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Wednesday, 26 July 2017 00:00

Your Feet in Summer

The weather has changed so drastically – do you even remember what winter felt like? Something along the lines of, “it was a bit colder,” right? Along with the change in weather comes a change in the way you should care for your feet.

Now that we are smack dab in the middle of the summer, you probably find yourself thinking about ways to keep cooler. This may include wearing tank tops, shorts, and some flip flops or sandals. But we want to warn you, don’t forget about foot care just because it’s summer!

Your feet in the summer are prone to getting hot, sweaty, burned, cut, and/or injured. The following are some tips to address these consequences in order to best care for your feet as you try to beat the heat!

  • Hot: You’ll be leaning towards wearing shoes that do not fully enclose your feet. This usually means flip-flops and sandals. While they can be great for staying cool, it can also mean that you risk leaving your feet unsupported. To prevent foot issues, it’s best to have good cushioning, arch support, and heel cupping. Many flip-flops, sandals, and even flats do not always have these qualities. Look for sandals that have more of the qualities that keep them stable and supported.
  • Sweaty: If you choose to stay supported by wearing sneakers or custom orthotic shoes, make sure you carry around extra socks to change into in case they become soaked (especially if you have hyperhidrosis)
  • Burned: The summer sun can leave your skin, including the skin on your feet, with a burn. If you’ll be out in the sun and your feet will be exposed, make sure to use sunblock all the way down to your feet.
  • Cut and/or Injured: It’s tempting to take off your shoes and walk around on the grass or other surface while barefoot, but it exposes you to other possible problems. You can get cut from broken shards of glass. You can get bruised or injured from small pebbles you may not see. You can even get bitten by a colony of feisty ants if you accidentally step on an anthill! Additionally, going barefoot exposes you to infection, especially on shared floors, like at community pools and locker room showers.

Also, don’t forget to stay hydrated! The summer heat and sun can get pretty brutal, so if you plan to be out for a long time, bring some water with you. If you get dry cracked heels from wearing sandals, it may be a sign that you need more hydration and moisturizing!

Do you have additional concerns about summer foot care tips? Come see our podiatrist, Dr. Jonathan M. Kletz of Texas Foot WorksMake an appointment today at any of our Abrams (Dallas)Athens, and Gun Barrell City, TX offices.

Published in Blog
Friday, 21 July 2017 00:00

Nutritious Food for Your Feet

Have you seen those commercials that say that eating their foods can help you be healthier? Eat this cereal to lower cholesterol. Drink this product to build strong bones. Eat spinach to get strong. (Okay, that last one was from the cartoon Popeye, but still.)

Have you ever seen any commercials telling you what to eat for healthier feet? Probably not. It’s another way that your feet can get neglected when considering your overall health. If you think about it, your feet have bones, joints, tissues, and skin, just like the rest of your body. So eating for your feet benefits your whole body!

So what are some foods that you should make sure to include in your diet?

For starters, dairy products and dark, leafy greens like spinach have the calcium needed for strong bones. Make sure to have some each day, as well as some sunlight for vitamin D (which helps to absorb calcium into the bones).

Raw vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish are all foods that have a variety of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and enzymes. Foods like ginger, walnuts, and salmon have great anti-inflammatory properties. Enzymes, as well as protein, are needed to assist with muscle repair, especially after a workout. Those with arthritis pain should look for anti-inflammatory foods and stay away from sugar and fried foods.

And don’t forget about your skin! Make sure to drink plenty of water (bonus if you have electrolytes) to increase circulation, support muscle tissues, and keep skin hydrated. Foods with antioxidants such as wild blueberries and dark chocolate can help your tissues stay nourished and help protect skin and bones from cancer.

Don’t forget about exercise!

While healthy food is helpful for foot health, exercise is also important for preventing injuries and disease. Weight bearing exercises help to build strong bones, while stretching and strengthening allows for flexibility and resilience. Since your body needs to “eat” some Vitamin D from sunlight, try to get in an outdoor workout, such as running, biking, or hiking a few times a week. Remember that while cardiovascular workouts are great, some weight lifting can also do the body good.

Need more information on how to improve foot health? Come see our podiatrist, Dr. Jonathan M. Kletz of Texas Foot WorksMake an appointment today at any of our Abrams (Dallas)Athens, and Gun Barrell City, TX offices.

Published in Blog
Thursday, 13 July 2017 00:00

Caring for Arthritic Feet

If you’ve got arthritis, it can really affect your quality of life. Simple things, even just walking around and standing, can be such a painful activity. Because it can affect any joints, the feet and ankles, which have 33 joints, are particularly susceptible to pain. The disease is primarily one of inflammation and stiffness, so it’s not something easily treated with surgery or other procedures. It’s a disease managed by lifestyle changes, medications, and pain management.

We always want our patients to be educated in their self-management of the disease. The following are some ways you can care for your arthritic feet and ankles:

Find what works and doesn’t work for you.

  • No two arthritis patients have the same symptoms or issues.
  • Some activities and foods are particularly aggressive triggers for inflammation and pain. Keep track of the foods you eat (sugary foods can trigger flare ups, while omega-3s are helpful), the activities that give you pain, and how much sleep you’re getting.
  • Fatigue can worsen your body condition, so make sure to get enough sleep.
  • Too much stress can also aggravate the problem.

