The feet have more sweat glands than any other part of the body, which means they have the ability to sweat profusely. With your feet encased in your shoes all day and the sweat unable to evaporate, bacteria will begin to grow rapidly. Bacteria then begins to break down the sweat, generating an unpleasant odor. Other factors can contribute to increased perspiration, including anxiety, hormonal changes, medications and various skin conditions.
Foot odor is a common problem, especially among those who perspire excessively, but it can be both embarrassing and physically uncomfortable. If you suffer from foot odor, rest assured that simple lifestyle changes and improved personal hygiene can help reduce and eliminate the smell.
Easy Ways to Eliminate Foot Odor
Since most foot odor is caused from excess sweat and the growth of odor-causing bacteria, it's relatively easy to control and reduce foot odor on your own. Start by taking the following preventative steps:
- Keep your feet clean by washing them with an antibacterial soap on a regular basis to minimize bacteria.
- Keep feet dry as moisture enables the growth of bacteria.
- Alternate shoes and avoid wearing the same pair for multiple days in a row.
- Choose open shoes such as sandals when possible, allowing air onto the feet which evaporates sweat and slows the growth of bacteria.
- Wear cotton socks which wick away moisture and absorb perspiration.
- Apply foot sprays and powders to the feet. Ask your podiatrist for recommended products.
- Disinfect, wash and discard foul smelling shoes as necessary.
The causes of foot odor are typically not harmful to your health, but do create an environment for the growth of fungus and bacteria. It's not unusual for infections such as toenail fungus and athlete's foot to develop as a result.
When improving your foot hygiene doesn't help reduce the smell, you may need to visit your podiatrist, as persistent foot odor can indicate an infection or a severe case of hereditary sweating. In these cases, a prescription ointment may be required to treat the problem. Visit our office, and we'll work with you to determine the cause and most effective treatment for your condition!
When the entire bottom of your foot touches the ground when you stand, then your arch is falling, and you have flat feet. While not always an issue, for the majority of the over 70 million folks in the country who have the condition, untreated flat feet causes foot and ankle pain and also contributes to knee, hip, and back problems.
The two main types of flat feet include:
- Congenital flat feet—This means you inherited the condition. Flexible flat feet is the most common congenital type and is characterized by the arch being present when weight is removed, but disappearing when you stand on the foot. It may or may not cause pain and discomfort.
- Acquired flat feet—As you age, the arch of the foot eventually succumbs to the continuous daily pressure and stress, and if the arch isn’t properly supported, painful conditions like plantar fasciitis can be the result.
Treatment for flat feet
Treatment for pain and swelling caused by having untreated flat feet includes taking ibuprofen, resting, icing, and physical therapy exercises. In some cases, flat feet don’t cause any problems and will not require any treatment. For most people, however, a computerized gait analysis can be performed by your foot doctor to determine how you pronate when you walk. Properly fitted shoes with custom orthotic inserts will correct most problems and even treat knee, hip, and back pain.
If you are experiencing problems from untreated flat feet, see your foot doctor for the proper diagnosis and treatment. Schedule an appointment with the Foot First Podiatry Center in New Albany, IN. Our highly qualified podiatrist Dr. Zahid Ladha, D.P.M., is dedicated to providing the best diagnostic care and medical treatment for you and your feet. Contact us at (812) 945-9221 and schedule an appointment today!
Whether you suspect that you might have a bunion or our New Albany, IN, podiatrist Dr. Zahid Ladha has just recently told you that you have one you may have questions about this common foot deformity, your treatment options and whether you may require surgery. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding bunions and treatment.
What is a bunion?
A bunion is a hard bump that typically forms at the base of the big toe, causing the large toe to lean toward the other toes. This causes the joint to stick out more and more over time. While a bunion can form on just about any joint of the foot it most commonly forms at the bottom joint of the big toe.
What causes bunions?
There is a lot of misinformation out there about what causes bunions and while we still aren’t fully sure what could cause bunions there are certain factors that could predispose you to develop bunions. These factors include:
- Congenital foot deformity
- Foot injuries
If a member of your immediate family has bunions you are also at an increased risk for developing bunions too. Wearing high heels can make bunions worse, so you’ll want to avoid shoes with a heel that is more than 2-inches tall.
Will a bunion get worse?
