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Summers in Florida (or any Southern state) can be brutal. Aside from all of the torrential downpurs and the threat of hurricanes is the HEAT. Heat that just hangs over us like a dense fog. But how does the weather affect our feet?
A blister is a small pocket of fluid that can develop on any part of your body. In regards to the feet, the main cause of this condition is due to friction, like when you are walking along the beach on a summer afternoon. Walking or standing for several hours each day can put pressure on your heels, soles, and toes. In many cases. blisters can form from ill-fitting shoes, whether they are too loose or too tight. When the shoes rub up against the skin, the fluid builds up underneath the upper layer of skin.
In relation to the heat, blisters arise from excessive moisture or perspiration. When the foot's sweat clogs up the glands, a blister can form. In addition to being heat related, this is commonly seen in athletes or runner who are wearing sneakers often.
Keeping your feet dry and wearing properly fitting shoes are they keys to preventing blisters. Although there are many home treatments for this condition, if the problem persists, please call a podiatrist to see what your best treatment option is.
Heat rash is usually characterized by small rashes, red bumps all over a patch of skin. Sometimes they can even get large enough to resember hives or welts. Another sign is that the little bumps itch... badly. and itching them can make it worse!! Heat rashes develop on overheated skin. When the sweat glands are blocked, sweat builds up under the skin, creating the reddish bumps. Because in the summertime we have humif air and plenty of moisure, you can get is pretty easily in places that do not get enough cool, dry air, like your feet.
So what do you do about it? First thing's first, do NOT put moisuturizer on it, you are only going to block the sweat glands and make it worse! You SHOULD: Keep your feet cool and dry (take off those shoes and socks!), get an anti-itch powder for your socks, change your socks often, and alternate your shoes to allow them to breathe. For immediate relief, use some calamine lotion or OTC hydrocortisone cream on the itchy patches. The important thing is to just let your feet breathe and stay dry as much as possible!
Athlete's Foot, or tinea pedis, is a skin disease that affects the sole of the foot and the skin between the toes. Usually, it has a scaly, red, raw appeatance and occasionally might have small, oozing blisters and it can affect both athletes and non-athletes. Frequently, it is caused by a fungal infection and contracted in locations where there is a lot of human contact, such as gyms, locker rooms, swimming pools, and nail salons. Athlete's foot has also been called "jungle rot", a term used by members of the armed services serving in tropical climates.
These fungal infections are enhanced by warmth and moisture, especially by wearing closed-toes shoes in this summer heat! Up to 70% of the population may develop athlete's foot at some time in their life. There are a wide variety of products on the market for this condition, but there are even more options available to you when you see a doctor.
If you are having any consistent or recurring issues with any of these heat-related conditions, please call our office today! Being unfortable is no way to spend your summer and we may have some solutions available to you that you never even knew of. These are conditions seen very commonly in our office and our highly skilled team is ready to help you take the first step towards better foot health. Contact us as (239) 936-2454 for all of your foot care needs!
Do you have tingling in your toes? Does the pain or sensation keep you awake at night?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have what we call peripheral neuropathy. And don't worry, you're not alone.
Around 20 million people in the United States suffer from some form of peripheral neuropathy, which is a condition that develops due to some kind of damage to your peripheral nervous system. This nervous system is the communication netowrk that send information from your brain and spinal cord to every other part of the body. The word neuropathy itself means nerve disease, or damage. There are a range of symptoms such as numbness and tingling, or pricking sensations (paresthesia), or muscle weakness. Areas of the body may become hypersensitive which leads to intense feelings of touch and pain may occur in response to something that ususally does not cause pain. Even more severe symptoms include burning pain (especially at night), muscle wasting, paralysis, or organ dysfunction.
The peripheral nerves that are affected send information back to the brain and spinal cord, such as messages when your feet are cold. They also carry signals from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles to get your body to move! Damage to your peripheral nervous system can interfere with these messages. Just like static on a terephone line, neuropathy distorts and interrupts messages from your brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body.
But what causes this condition???
- Physical injury - from accidents or repetitive motions
- Diseases or disorders - diabetes, vasculitis, autoimmune diseases, kidney conditions, cancer, infections
- Exposure to toxins - medication toxicity, environmental toxins, heavy alcohol consumption
- Genetics - this can also be inherited if there is a family history, but this finding is relatively new and research is currently being done
What do we recommend?
If you think that you may be experiencing the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy in the feet, it is important for you to see a doctor as soon as you can to discuss your treatment options. If you are in the early stages, there may be more options than if you are catching this at a later stage. Our group is very experienced with managing individuals with this condition and we are happy to help you take the first step towards feeling better! Give us a call today! (239) 936-2454
Common Pediatric Foot Problems
Children are often the joys in our lives, but what happens when that little bundle of joy develops pain and problems in the feet? It pains us to see our children in pain, but the solution might be as simple as seeing your friendly, neightborhood podiatrist! Foot problems in your child may appear at birth, shortly after, or once they have started walking. But when is the right time to call in a doctor to examine their feet?
Pediatric Heel Pain
In-toeing or Out-toeing in Children
Toe-Walking in Children
Bunions in Children
Flatfeet in Children (Over pronation in Children)
Ingrown Toenails in Children
So you trip and fall walking your dog one afternoon and your ankle swells up... What do you do?
B. Go to the emergency room
C. Leave it alone, it'll probably be fine
D. See a podiatrist
If you selected B, you are probably right, as you might want to see a doctor right away depending on the severity. But after you are discharged, you definitely will want to see a podiatrist for your follow up care. Even selecting answer D right away and calling a local podiatrist can save you time & money and you can see someone who is specialized in those kinds of injuries.
So what is a podiatrist???
The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) classifies a podiatrist as a doctor of podiatric medicine (very specific right?). In other words, a podiatrist is a physician who treats the foot, ankle and related structures of the leg. This can include preventative care and foot care management as well as acute injuries. Podiatrists complete 4 years of training in a medical school and three years of hospital residency training similar to that of other physicians. They can also focus in different fields such as surgery, sports medicine, wound care, pediatrics, and diabetic care.
You may be wondering, why is all of this information important?? Well, your feet play a very important role in your daily life. Imagine if you lost your feet; what would you do? You'd have to rethink how you get around and perform your daily activities! Not only are they important, feet are very complex structures as they stabilize, absorb shock, and propel you into all of life's challenges. Avoiding problems such as wounds, fungus, callous buildup, imbalance, and flat feet are all things that a podiatrist can help you do through regular visits.
If you are interested in learning more about the role of feet in your health, please schedule an appointment with Lee Podiatry, where we'd like to help you take the first step towards feeling better! (239) 936-2454
Stay tuned for new blog posts every week!