and be more active, but don’t run out the door just yet. Spring is the time of the year when plantar fasciitis, or heel pain, is most common. Want to protect your feet? Check out 4 ways to help avoid heel pain in the spring.

Walk Before You Run

It’s understandable to want to get out and be active as soon as the weather warms up in the Midwest. However, this can cause strain in your feet. According to Foot Health Facts, “sudden increased activity following several months of low or no activity can result in heel pain.” Start out slow when you get back to exercising by running shorter distances in less time. Build your way back up into a routine and continue from there without pain in your heels.

Stretch Ahead of Time

If you’ve been feeling a tightness in your calves already, a bit of heel pain may come next. That’s because muscles like the ones in your calves are working hard each time you walk, run, or exercise. James Dunne of Kinetic Revolution shows three stretches to fix your heel pain. Try to stretch your feet and legs twice a day to ensure flexibility.

Avoid Trading Support for Comfort

With the warmer months ahead, you can ditch the winter boots and thick socks to let your feet breathe a little. In order to avoid heel pain here, don’t ditch support for comfort too often. During this time of year, people are more likely to wear flip-flops or even go barefoot. By making sure there is support underneath your sole, there will be less risk for pain.

Running Shoes Over Tennis Shoes

The main difference between running shoes and tennis shoes is that running shoes are designed for forward movement and have padding to protect the ankles. Tennis shoes don’t protect your ankles, as they were designed for side-to-side movement. Make an investment in the type of shoe that was designed for the activity you’re planning to participate in. This will have a positive effect on your feet’s health overall.

Feet are coming out whether you like it or not – like daisies! But if you’re having difficulty enjoying the spring because of heel pain, don’t wait for it to get worse. Stop by the Foot & Ankle Center today and speak with one of our friendly doctors.

 

When you experience heel pain, it can easily put your whole life on hold. Exercising or engaging in fun activities can come to a standstill, and workdays can become unbearable. That’s why we take great pride in helping our patients overcome their pain!

We recently had the pleasure of helping one of our customers, Reverend John Bush, with his heel pain, which was caused by plantar fasciitis. As the Executive Director of Seminary Support at Concordia Seminary, John is on his feet all the time, especially since he works at a standing desk.

John BushJohn began noticing heel pain when he was walking on a concrete track at the YMCA in South County. At the time, he had no idea that it was the beginnings of plantar fasciitis. When the pain persisted for a few more days, his wife, who was a happy patient of ours, urged him to make an appointment with us. As soon as we saw John, we pinpointed the problem. We took x-rays of his foot and recommended orthotics, a temporary boot, cortisone shots, and exercises to help stretch the tendon.

“I didn’t wait long because I was in pain, and didn’t want to fool around with pain,” John said. “Their diagnosis and treatment plan were spot-on. They told me what to do to get better; I followed their instructions, and I got better in about a month.”

While John experiences mild pain every now and then, he self-treats it by using the exercises to stretch the tendon out, whether at work or at home. “I do know that if I get severe pain again, I would call and go back. They would fix me right up,” he added.

When it comes to heel pain, John said that it’s something you should tackle quickly and without hesitation. “I guess when you’re younger, you think you can tough it out, but it’s nothing to fool around with,” he said. “I would not hesitate to make an appointment with Foot and Ankle Center. They always treated me as a person and with respect, and I would recommend them to anyone.”

If you’re experiencing heel pain, take John’s advice (and ours) – don’t wait. Call us today at (314) 487-9300 or request an appointment with us online!





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