Certain shoes can leave you prone to cracked heels and dry skin due to friction from wearing loose-fitted shoes. People who wear sandals and other open-heeled shoes are more at risk for developing cracked heels. Instead, opt for closed-heeled shoes that fit properly and provide support.
If you are overweight, you may be surprised to discover that this could be contributing to your dry, cracked heels. This is because your feet take on all of your weight while standing, walking, and running. By safely dropping that excess weight through a healthy diet and regular exercise you can alleviate some of the pressure placed on your heels to reduce the risk of cracking.
While we know just how luxurious it feels to stand in a steaming hot shower, especially during the winter months, this could be contributing to dry skin on your feet and cracked heels. If this is something you deal with regularly you may look at your current bathing or showering ritual to see if that could be the culprit. Simply use warm and not hot water, which can strip the skin of the oils it needs to stay moist.
You should moisturize your feet every day to prevent dry skin from happening in the first place. Moisturizers that contain lactic acid, glycerin, or petroleum jelly can help to lock in moisture in your feet. Moisturize every time you get out of the shower and throughout the day, especially before going to bed. If you are prone to very dry, cracked feet, you may wish to moisturize and then wear socks to bed.
- Pain that occurs immediately after an injury or accident
- Pain that is directly above a bone
- Pain that is worse with movement
- Bruising and severe swelling
- A cracking sound at the moment of injury
- A visible deformity or bump
- Can’t put weight on the injured foot
The symptoms of a sprain are far less severe. You can often put weight on the injured foot with a sprain; however, you may notice some slight pain and stiffness. You may also have heard a popping sound at the moment of the injury with a sprain, while a broken bone often produces a cracking sound. The pain associated with a sprain will also be above soft tissue rather than bone. A podiatrist will perform an X-ray to be able to determine if you are dealing with a break or a sprain.
Rest is key to allowing an injury, particularly a fracture, to heal properly. Along with rest, your doctor may also recommend either an over-the-counter or prescription-strength pain reliever, depending on the severity of your fracture. Those with more moderate to severe fractures may require a special boot, brace, or splint. Those with more severe fractures may need to wear a cast and use crutches, so they can avoid putting any weight on the foot.
If possible, try to keep the blister intact. Do not try to pop or drain a blister that hasn’t popped on its own. It’s important not to put pressure on the blister, so avoid any shoes that may be too tight. If you’re going to put on shoes, make sure to apply a bandage (some band-aids are designed specifically for covering blisters) to the area first.
If the blister popped on its own, clean it with warm water soap (do not use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide on the blister). Once the area is clean, apply an over-the-counter antibiotic cream to the area and apply a bandage over the blister. These simple steps can prevent an infection from occurring.
You should only drain a blister if it’s very large, painful, or affects your ability to move. In this case, you should sterilize a needle with alcohol and then make a small hole in the blister to let it drain. You may need to carefully squeeze the blister to help it drain fully. Once the blister has drained, rinse out the area with soap and warm water before applying antibiotic cream to the area and placing a bandage over it.
You mustn’t keep the same bandage on your blister day in and day out. You should check the blister every day to make sure it isn’t infected. You should clean the area daily with soap and water and then reapply another bandage.
An ingrown toenail is a common condition that occurs when the corner of your nail grows into your skin or soft flesh. This condition often affects your big toe. It can result in moderate to severe pain and discomfort, redness, swelling, and serious infection—if not treated correctly.
This means that early treatment for ingrown toenails from Dr. Zahid Ladha here at Foot First Podiatry in New Albany, NY, is crucial. This is particularly true for diabetics who are prone to severe complications.
Ingrown Toenail Causes
Multiple factors can contribute to the development of ingrown toenails, including:
- Improper fitting footwear
- Trauma or injury to your toenails
- Improper clipping of toenails
- Poor foot hygiene
Fortunately, you can try preventing the development of an ingrown toenail with these practical tips:
- Wearing proper fitting footwear
- Trimming your toenails straight across
- Proper foot hygiene
- Visiting your podiatrist for professional toenail cutting
Home Remedies for Ingrown Toenails
To help ease the pain or soreness you may be feeling from an ingrown toenail, you can try these treatment options at home:
- Soak your affected foot into a mixture of warm water and one to two tablespoons of Epsom salt for around 15 minutes. This must be done three to four times per day. It could help alleviate the pain caused by infection and expel pus from your toe.
- Lift the toenail from your skin. After a footbath, place clean, small pieces of cotton or dental floss underneath the ingrown corner. This can help the affected nail grow away or above your toe’s skin.
- Wear comfortable footwear. Make sure that the footwear you are wearing gives enough room for your affected toe to rest.
- Keep your foot dry.
- Apply an antibiotic ointment. This can help minimize and treat the infection.
- OTC pain meds. You can take pain relievers like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen sodium to help alleviate and reduce the pain.
Professional Treatment for Ingrown Toenails
If home remedies don’t seem to help, or if your ingrown toenails continue to worsen, seek treatment from your podiatrist in New Albany, NY. They may offer you treatment solutions such as:
- Partial removal of the nail. If the condition you are experiencing is serious (accompanied by inflammation, pain, and pus excretion), your podiatrist may cut off or remove the ingrown part of your nail. You’ll be given a local anesthetic before the procedure.
- Removal of the nail and tissue. If your condition is recurrent, your podiatrist may need to remove a part of your nail together with the tissue beneath it to prevent it from growing inward. A laser or special chemical may be used to kill or eliminate the cells that form your nail.
For Help Treating Ingrown Toenails, Call Us
Dial (812) 945-9221 to arrange a consultation here at Foot First Podiatry in New Albany, NY, with your podiatrist, Dr. Zahid Ladha.
- You experience pain, inflammation, and stiffness in the joints of the foot, particularly the toes
- You experience aching feet, particularly after activity or long periods of standing
- Some parts of your foot may feel oddly warm to the touch or may emanate heat while the rest of the foot feels normal
- The joints of the toes and ankles may swell
What does RA do to the feet and ankles?
Along with painful joints and stiffness, you may also notice other changes to your feet over time. Some of these changes include,
- Hammertoes and claw toes
- Circulation issues (e.g. atherosclerosis; Raynaud’s phenomena)
Since RA is not curable, your podiatrist will focus on crafting a treatment plan that will help to alleviate your symptoms and slow the progression of the disease to prevent severe and irreparable joint damage. Prescription medications known as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are biologics that can reduce inflammation and prevent the progression of the disease.
Of course, there are also lifestyle changes you can make along with taking prescription medication that can also ease symptoms,
- Warm soaks
- Custom insoles or orthotics
- Pain relievers
- Stretching exercises for the feet
- Steroid injections (for targeting severe inflammation)
Most people with RA will eventually develop foot and ankle problems, which is why it’s important to have a podiatrist on your team that can help you manage your RA effectively.
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