A bunion is progressive, which means that it will usually get worse over time. Providing your feet with proper care will go a long way to slowing the progression. How slowly the bunion progresses will vary from person to person.
How are bunions treated?
The first course of action is usually more conservative, unless symptoms are serious. Those dealing with minor pain and discomfort will often find relief with simple treatment options including:
- Taking anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling and pain
- Applying a bunion pad over the area to prevent a callus
- Wearing properly fitted shoes that don’t put pressure on the bunion
- Splinting the foot to align the joint to reduce pain and stiffness
- Wearing custom orthotics in shoes to provide cushioning for the foot
Will I need surgery?
If symptoms are severe, unresponsive to nonsurgical care and interferes with your daily routine then it may be time to talk about surgical options with our New Albany, IN, dentist. Surgery is usually the last resort when it comes to treating a bunion.
If you are dealing with foot pain or other issues and you believe that you might be dealing with a bunion then call Foot First Podiatry in New Albany, IN, today to schedule a consultation.
Bone spurs, also known as osteophytes, can occur anywhere in the skeletal system, and the feet are no exception. Bone spurs are simply overgrowths of bone, which most commonly form where two bones come together. Normally bone spurs in the feet are painless, but when exposed to pressure, they can cause the excess bone to rub against other nerve endings or soft tissues, resulting in pain.
Causes of Bone Spurs in the Feet
When your feet are repeatedly exposed to excessive pressure and stress, a bone spur can form as a result of the body's normal response to repair itself. The following activities and conditions are common causes:
- High-impact activities, such as running
- Excessive weight
- Poor-fitting footwear
- Tightening of the plantar fasciitis due to excessive stress
Because there are no obvious symptoms associated with bone spurs in the feet, diagnosing the disorder can be difficult. Some people experience unbearable pain in particular areas of their foot when exposed to pressure, which prompts them to seek medical care. Other people can go long periods of time without realizing they even have a bone spur. An x-ray can identify a bone spur in your foot, but if it isn't causing you pain, damaging other tissues or restricting your movement, treatment probably won't be necessary.
Identifying the cause of your bone spur, such as poor-fitting shoes or weight gain, is often times enough to reduce the pressure that is causing the pain.
Conservative treatments for bone spurs include:
- Change in footwear
- Weight loss
- Padding or insoles
- Deep tissue massage and stretching
If you're experiencing chronic foot pain, schedule an appointment at our office. We'll carefully examine your feet and evaluate your symptoms to better understand your condition. If you've developed a bone spur, we can work with you to create a treatment plan that best fits your needs and puts an end to your frustrating foot pain.
A bunion is a deformity of the big toe that occurs when force and pressure from wearing shoes push the big toe into the other toes. A similar condition called a bunionette affects the little toe. It is thought that shoes are a significant factor in bunion formation because, in the few remaining cultures where shoes are not worn, bunions do not occur.
If you have poorly treated flat feet, you are more susceptible to developing toe deformities like bunions and hammertoes. When your arches are not properly supporting the tendons in your toes, they do not properly function and imbalances can occur causing these problems. Wearing shoes like high heels that force the toes together is also a contributing factor in bunion formation.
Some excellent methods for treating painful bunions include the following:
- Wear properly fitted shoes with custom orthotic devices—Wear shoes with a wide toe box to help prevent the bunion from rubbing on your shoes and from preventing blisters and corns from developing. Orthotic inserts can help straighten the toe and redirect pressure.
- Insulating pads—Pads can be applied to decrease rubbing and reduce swelling and redness.
- Strength and flexibility exercises—Picking up marbles with your toes is an excellent exercise for increasing flexibility and strength.
- Reduce inflammation—Medications like ibuprofen and Tylenol along with icing are great for reducing swelling and pain.
When bunion pain persists after trying these methods, surgery may be required to shave the bunion bump and straighten the toe.
If you are experiencing painful bunions, enlisting the services of a skilled podiatrist will help you find the best solution for your particular situation. Schedule an appointment with the Foot First Podiatry Center in New Albany, IN. Our highly-qualified podiatrist Dr. Zahid Ladha, D.P.M. is dedicated to providing the best diagnostic care and medical treatment for you and your feet. Contact us at (812) 945-9221 and schedule an appointment today!
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