Wide Foot Facts

Living the Good Life with Wide Feet!

Page 2 of 7

Toenail Fungus

A fungus nail, which can be other either finger or toe nails, is a unsightly condition and can be very difficult to treat. It usually begins towards the far end of the nail. Starting with patches of white or yellow discoloration, if fungus nail is left untreated, it will proceed to the base of the nail. Then it can even attack the nail root and cause the nail to grow very thick and deformed.
Some people are more susceptible than others because of decreased immunity, abnormal pH levels in the skin and/or trauma to the nail. Most often the big toe is first and then the fungus can spread to adjacent toenails. In rare cases, fungus nail will also affect the skin surrounding the nails. If not treated the nail will become very brittle.
Fungus nail is caused by microscopic organisms called Dermatophytes. These nasty organisms prefer warm, moist conditions such that occur inside shoes, swimming pools, locker rooms and shows. They grow in the nail bed, beneath the nail and live off the protein the nail, known as keratin.
One of the best ways to prevent fungus nail is to keep your feet as clean and dry as possible. Cotton socks will help keep your feet dry because they absorb perspiration. If you have reoccurring fungus nail, an anti-fungal powder may help prevent it. In addition you may want to try:
• Wearing natural cotton socks
• Drying your feet and only using your towel once
• Not sharing your towels or wash cloths with others
• Using paper towels or toilet paper to dry your affected area
• Wearing breathable shoes
Your doctor can also prescribe medication to treat the fungus. read more

General Foot Care

Foot care is really important but it is one part our bodies that we neglect too often. The skin is very delicate and we need to take good care of it if it is going to look good. Since the feet carry the weight of your entire body all day we need to be “aware and take care”. These tips can make a big difference:
• Keep hard, dry skin off your feet using a pumice stone. Soak your feet in hot water for about 5 minutes to soften the skin and help easily remove it. Use lotion or cream generously to help remove the dead skin. Then rinse off the residue.
• After removing the dry skin, soak your feet again for about 10 minutes in warm water. Add some mineral salts or palm sea salts, along with a few drops of scented oils that will relieve the aches and reduce the swelling.
• Dry your feet well, especially between your toes.
• Trim your toenails, cutting straight across the tip and shape gently with an emery board.
• Use a rich foot skin cream and massage in well. Cup your hands on either side of your foot and with your thumbs firmly press the upper part of your foot while pushing your thumbs outwards.
• Wait a while before wearing your shoes. read more

Corns and Calluses

Calluses are a thickening of the surface layer of the skin, usually occurring in response to pressure.
Calluses often form on the ball of the foot, the heel, and the underside of the big toe.
Corns are also a thickening of the surface layer of the skin but usually form on the top of toes, tip of toes and between the toes. Both corns and calluses have symptoms of pain when pressure is applied and discomfort wearing tight fitting shoes.
Calluses and corns are both more common in women than men, because women wear tight fitting shoes, socks and stockings more often than men.
The formation of calluses is caused by an accumulation of dead skin cells that harden and thicken over an area of the foot. A corn is caused by too much pressure. The pressure may be from:
• tight fitting shoes
• tight socks
• tight stockings
• shoe rubbing against the toe
• deformed toes
• crooked toes
Calluses and corns can be treated with medications to relieve pain along with changes in footwear to relieve pressure. 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

Hammer Toe

Hammer toe is a term that is commonly used to describe any type of toe deformity which may or may not be a problem. In a hammertoe the deformity usually exists in one toe (at the proximal inter phalangeal joint) – the base of the toe points upward and the end of the toe points down.
The symptoms of a hammer toe are usually first noticed when a corn or bunion develops on the top of the toe and becomes painful, usually when wearing tight shoes. There may be a bursa under the corn or instead of a corn, depending on the pressure. Most of the symptoms are due to pressure from footwear on the toe. There may be a callus under the metatarsal head at the base of the toe. Initially a hammer toe is usually flexible, but when longstanding it becomes more rigid.
Some families are more prone to develop hammer toes other simply have weaker small muscles in their feet.
Prevention of a hammer toe can be difficult as symptoms do not usually start until the problem is well established. However, there are several things that you can do:
• Wear appropriate footwear. The correct amount of space in the toe will allow the toes to function without excessive pressure. Shoes should be one-half inch longer than your longest toe.
• Treat any corns or calluses that are present.
• Use padding to get pressure off the toe.
• Use hammer toe crests and hammer toe splints.
• Ger gel toe shields and gel toe caps.
If conservative treatments are not successful, surgery may be used to correct a hammertoe, usually as a day procedure. read more

