Posts for category: Foot Care

By Iowa Foot & Ankle Clinic
March 15, 2021
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Flat Feet  
Flat FeetAre you flat-footed? If so, you join the ranks of about 18 million American adults over age 21 that also have this common foot condition, reports the National Foot Health Assessment. Having flat feet simply means that you don’t have arches in your feet, which means that the entire foot touches the ground when you stand or walk. While flat feet won’t cause problems for some, others may regularly deal with achy, sore feet or pain in the ankles, legs, or thigh. If you are dealing with foot pain and you think it may be due to flat feet, your podiatrist can help.

What causes flat feet?

Sometimes flat feet are simply inherited (thanks mom and dad!). Other times they develop as a result of a weakening of the posterior tibial tendon due to age-related wear and tear, physical activity, and overpronation. Those who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop flat feet.

Should I be concerned about my child’s flat feet?

The arches of the feet develop during childhood, so it’s not normal for your baby or toddler to have arches. Their flat feet are perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. Arches typically won’t form until your child is two or three years old, and some children won’t develop arches until the age of five.

What are some ways to treat flat feet?

If you aren’t experiencing any symptoms then there is no reason to seek treatment for your flat feet; however, if you are dealing with foot pain, particularly around the heel or arches of the foot, then you should talk with your podiatrist about ways to ease your pain and prevent further flare-ups. Some conservative ways to treat flat feet include,
  • Wearing properly fitted shoes that provide ample cushioning and support for the entire foot, particularly the arches and heel
  • Consider getting prescription orthotics from your podiatrist, which can evenly distribute the weight throughout the foot rather than putting added pressure on the arches or heel
  • Losing weight, if the patient is overweight or obese
  • Taking pain relievers such as ibuprofen, which can reduce pain and swelling
  • Talking to your podiatrist about special exercises that you can do to improve the strength and function of the ligaments, tendons, and muscles of the foot to reduce pain
  • Weighing the pros and cons of surgical intervention
Fallen arches and flat feet can impact a person’s ability to walk or run. If you are dealing with pain and other issues due to flat feet, a podiatrist can provide you with simple solutions to ease discomfort and improve how your feet function as a whole.
By Iowa Foot & Ankle Clinic
February 15, 2021
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Smelly Feet  
Smelly FeetIt’s an embarrassing problem. Smelly feet can make you feel self-conscious. You can’t get comfortable or take your shoes off without worrying that everyone will notice your stinky feet. Have you ever wondered what might be going on to cause this problem in the first place? While some people are more prone to smelly feet than others, your podiatrist can provide you with some tips to get rid of offensive-smelling foot odors.
 
Did you know that there are about 250,000 sweat glands in a pair of feet? Sweat glands are more heavily concentrated in the feet than any other part of the body so it’s not too surprising that you may deal with smelly feet at some point. Common causes for stinky feet include:
 
Poor ventilation: If you wear shoes all day, or you choose shoes made from non-breathable materials, then you may find yourself dealing with some pretty offensive feet at the end of the day. Give your feet some time to breathe or look for shoes made from more breathable fabrics.
 
Bacteria: Just like the rest of your body, there are bacteria on your feet that also thrive off sweat. Unfortunately, when the bacteria feed off sweat they also produce acid, which is responsible for that unpleasant odor.
 
Fungus: Unfortunately, our feet are also a popular place for fungus because they are warm, moist, and prone to sweat. Even if bacteria aren’t to blame, it could be a fungus. If you are dealing with a red, itchy rash on your feet, you could have Athlete’s foot, which can also cause smelly feet.
 
Hormones: Sometimes hormones can play a role. That’s why teens and pregnant women are more likely to deal with this problem.
 
How to Treat Smelly Feet
If you are dealing with smelly feet, some simple remedies help. Some of these home remedies include,
  • Wash feet at least once a day with soap and warm water. Make sure that you dry your feet thoroughly after.
  • Make sure to dry feet as soon as possible after dealing with sweaty or perspiring feet.
  • Choose socks made from materials that wick away sweat and improve ventilation.
  • Apply deodorizing sprays or powders in shoes every day after wear, and make sure to wait 24 hours before wearing the same shoes again.
If you’ve tried the at-home options above and you’re still dealing with smelly feet, then it’s worth turning to your podiatrist for more effective solutions. Some prescription-strength medications and sprays can help target bacteria and fungus, and also reduce perspiration.
 
Those dealing with hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating, may find electrical stimulation to be an effective way to reduce severe and heavy sweating caused by this condition.
 
We know that even though bromodosis isn’t dangerous, that it can still be embarrassing. If you are having trouble getting your smelly feet under control, your podiatrist can help.
By Iowa Foot & Ankle Clinic
February 02, 2021
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Foot Care   Dry Feet  
At-Home Care for Dry FeetDry, flaky feet are incredibly common, particularly during the cold, winter months; however, if you find yourself dealing with dry or cracked feet throughout the year, especially around the heels, you may be wondering what you can do about it. Instead of just waiting until your feet become dry and flaky, your podiatrist can provide you with some easy skin care tips to keep your feet supple and free from dry skin all year long.
 
Wear Appropriate, Supportive Footwear

Certain shoes can leave you prone to cracked heels and dry skin due to friction from wearing loose-fitted shoes. People who wear sandals and other open-heeled shoes are more at risk for developing cracked heels. Instead, opt for closed-heeled shoes that fit properly and provide support.
 
Lose Excess Weight

If you are overweight, you may be surprised to discover that this could be contributing to your dry, cracked heels. This is because your feet take on all of your weight while standing, walking, and running. By safely dropping that excess weight through a healthy diet and regular exercise you can alleviate some of the pressure placed on your heels to reduce the risk of cracking.
 