Stay active, but balance it with rest.

  • Exercising regularly can help you feel better. Increasing muscles around your arthritic joints can help support them when they are weak. Staying in shape helps prevent overweight problems, which negatively affects arthritis.
  • Stay away from high-impact activities, however, as they can worsen arthritis pain. Swimming and walking are great exercises for arthritis patients.
  • Make sure to include times for rest and recovery. If your lifestyle is usually a go, go, go type of life, you may have to schedule times of rest.

Make changes.

  • Purchase shoes that are comfortable and supportive. Consult with our podiatrist if need be, to get orthotics that can alleviate pressure and pain.
  • At home, make changes to suit your needs. If you spend a lot of time standing, use foam mats to give you cushioning. Indoor slippers with extra cushioning can also help to relieve joint pressure.

Early treatment can help to slow down the progress of the disease. If you suspect arthritis, especially if it runs in the family, check for symptoms often. If you are suffering from foot pain due to arthritis, come see our podiatrist, Dr. Jonathan M. Kletz of Texas Foot WorksMake an appointment today at any of our Abrams (Dallas)Athens, and Gun Barrell City, TX offices.

Published in Blog
Friday, 07 July 2017 00:00

Got Dry Heels?

If you like to wear open-backed shoes, such as sandals, you are more prone to experiencing heel fissures or calluses. Without the support of the back of your shoes, the heels of your feet are subject to friction from sliding around. In addition, exposure to the open air can cause dry skin around the heel. Dry, cracked skin and calluses can occur on the heels and be not only annoying, but painful as well.

 

To treat mild to moderately dry heel fissures and calluses, try some of the following:

  • Hydrate: Drink plenty of water throughout the day. If you’re dehydrated, you may also notice dry skin on other parts of your body as well.
  • Exfoliate: After a warm foot soak, use a pumice stone to scrub off the dry skin cells. Putting Epsom salt and/or honey in your foot soak is helpful for healing. If you happen to be by the beach, a walk in the sand can also help exfoliate dry feet.
  • Moisturize: Especially after exfoliating, put on some lotion and let it soak into the heels. Be careful not to slip on non-carpeted floors – wearing socks can help with that.
  • Cover Your Heels: If you happen to wear backless shoes, it may be helpful to wear shoes with backs for a while, or at least to wear backless shoes less often.
  • Treat Infections: If your skin looks infected, clean it and then treat with antibiotic ointments or creams. Protect the heels by wearing socks to prevent another infection.

 

Be aware, however, that dry, cracked heels can also be caused by tinea pedis, also known as Athlete’s Foot. Dry skin and fungal infections have similar symptoms, so it could be hard to treat. When your regular moisturizing techniques do not work, it’s safer to assume that you’ve got athlete’s foot and use medication that will treat the fungal infection. You can sanitize everything and use over-the-counter medication to treat the condition.

 

To properly treat your symptoms, whether it be heel fissures or athlete’s foot, consult our podiatrist, Dr. Jonathan M. Kletz of Texas Foot Works. This is also important if you have heel fissures or calluses that are extremely painful, bleeding, or are infected. Make an appointment today at any of our Abrams (Dallas)Athens, and Gun Barrell City, TX offices.

Published in Blog
Thursday, 06 July 2017 00:00

Lawn Mower Safety for Feet

Spring and summer are prime time for that fresh cut grass smell. But in order to get that smell, you need to mow your lawn. Some people find that time to be rewarding, but for others, it’s usually a teenager’s chore. Not only do you have to beat the summer sun and heat, you also have to be careful of the dangers of using a power lawn mower. Unfortunately there are thousands of hand and foot injuries each year, with even children and pets being accidentally involved.

There are several precautions to take when using a power mower, whether you are 12 or 70 years old. Remember to protect all parts of your body, including your feet when using these machines. The following are some safety tips that we recommend you follow:

Sun safety

  • You should only mow the lawn in good weather so that the grass is dry and you have less of a chance of slipping.
  • Remember to wear sunblock.

Protective Gear and Tools

  • Goggles, ear protectors, and gloves help protect you from flying objects and the loud lawn mowers. Use closed-toed shoes and long pants to protect from flying objects.
  • Use a stick to clear debris and stuck lawn cuttings instead of your hands as the rotary blades could have tension that suddenly releases.
  • Auto-shut off lawn mowers will reduce accidents from when you have to suddenly let go of the handle, such as if you were to slip.

Prepare the area

  • Remove any branches, toys, and other debris before you begin so that nothing gets stuck or flung out from under the mower.
  • Make sure children and pets are safely inside and kept far away from the mower. It’s best not to go in reverse, as you never know what’s behind you.

Proper Usage

  • Follow all safety instructions of the mowers, especially maintenance instructions. Improperly maintained mowers can cause injuries as well. Let lawn mowers cool before adding more fuel.
  • Do not allow children to ride with you on riding mowers as they can get injured if they fall off or as they get off the machine.
  • Do your best not to mow up and down, but rather across the lawn on hills.

Do you have a strain or sprain from working in your yard? If it’s not a severe injury (in which case you should go to the emergency department), come see Dr. Jonathan M. Kletz of Texas Foot WorksMake an appointment today at any of our Abrams (Dallas)Athens, and Gun Barrell City, TX offices.

Published in Blog
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