Posts for: December, 2016
The feet have more sweat glands than any other part of the body, which means they have the ability to sweat profusely. With your feet encased in your shoes all day and the sweat unable to evaporate, bacteria will begin to grow rapidly. Bacteria then begins to break down the sweat, generating an unpleasant odor. Other factors can contribute to increased perspiration, including anxiety, hormonal changes, medications and various skin conditions.
Foot odor is a common problem, especially among those who perspire excessively, but it can be both embarrassing and physically uncomfortable. If you suffer from foot odor, rest assured that simple lifestyle changes and improved personal hygiene can help reduce and eliminate the smell.
Easy Ways to Eliminate Foot Odor
Since most foot odor is caused from excess sweat and the growth of odor-causing bacteria, it's relatively easy to control and reduce foot odor on your own. Start by taking the following preventative steps:
- Keep your feet clean by washing them with an antibacterial soap on a regular basis to minimize bacteria.
- Keep feet dry as moisture enables the growth of bacteria.
- Alternate shoes and avoid wearing the same pair for multiple days in a row.
- Choose open shoes such as sandals when possible, allowing air onto the feet which evaporates sweat and slows the growth of bacteria.
- Wear cotton socks which wick away moisture and absorb perspiration.
- Apply foot sprays and powders to the feet. Ask your podiatrist for recommended products.
- Disinfect, wash and discard foul smelling shoes as necessary.
The causes of foot odor are typically not harmful to your health, but do create an environment for the growth of fungus and bacteria. It's not unusual for infections such as toenail fungus and athlete's foot to develop as a result.
When improving your foot hygiene doesn't help reduce the smell, you may need to visit your podiatrist, as persistent foot odor can indicate an infection or a severe case of hereditary sweating. In these cases, a prescription ointment may be required to treat the problem. Visit our office, and we'll work with you to determine the cause and most effective treatment for your condition!
Dealing with a toenail fungus? Find out how you may be able to tackle your problem from the comfort of your own home in St. Louis.
No one wants to deal with a toenail fungus, but it’s a surprisingly common issue. Besides the unpleasant aesthetic problems it can cause your toenail, you don’t want to just leave the condition untreated, as it can lead to further complications for your foot health. While it’s always a good idea to turn to one of our St. Louis, MO podiatrists for help, particularly if this is the first time you’re dealing with a toenail fungus, there are some home remedies that you may want to try to see if it helps you.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Sure, it’s not to most pleasant tasting or smelling remedy but it is certainly one of the best. Whether you want to apply it to the infected toenail or add it to your drinking water, organic apple cider vinegar offers some pretty awesome health benefits. If you want to soak the toenail here’s how to do it: Add one part Epsom salts and one part apple cider vinegar to six parts warm water. Soak feet two times a day for a minimum of thirty minutes at a time.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is another amazing home remedy because it is both a fungicide and an antiseptic. Of course, tea tree oil on its own is rather strong and can irritate the skin so it’s always important to dilute this oil with some water before directly applying it to the infected nail. Once the tea tree oil has soaked in, gently scrub the nail with an old, but clean, toothbrush. You’ll want to do this every day until the nail has fully grown out.
It might sound odd but organic cornmeal is completely safe for the body but can pack quite a punch when it comes to targeting the common fungus, Candida. In a foot bath, place about one cup of cornmeal in two quarts of water. Let the mixture sit for about an hour before placing the infected foot into the water. Soak feet for about a half hour or more. You can repeat this as often as you want.
If you only have a mild fungal infection, you may be able to get away with using lavender oil. Apply a couple drops to the nail every night and let the oil remain overnight. Even once the infection looks like it’s gone it’s always a good idea to continue applying the oil for a couple weeks after to prevent it from returning.
If at-home treatments aren’t cutting it, then it’s time you turned to the foot care experts at The Foot And Ankle Center in St. Louis, MO. Even a toenail fungus can be a downright nuisance to treat, but we are here to help!
If you're a runner, it goes without saying that your feet take the brunt of the punishment. In fact, for runners the feet are more vulnerable to injury than any other part of the body. Luckily, both long-distance runners and casual joggers can improve their performance by paying extra attention to their feet and taking steps to prevent common foot problems. Poor fitting footwear is often the source of many foot problems caused by running. A visit to our practice can help you determine the best shoes for your foot structure.
A Runner's Roadblock
While many running-related foot injuries can result from a fall or twisted ankle, most running injuries are caused by overuse, meaning the majority of runners experience foot and ankle pain because they do too much for too long. Runners should be aware of the signs of foot problems that can slow them down if not treated promptly. Common foot and ankle injuries experienced by runners include:
Achilles Tendonitis: Achilles tendonitis and other calf-related injuries are prevalent in runners. Poor training, overuse and improper footwear are the three most common reasons for this condition. A sudden increase in distance or pace can strain the muscles and tendons in the foot and ankle, causing small tears within these structures that result in pain and inflammation. Appropriate shoes and training are the most important steps to preventing Achilles tendonitis. Conservative treatment includes rest, ice, stretching and sometimes orthotics or physical therapy.
Heel Pain: Runners develop heel pain more than any other foot-related injury. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, the result of placing excessive stress on the ligament in the bottom of the foot. Rest, stretching and support are the best ways to ease the pain and inflammation. Reduce your mileage and avoid hill and speed workouts. Stretch before and after you run, and ice your heel after each workout. Special splints and shoe inserts from our practice may also provide support and relief for your heel pain.
Stress Fractures: Stress fractures are small cracks in the surface of a bone. Runners generally notice gradual muscle soreness, stiffness and pain on the affected bone, most often in the lower leg or the foot. Early diagnosis is critical, as a small fracture can spread and eventually become a complete fracture of the bone. Stress fractures are typically caused by increasing training more quickly than the body's ability to build up and strengthen the bone.
If you have symptoms of a stress fracture, you should stop running immediately and see a podiatrist. This injury can keep a runner off the track for several weeks, and is not an injury that you can run through. Depending on the severity of the stress fracture, a cast may be necessary.
If you experience chronic foot pain from running, make an appointment with a podiatrist. Leaving foot injuries untreated could result in more serious conditions, ultimately keeping you from your best performance. Keep in mind that these are not the only foot ailments caused by running, and when at-home foot care isn't effective, you'll need to be evaluated by a podiatrist. As in most cases, prevention is the best medicine. Good footwear, proper training and recognizing a problem before it becomes serious are your keys to staying on the road and avoiding foot injuries.