Avoid Hot Showers

While we know just how luxurious it feels to stand in a steaming hot shower, especially during the winter months, this could be contributing to dry skin on your feet and cracked heels. If this is something you deal with regularly you may look at your current bathing or showering ritual to see if that could be the culprit. Simply use warm and not hot water, which can strip the skin of the oils it needs to stay moist.
 
Apply a Moisturizer

You should moisturize your feet every day to prevent dry skin from happening in the first place. Moisturizers that contain lactic acid, glycerin, or petroleum jelly can help to lock in moisture in your feet. Moisturize every time you get out of the shower and throughout the day, especially before going to bed. If you are prone to very dry, cracked feet, you may wish to moisturize and then wear socks to bed.
 
If these simple home measures don’t work, then you’ll want to consult your podiatrist to see if they can recommend a prescription-strength moisturizer or cream to reduce dryness and inflammation. Since dry, cracked feet can sometimes be a sign of an underlying health problem like diabetes, it’s a good idea to see your doctor if you’re dealing with this problem regularly.
 
While dry skin isn’t usually a concern for healthy individuals, if you have diabetes, you’ll need to be extra careful when it comes to treating even minor problems like dry, cracked, or flaky skin. To be on the safe side, it’s best to speak with a qualified podiatrist to find out how to treat cracked skin to prevent infection. Call your foot doctor today.
By Iowa Foot & Ankle Clinic
January 05, 2021
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Blisters  
What To Do About BlistersEverything from wearing shoes that are a little too loose to increasing the number of miles you run can leave you dealing with painful blisters on your feet. Blisters can be quite a nuisance, making it difficult to move around, especially when wearing shoes. If you deal with blisters rather regularly here are some simple ways to treat the problem.
 
Keep the Blister Intact

If possible, try to keep the blister intact. Do not try to pop or drain a blister that hasn’t popped on its own. It’s important not to put pressure on the blister, so avoid any shoes that may be too tight. If you’re going to put on shoes, make sure to apply a bandage (some band-aids are designed specifically for covering blisters) to the area first.
 
Keep Popped Blisters Clean

If the blister popped on its own, clean it with warm water soap (do not use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide on the blister). Once the area is clean, apply an over-the-counter antibiotic cream to the area and apply a bandage over the blister. These simple steps can prevent an infection from occurring.
 
Drain the Blister Yourself

You should only drain a blister if it’s very large, painful, or affects your ability to move. In this case, you should sterilize a needle with alcohol and then make a small hole in the blister to let it drain. You may need to carefully squeeze the blister to help it drain fully. Once the blister has drained, rinse out the area with soap and warm water before applying antibiotic cream to the area and placing a bandage over it.
 
Replace Bandages Daily

You mustn’t keep the same bandage on your blister day in and day out. You should check the blister every day to make sure it isn’t infected. You should clean the area daily with soap and water and then reapply another bandage.
 
Of course, if you have diabetes or nerve damage in your feet, you mustn't try to drain or treat the blister yourself. Even something as small as a blister could become infected or lead to serious complications. You should see your podiatrist right away for any blisters that develop on your feet.
 
If you develop signs of infection such as pus, increased redness, or swelling of the blister, you must see your podiatrist right away for treatment. While blisters aren’t usually a cause for concern in most healthy individuals, it’s also important that you practice good foot care to prevent blisters from happening.
By Iowa Foot & Ankle Clinic
December 02, 2020
Category: Foot Care
What To Do for a High Foot ArchHere’s what you can do to prevent foot pain caused by high arches.

If you have high arches, you may notice them but not experience any problems; however, those with high arches bear more weight on the balls and heels of the feet. Over time, you may develop corns, calluses, hammertoes, painful calf muscles, or foot pain. If you have high arches, a podiatrist can provide you with a variety of ways to support your feet to prevent these problems.

Consider wearing custom orthotics

Orthotics are special devices that are placed inside the shoes to improve stability and to cushion the foot. These devices can reduce shock absorption while standing, walking, or running. While there are over-the-counter orthotics that you can buy, they aren’t specifically designed to fit your feet or treat the issues you’re dealing with.

A podiatrist can provide you with custom-fitted orthotics that can help to support the arches of your feet and distribute weight more evenly among the foot to prevent heel pain and pain in the ball of the foot.

Wear shoes that support your feet

You must be also wearing shoes that can accommodate your high arches, especially if you are on your feet most of the day or participate in physical activities. Those with high arches are prone to stress fractures and ankle sprains, and you must consider shoes that have,
  • A high top that can cushion and support the ankles
  • A spacious toe box that won’t put pressure on the toes or cause irritation to preexisting deformities such as hammertoes or bunions
  • A midsole that has added cushioning to reduce pressure
  • A high-abrasion rubber outsole that will provide more durability (especially important for running shoes and athletic footwear)
If you are prone to Achilles tendonitis because of your high arches you may also look for a shoe that offers a little heel lift, which can take the stress off the Achilles tendon and the arches of the feet.

Talk to your podiatrist about bracing

In some cases, your podiatrist may also recommend bracing the feet and ankles to help stabilize them and provide additional support. If your podiatrist has told you that you also have a drop foot, which means that you have trouble lifting the front of your foot, then bracing may also be a great way to manage this problem and provide a more natural and comfortable gait when walking.

While high arches alone aren’t a cause for concern it can be good to know about potential issues that it can cause along the way so you can take the necessary precautions now to protect your feet. If you are dealing with foot pain or other problems, a podiatrist can help.


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Iowa Foot & Ankle Clinic

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