Frequently Asked Questions and fun foot facts all in one location! Our patients love to ask a myriad of questions! We try to answer them all - sometimes we even have to write a full length article on them, so take a look at our library as well. Have a question about your feet and ankles? You may find your answer here. Gait issues? Problems with shoes and socks? We have answers. Want more? Contact us and ask a question. We will answer!
The most common cause of heel pain is what is known as plantar fasciitis. This is inflammation of a ligament on the bottom of the foot called the "plantar fascia" at its point where it attaches to the heel. What you can do first, is avoid walking barefoot. Then, wear a shoe with a good arch support, ice the heel, and take an anti-inflammatory such as Motrin or Advil. If this does not help, see your podiatrist so your problem does not become chronic and more difficult to treat.
Perspiration in a dark moist environment is the perfect place for fungal producing athletes’ foot. Athletes’ foot can spread around locker rooms, spas, pools and other public areas. It is important that you protect your feet in these areas and wear flips flops, crocs etc… Other ways to avoid athletes’ foot is to dry well between your feet after bathing, applying an anti-fungal powder to your feet, wear socks that are made of fibers that can wick away sweat (such as the newer synthetic athletic socks or natural materials such as cotton or wool), change socks often if your feet sweat excessively, avoid sharing shoes. There is a product called "Summer Soles" which is a very thin removable and replaceable inlay for your shoes and sandals that does a marvelous job of wicking the sweat off your feet so your feet feel dry and comfortable.
Why do my feet itch so much? Why does it seem to happen more in the summer time even though I'm not wearing closed in shoes? Why does it itch more some days but not others? All good questions! Let's talk a little about itchy feet.
Many people have itchy feet simply from dry skin. Their skin is drier in the summer because they are either going barefoot or wearing sandals most of the time. They also don't habitually put moisturizer on like they do in the winter time. They also may be predisposed to dry skin from underlying medical problems like diabetes, poor circulation or hypothyroidism. Luckily dry skin has a simple fix! Exfoliate your feet with a combination of a cream or lotion that contains urea or lactic acid coupled with a gentle buffer. If you do this a few times a week, it should alleviate all the itching of alligator feet.
But what if you don't simply have dry skin? Perhaps you have a fungal infection. Chronic itchy feet from an underlying tinea pedis (also known as athlete's foot fungus) is extremely common. It is more common in the summer due to increasingly sweaty feet. Fungus loves sweaty feet! Take a look at the skin on the bottom of your feet and in between your toes. Do you have a wet whitish peeling look to the skin in between your toes? This is called maceration. It happens when you toes are wet a lot or have been submerged in water for a long time; but it is also a hallmark of interdigital tinea pedis or fungus in between your toes. Check out the bottom of your feet. Does the skin have little red bumps or scaling skin in the pattern on very small circles? This is also indicative of fungus. The great thing about athlete's foot fungus is that it is easily treated with a topical medication and then decontaminating your shoes. Keep your feet clean and dry and make sure you change your socks if you sweat a lot.
So you don't think its dry skin and you don't have the hallmark signs of fungus? Another common problem is contact dermatitis. You may have contact dermatitis if you have a red, scaly, itchy rash and it is in the pattern of your new sandals or perhaps socks. You can also get contact dermatitis from a new cream or tanning lotion. Any kind of topical allergen can cause a skin reaction. I've even seen dermatitis from an ankle bracelet! Contact dermatitis is usually a new problem and a little detective work will help you find the culprit! Topical treatment with a steroid cream coupled with removing the allergen usually rapidly relieves the itchy rash. Rarely an oral steroid is needed to calm down the itching and alleviate the rash.
Other causes of itchy feet can be any kind of skin problem like eczema or psoriasis. Most people will see a telltale skin rash prior to the itching and are familiar with the symptoms they have in other area of their skin. Treatments vary depending on the underlying skin problem.
So these are the top reasons for itchy feet: chronic dry skin, tinea pedis, or a dermatitis or skin disorder. Itchy feet driving you nuts? If your detective work falls short, and your itching persists; it is time to visit your podiatrist. Skin scrapings or a biopsy can often help find the culprit and eliminate the annoying itch!
Between 70 and 85 percent of all people have biomechanical imperfections, yet not all these people require orthotic control.
Orthotics are prescribed to:
- Reduce pain
- Provide support
- Prevent or slow down the development of a foot deformity
- Provide better positioning of the foot, knee and hips
- Improve the overall biomechanical function of the body
When a runner gets a series of nagging injuries one after the other, they are probably caused by a biomechanical flaw and can be corrected by orthotics. Runners who suffer from chronic knee pain, arch pain, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, hip and lower back pain and certain types of muscular fatigue very often benefit from orthotics.