Learn about the symptoms, causes, and treatment options
Most of us have a love-hate relationship with our feet. We love how they enable us to get around and perhaps how they look in certain shoes, but may hate how big they are or how sweaty they can get. And just like any other part of the body, feet can develop certain issues. These could be due to wear and tear–people who have to be on their feet all day understand this–or something passed down genetically.
Because our feet are so important, getting problems evaluated and taken care of quickly is vital. Here are some common foot ailments and how to deal with them:
Don’t let the name fool you; not only athletes can get athlete’s foot. Common in warm climates, this is caused when feet remain wet or sweaty for long periods of time. As a result, a fungus forms on the bottoms of feet or in between the toes and leads to itching and burning.
• To avoid it: Keep feet dry and be sure to regularly change your shoes and socks.
• If you are currently suffering: Some over-the-counter ointments work. If the case is severe, you may need to get a prescription for a stronger, more specialized medication from a podiatrist.
If your big toe points inward and looks crooked, chances are you have a bunion. It could be caused by an injury, arthritis, or heredity. While poor-fitting shoes won’t cause a bunion, they could make it more painful.
• To avoid them: If diagnosed early, it’s possible for the development of bunions to be slowed or stopped with the use of orthotics.
• If you are currently suffering: Shoes that fit looser can offer more comfort, and anti-inflammatory medications can also help. If pain is persistent, surgery may be the best option for relief.
If you constantly experience heel pain, it’s possible that you have plantar fasciitis. The ligament that connects your toes to your heel bone is called the plantar fascia. If it is strained or injured, it can become weak or inflamed, which will cause discomfort in your heel or the bottom of your foot when pressure is applied to the area.
• To avoid it: It’s important to wear shoes that have good arch supports. Maintaining a healthy weight and getting regular exercise can also improve the condition.
• If you are currently suffering: Limit the amount of time you spend on your feet, especially hard surfaces. Ice and over-the-counter medications can help with the pain. Talk to a doctor about getting custom orthotics.
Corns and calluses
Corns and calluses are thick areas of skin caused by constant pressure or rubbing. Corns typically show up on the tops or sides of toes, while calluses usually form on the bottom of feet.
• To avoid them: Only wear shoes that have been fitted properly. When the soles wear out, make sure to get new shoes as soon as you can.
• If you are currently suffering: Once you’re in a new pair of comfortable shoes and there’s no longer any friction, the corns and calluses may go away on their own. Moleskin pads and moisturizing creams can also be beneficial. If an abnormal foot structure or hip rotation is causing them, your podiatrist may recommend orthotics or possibly even surgery.
If you are experiencing these problems or any others, get in touch with the office of Dr. Nina Coletta. We’ll figure out what’s wrong and get you and your feet feeling better again quickly. To make an appointment, call us at 954.425.4590 or just fill out our online form.