Exercise for the Feet

Just as our body needs exercise to stay healthy and function properly, since our feet are part of our body, they also need to be exercised. The best exercise for your feet is to walk bare feet on the grass, but barring that option here are a few other exercises that you can do to strengthen your feet.
Toe stretch – With your feet flat on the floor, raise one foot to have only your toes on the ground. Raise to a point and then curl your toes under. Hold each position for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
Foot Stretch – Sit on the floor with your legs in front of you. Loop a towel around your feet. Keeping the heels on the floor and pull the towel with both hands, use the towel to draw the middle foot and toes towards your body. Hold in this position for a few seconds and then relax. Repeat 5 times.
Ankle Stretch – Sit with your legs stretched out in front of you. Point your foot down and then bring it towards you as far as is comfortable. Hold for a few seconds, then relax and repeat 10 time
Marble pick-up – Place 20 marbles on the floor. Pick up each one and put it into a small bowl. read more

Claw Toe

People often blame the common foot deformity claw toe on wearing shoes that squeeze your toes, such as shoes that are too short or high heels. However, Claw Toe is actually a toe that is contracted at the PIP and DIP joints (middle and end joints in the toe). Often the result of nerve damage caused by diseases like diabetes or alcoholism, it can which can weaken the muscles in your foot and lead to severe pressure and pain.
Claw toes can occur in any toe, except the big toe. They are classified based on the mobility of the toe joints. There are two types – flexible and rigid. In a flexible claw toe, the joint has the ability to move. This type of claw toe can be straightened manually. A rigid claw toe does not have that same ability to move. Movement is very limited and can be extremely painful.
Occasionally Claw Toe can be related to neurological problems. Therefore, a trip to the doctor will be time well spent.
Treatment and Prevention
Changing the type of footwear worn is a very important step in the treatment of claw toes. As with most feet and toe problems, choosing a well fitting shoe can make a lot of difference. Always make sure the toe box (toe area) is high and broad, and can accommodate the claw toes. A shoe with a high, broad toe box will provide enough room in the forefoot area so that there is less friction against the toes.
Other conservative treatments include using forefoot products designed to relieve claw toes, such as toe crests and hammer toe splints. These devices will help hold down the claw toe and provide relief to the forefoot. Gel toe shields and gel toe caps are also recommended to eliminate friction between the shoe and the toe, while providing comfort and lubrication.
If the pain is too much or your daily activities are limited by the pain, surgery may be considered. Unfortunately surgery may not help or the claw toe may come back. Talk to your doctor about the options available. read more

Ingrown Toenails

This very painful condition known to doctors as onychocryptosis, is a fairly common foot problem. When you wear shoes that don’t fit well, the shoes pressing down on the sides of the nail, they curl into the skin on one or both sides of a nail. The skin grows over the edges of the nail and the nail grows into the skin. If you cut your nails too short, you are inviting the nail corner to grow into the skin. It is the natural tendency, when the edge of the nail starts to grow in, to cut down at an angle at the nail edge, to relieve the pain. This does relieve the pain temporarily, but it also can start a downward spiral, training the nail to become more and more ingrown.
Ingrown toenails develop for many reasons. In some cases the condition is congenital, such as toenails that simply are too large. People, who have diseases like arthritis, are prone to ingrown toenails. Sometimes stubbing your toe or having your toe stepped on can cause a piece of the nail to be jammed into the skin. However, the most common cause is cutting your toenails incorrectly, causing them to re-grow into the skin.
When it first starts to occur, you may just need to soak your foot in warm, soapy water for several times each day. Pull back the skin from the nail gently to allow the nail to grow out unimpeded. If your skin around the nail is red, painful or swollen an infection may be present. Untreated, the nail can go under the skin, causing a more severe infection. In either case, the infection needs to be cured with sterile instruments and antibiotics.
If you suspect infection, consult your doctor. Often the doctor can trim or remove the infected nail with a minor in-office surgical procedure. He or she can remove the offending portion of the nail or overgrown skin with a scalpel and treat the infection. Unless, the problem is congenital, the best way to prevent ingrown toenails is to protect the feet from trauma and wear shoes with adequate room for the toes. read more

Sprained Ankle

A sprain is a twisting injury to the ankle. The stretching or even tearing of the ligaments that hold the ankle and foot bones in place causes pain and injury. Ligaments are an elastic structure that usually stretch to the limit and then go back to their normal position. When the ligament is forced beyond its normal limit, a sprain occurs.
Seeing a doctor is suggested to rule out a break in the ankle or foot. Your doctor will tell you the grade of the sprain and recommend treatment.
The amount of pain depends on the amount of stretching and tearing of the ligament. Walking may be difficult because of the swelling and pain. Usually swelling and pain will last two days to three days.
Most ankle sprains need only a period of protection to heal. The healing process takes about four weeks to six weeks. Even a complete ligament tear can heal without surgical repair if it is immobilized appropriately. Even if an ankle has a chronic tear, it can still be highly functional because overlying tendons help with stability and motion. read more

Page 2 of 7

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén