Wide Foot Facts

Living the Good Life with Wide Feet!

Category: Circulatory Disorders

Cracked Dry Heels

Dry cracking heels (xeorosis) is a condition of thickening and fissuring (cracking of the bottom part of the heels). This is a very common problem and in most people it is only a nuisance and a cosmetic problem. But when the problem persists, especially in diabetes or people with impaired vascular sufficiency, this can lead to a serious medical problem.
Common symptom of cracked heels are:
• Peeling and cracked skin
• Hard growth of skin on the outer edge of the heel
• Pain while walking
• Increased pain in thin soles or open back shoes
• Red or flaky patches on the heel of the foot
• Yellow or dark skin on the heel
• Itchy skin
Most common causes are:
• Dry skin
• Prolonged standing
• Wearing shoes with an open back
• In active sweat glands
• Misaligment of the metatarsal bones
• Flat feet
• High arched feet
• Improperly fitting shoes
• Athlete’s foot
• Surgery to the lower extremities
• Psoriasis
• Thyroid disease
• Diabetes
The best treatment for cracked heels are:
• Appling a moisturizing cream
• Using a pumice stone
• Wearing closed backed shoes
• Wearing shoes with a good shock absorbing sole read more

Fun and Interesting Foot Facts

3 out of 4 people in the US experience serious foot problems but only a small percentage is born with foot problems.
Each foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments and 19 muscles. A quarter of all the bones in your body are in your feet.
Walking is the best exercise for your feet, contributing to general health by improving circulation.
Conditions like arthritis, diabetes, nerve and circulatory disorders can have their initial symptoms in the feet – so foot ailments can be your first sign of more serious medical problems.
Women have about four times as many foot problems as men. Doctors generally blame high heels for the difference.
Your two feet have about 250,000 sweat glands and can excrete as much as a cup of moisture per day.
Neglect and a lack of proper care, including ill fitting shoes, bring on foot problems.
If you put on weight, the bone and ligament structure of your feet might change. Get your shoe size rechecked to make sure you are buying shoes that are best for your feet.
Approximately 65% of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nerve damage, which in severe forms can create the need for lower limb amputations. Approximately 56,000 people a year lose a foot or leg to diabetes.
Walking barefoot can cause plantar warts. The virus enters through a cut.
Your two feet may be different sizes and the ball of the foot is twice as wide as the heel. Be sure to get shoes that fit.
About 5% of Americans have toenail problems in a given year.
The average person takes about 9,000 steps a day. That means that by 70 most people would have walked around the earth 4 times! read more

Diabetes and Your Feet

Did you know that about one in five people with diabetes enters the hospital for foot problems? In fact, many people with diabetes have mild to severe nerve damage. This can cause diminished feeling in the feet. As a result, you may not feel cuts, scratches, and breaks in the skin on your feet. These wounds can lead to unnoticed infection.
There are several specific problems that you should be aware of as a diabetic:
• Poor circulation can make your feet less able to fight infection and to heal.
• Calluses occur more often and build up faster on the feet diabetics. If not trimmed they can get very thick, break down, and turn into ulcers (open sores).
• Diabetic nerve damage (neuropathy) also can lessen your ability to feel pain, heat, and cold. Loss of feeling may mean that you might not feel a foot injury.
• Foot ulcers occur most often over the ball of the foot or on the bottom of the big toe. Ulcers on the sides of the foot are usually due to poorly fitting shoes. Neglecting an ulcer can result in infections, which in turn can lead to loss of a limb.
If the above problems are not cared for, amputation of the foot or leg may result.
Be sure to talk to your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms:
• Changes in the color of the skin on your feet
• Changes in skin temperature
• Pain in the legs, either at rest or while walking
• Swelling of the foot or ankle
• Open sores that are slow to heal
• Ingrown or fungus-infected toenails
• Corns or calluses that bleed within the skin
• Cracks in the skin, especially around the heel
Check your feet every day. Inspect the top, sides, soles, heels, and between the toes. read more

Numbness in Your Feet

Numbness can be caused by anything that upsets the nerve cell’s chemistry. Examples include diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, liver or kidney disease, cancer, Lyme disease and many drugs. In this country, diabetes is the most common cause of foot numbness, but the numbness usually occurs after long-standing diabetes.
Numbness is often associated with or preceded by abnormal pain-like sensations often described as pins-and-needles, prickling or burning sensations called paresthesias. Any numbness or abnormal sensations need prompt professional medical advice. read more

Economy Class Syndrome

People who have a history of cardiovascular disease, stroke or thrombotic episodes (blood clots) are at risk of getting blood clots in their legs (especially between the ankle and upper calf) during extended airplane flights. Developing DVT after a long plane ride is called “economy-class syndrome”. Seating and leg room are particularly cramped for passengers in economy class, thus the name.
DVT is potentially life-threatening. In it, blood clots form in the body’s deep veins, particularly veins in the legs. Sometimes the clot breaks off, travels through the bloodstream before anyone knows that is happening, and obstructs a vessel in the lungs, restricting blood flow. This condition is called pulmonary embolism. This damages tissues and causes poor lung function, which can be fatal. It is very difficult to diagnose by external examination. Symptoms, if they occur, might include muscle tension in the lower leg, a dull ache or sudden painful tear, or a cramp in the calf with swelling and elevated body temperature.
If the clot remains lodged in the legs, very serious damage may occur to the vein, or even to the leg’s entire venous system. Clots can cause tissue damage, skin lesions, ulceration, and possibly removal of the limb. Once you have had one episode, you will have a much higher chance of a repeat event.
Studies in healthy people have shown that wearing “compression stockings” may help minimize the risk of developing DVT after long flights. These stockings put pressure on leg muscles and help return blood flow from the legs to the heart.
Drinking extra water, walking up and down the isles and avoiding alcohol intake are also good advice and just common sense. read more

Preventing Diabetic Amputation

People with diabetes have a 15 times greater risk of lower limb amputation than non-diabetic individuals. In many cases, the direct cause of amputation is obscure, although varying degrees of peripheral neuropathy, peripheral vascular disease, trauma, infection, and impaired wound healing are implicated. Foot ulceration, gangrene, and amputation result from the synergy of these underlying factors when effective preventive interventions have not been applied in a timely manner.
Patient education regarding foot hygiene, nail care and proper footwear is crucial to preventing amputation. Injury can lead to ulcer formation, which is usually the beginning of a problem. Adherence to a systematic regimen of diagnosis and classification can improve communication between family physicians and diabetes sub-specialists and facilitate appropriate treatment of complications. This team approach may ultimately lead to a reduction in lower extremity amputations related to diabetes. read more

Red Feet

If the skin on your feet seems smooth and normal, aside from just being red, then it may be a circulation problem. This may particularly be the case if your feet are red when you are sitting down or standing up, and then when you raise your feet, they return to normal color or become just a blotchy red. If that is the case, it points to the redness being due to pooling of the blood in your feet with gravity.
Even if the pulses in your feet (there’s one on the top of the foot and one by the inner ankle bone) feel strong when your doctor examines them, you can still have circulation problems in the small blood vessels of the feet. A way to evaluate for that is to get a special test in which they measure blood pressure in your ankles and in your toes. You might ask your doctor about getting that test (which is usually done in a hospital vascular lab). read more

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