Help! I’m Being Attacked By My Ingrown Toenail!

Posted by on Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Your big toe hurts. More specifically your big toe’s toenail hurts. Hmm, better take a look down there–AAUGH!! What’s that? My toenail looks like it’s shrinking and sinking under the skin of my toe! Is my toe attacking my toenail?! Toenail! Toenail! Can you hear me? What’s happening? TOENAIL!!!!

Chances are pretty good that your toenail is not going to answer you, so I’m going to have to be the one to break the news: it sounds like you have an ingrown toenail.

If the Shoe Fits, Part II: Buying Children’s Shoes

Posted by on Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Yesterday we talked about buying the right-sized shoes for you, an adult (I doubt many eight year olds are reading this, but if there are any, welcome future podiatrists!). Today let’s look at some helpful hints for buying shoes for children.

  • When should my child start wearing shoes? Babies’ feet will develop and strengthen best by going barefoot, so there’s really no need to buy them shoes until they begin to walk. Think the twelve-fifteen months age range, when you’ll be ready to go out and have some fun bonding time with your child.

If the Shoe Fits: Choose the Right Size Shoe

Posted by on Monday, February 27th, 2012

What size shoe do you wear?

Sounds like an easy question, right? But if someone asked me, my answer wouldn’t be an enthusiastic “6 1/2.” It would be more like, “6 1/2, sometimes 6, a 7 in running shoes, probably boots, too, so I have room for heavier socks…” I’m sure most people would give a similar response.

The primary reason we don’t know our shoe size is that shoe manufacturers all use different molds that can result in radically different sizes, sometimes even within the same brand. Moreover, your feet change size as you get older; wear on them makes them stretch and spread out, so the shoe size you thought you wore for the last two years may no longer be valid.. That’s why buying shoes online is often a bad idea, even if you think you know what size you wear in a specific brand. The best way to buy shoes is still the old-fashioned way: in person.

Turf Toe: A Real Pain in the Foot

Posted by on Friday, February 24th, 2012

You may overhear conversations like this sometime during the summer or fall:

Fantasy Team Owner 1: What?! Williams is out AGAIN? I need him to win my match up this week!

Fantasy Team Owner 2: What’s wrong with him?

Fantasy Team Owner 1: He’s got turf toe.

Fantasy Team Owner 2: Turf toe? He can’t play with some little toe injury?!

Fantasy Team Owner 1: I know, seriously? What a baby.

No, not a baby at all! Turf toe sounds like it should be a mild little injury, just a little nick. However, turf toe is actually a painful injury that lingers on and on and on and makes it difficult for anyone to run or walk. Do not sneer at turf toe.

Hammertoes! What are They and What Should You Do About Them?

Posted by on Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

There are so many injuries and deformities that can happen to your feet (after all, feet: you wear them every day). Some of them you may know about, some may be less familiar. In this blog, I hope to try to cover as many as possible so you’ll be able to recognize and understand what’s going on with your feet.

And that brings us to today’s topic: Hammertoes! (The exclamation point is there because you have to have an exclamation point when the word “hammer” is involved.)

Whenever I hear the word hammertoe, I always find myself thinking, “Isn’t that a type of shark?” But no–it is a deformity where a person’s toes curl under, giving them the appearance of a claw hammer.

Can Smelly Feet Save Lives?

Posted by on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Whether you’re traveling to a tropical area for business, pleasure, or to do some good, one of the things you’re bound to be warned about before you leave is malaria. There’s a good reason for that–malaria is one of the plagues of the developing world. The disease is transmitted by a type of mosquito that thrives in tropical climates. The seriousness of a bout of malaria ranges from a few days of debilitating sickness (think chills, vomiting, diarrhea) to death. Even the lightest, non-fatal strains of malaria can be devastating for those who are already weakened from malnutrition or who are not able to get the kind of medical care that can help them manage related problems such as dehydration.Over 200 million people contract malaria each year, and 780,000 die from the disease. Most of those who die from malaria are young, African children.

For centuries, people have tried to find a way to deal with malaria cheaply and easily. Recent research has uncovered a potential savior in the unlikeliest of places: your feet!

What’s That Smell? Fixing Foot Odor

Posted by on Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Has this ever happened to you?

You: I’m just going to kick off my shoes and relax.

Family Member 1: I just remembered, I have to check on something in the oven…at Grandma’s house. In Uruguay.

Friend: Oops, did I mention that I’m going on a trip to the South Pole? Now?

Co-worker: Oh wow, I have to go wash my pens. See you later!

Yes, maybe your feet smell a little. Or a lot. Or smell like a garbage truck. First, don’t worry, it happens to everyone at some time or another. Second, really don’t worry, because there are some very simple things you can do to cut down on foot smell.

Oh, My Sweaty Feet

Posted by on Monday, February 20th, 2012

Each foot has about 250,000 sweat glands. That means your feet are likely to sweat at any given opportunity. Now they’re not doing this to embarrass you or make you uncomfortable, no, your feet sweat because that’s how your body cools itself down. That’s what your body does. It’s a fact of life.

Nevertheless, it’s an unpleasant fact, and sweaty feet can be embarrassing and will make you uncomfortable. Even worse, wet, sweaty feet, shoes, and socks can help athlete’s foot and other toe nail fungal infections thrive. So here are some tips to keep your feet dry and healthy.

Open, Sesamoid!

Posted by on Friday, February 17th, 2012

If you were rating bones by the melodiousness of their names, the sesamoid bone would rate very highly. Quick, come up with a challenger. Okay, I guess phalanges (toe and finger bones) is pretty good, but we’re not here to talk about hands, we’re here to talk about feet!! And the sesamoid bones are part of your feet–a small part, but when something goes wrong with them, wow, do they hurt.

DIY: Home Remedies For Athlete’s Foot

Posted by on Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Athlete’s foot. Yuck. It’s a fungus that grows on your feet and makes them hot, itchy, and miserable. The fungus thrives in warm, moist places–that’s how it gets its name, from locker rooms where the atmosphere is warm, sweaty, and wet, with damp shoes, damp feet, and damp towels everywhere you turn. It’s an eager little fungus, too. Step in a spot where someone with athlete’s foot just stepped and it will glom onto your feet, too. So let’s give this topic another yuck. No, make that a double.

You can prevent athlete’s foot by keeping your feet dry and by wearing shower shoes in places like locker rooms. Always dry your feet thoroughly after you take a bath or shower. Pay special attention to the area between your toes–that’s the favorite hangout for athlete’s foot. Make sure your shoes and socks are clean and dry.

If you do get athlete’s foot, though (and don’t feel bad, it is very common), there are plenty of over the counter remedies you can buy. However, if you are the type who feels embarrassed about checking out anti-fungal cream (“Price check for Your Feet Are Disgusting Ointment! Can I get a price check on this large tube of Your Feet Are Disgusting Ointment for this young man? Yeah, this one right here!”) or if you just prefer doing it yourself, here are some home remedies for athlete’s foot: