- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Pain that occurs immediately after an injury or accident
- Pain that is directly above a bone
- Pain that is worse with movement
- Bruising and severe swelling
- A cracking sound at the moment of injury
- A visible deformity or bump
- Can’t put weight on the injured foot
The symptoms of a sprain are far less severe. You can often put weight on the injured foot with a sprain; however, you may notice some slight pain and stiffness. You may also have heard a popping sound at the moment of the injury with a sprain, while a broken bone often produces a cracking sound. The pain associated with a sprain will also be above soft tissue rather than bone. A podiatrist will perform an X-ray to be able to determine if you are dealing with a break or a sprain.
Rest is key to allowing an injury, particularly a fracture, to heal properly. Along with rest, your doctor may also recommend either an over-the-counter or prescription-strength pain reliever, depending on the severity of your fracture. Those with more moderate to severe fractures may require a special boot, brace, or splint. Those with more severe fractures may need to wear a cast and use crutches, so they can avoid putting any weight on the foot.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Keeping an active lifestyle is so beneficial. But, did you know that your job or daily jog may contribute to an inflammatory condition in your feet? It's called plantar fasciitis, and it impacts the connective tissue between your heel and toes. At Hampton Roads Foot and Ankle Specialists in Williamsburg, VA, Dr. Sara Bouraee and Dr. Jon Houseworth detect and treat this common podiatric issue.
How plantar fasciitis happens
Advancing age and increased body weight (obesity) contribute to the pain and burning across the arch of the foot. Poor gait (specifically a rotation of the foot toward the midline of the body), flat arches and simple overuse escalate plantar fasciitis.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) says about two million adults in the United State develop this issue every year. However, most of these people manage symptoms well and avoid corrective surgery (plantar fascia release) when they promptly seek medical care.
Diagnosis and intervention
Dr. Bouraee and Dr. Houseworth do a simple hands-on and eyes-on exam at Hampton Roads Foot and Ankle Specialists in Williamsburg, VA. Most people report pain right in front of the heel. The discomfort increases when the podiatrist flexes the foot. The doctor may take an X-ray to locate any heel spurs as bony projections can accompany plantar fasciitis.
Treatment plans usually include a customized combination of:
- Stretching exercises for the foot and calf
- Over the counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories (ibuprofen)
- Resting and application of ice packs
- Cortisone injections to the arch to reduce inflammation
- Shoes with good arch support
- Use of customized orthotics to cushion and balance poor gait
- Achieving and keeping a healthy body weight
- Wearing night splints to prevent foot drop as you sleep (most effective for young patients)
American Family Physician reports that 14 percent of people with symptoms of plantar fasciitis improve significantly by simply wearing quality shoes with an adequate report in the arches and heels.
Treat your feet well
Don't ignore the symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Relieve them with the help of Dr. Sara Bouraee and Dr. Jon Houseworth. Call today for an appointment at either of our two offices. For Hampton Roads Foot and Ankle Specialists in Williamsburg, VA, phone (757) 220-3311 and in Hampton, VA, call (757) 224-7605.
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