Items filtered by date: October 2021

When you apply weight to your foot, the skin on your heels expands. If this skin is dry and lacking elasticity, cracks in the skin may eventually form. Dry, cold weather, obesity, open-back shoes, standing on hard floors for an extended period of time, and conditions that cause dry skin can all contribute to heels becoming stiff and cracked. To avoid getting cracked heels, keep them moisturized. The best way to seal in moisture is to apply ointment or cream—containing hyaluronic or lactic acid, mineral oil, lanolin or petrolatum—right after a shower or bath. If your heels are already thickened and cracked, you can try to thin them down by gently rubbing them with a pumice stone or applying a keratolytic agent, unless you have diabetes, nerve damage, or poor circulation. If cracked heels are allowed to deepen, they may become painful and bleed, and possibly even become infected. If your cracked heels have progressed to this point, or you need help getting them smooth and supple again, make an appointment with your local podiatrist.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists from The Foot Institute. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How Do You Get Them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our 3 locations located in El Paso, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Wednesday, 20 October 2021 00:00

Arthroscopy for the Ankle

Arthroscopy is a “keyhole” or minimally invasive surgical procedure podiatric surgeons use for viewing and making repairs inside the ankle joint without making large incisions or performing open surgery. An arthroscope (a long, flexible tube with a light and tiny video camera attached) is inserted through a small incision into the ankle joint. The images from the video camera are projected onto a large screen, giving the surgeon a view inside the ankle to assess damage and make a diagnosis. Surgery can be performed with tiny surgical instruments that have been inserted through other small incisions. Arthroscopic surgery reduces the risk of infection, and typically involves shorter hospital stays and reduced recovery times. Make an appointment with a podiatrist to see if arthroscopy might be helpful to diagnose or treat your ankle issue

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot Institute. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our 3 locations located in El Paso, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 12 October 2021 00:00

Can Children Develop Toenail Fungus?

While onychomycosis (toenail fungus) is a common condition, it can be rare among infants and children. This is because children’s nails are smaller and grow faster—making their toenails less hospitable to the fungus. However, when pediatric onychomycosis occurs, it should be dealt with swiftly and properly, as it is not good for a child to have any type of infection. Of course, prevention is always the best option, and something that should be highlighted as most children contract onychomycosis from someone in their own home. Don’t share toenail clippers, soap, towels or other personal grooming items with your child. Encourage them to keep their feet clean and dry, and to always wear clean socks and shoes, as well as flip-flops in public showers, locker rooms and around pools. If your child does develop toenail fungus, understand that what may be appropriate treatment for an adult, may not be safe for a child. If your child’s nails are thickened, brittle, crumbling, or yellowish, bring them to a podiatrist to receive an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

The health of a child’s feet is vital to their overall well-being. If you have any questions regarding foot health, contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot Institute. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tips for Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

  • Make sure their shoes fit properly
  • Look for any signs of in-toeing or out-toeing
  • Check to see if they have Clubfoot (condition that affects your child’s foot and ankle, twisting the heel and toes inward) which is one of the most common nonmajor birth defects.
  • Lightly cover your baby’s feet (Tight covers may keep your baby from moving their feet freely, and could prevent normal development)
  • Allow your toddler to go shoeless (Shoes can be restricting for a young child’s foot)
  • Cut toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails
  • Keep your child’s foot clean and dry
  • Cover cuts and scrapes. Wash any scratches with soap and water and cover them with a bandage until they’ve healed.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our 3 locations located in El Paso, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Fall weather can bring a drop in temperature and sudden, dry air. Combined with a lack of moisture, this can cause your skin to suffer and your feet to become dry.

Treat dry skin and cracked heels with the help of your foot doctor.

Tuesday, 05 October 2021 00:00

What to Avoid When It Comes to High Heels

High heeled shoes may be fashionable, but they are not your best footwear option when it comes to maintaining the proper health of your feet. Wearing high heels, particularly shoes that are tight-fitting, narrow, or have excessively high heels, can damage your feet. Frequent high heel wearing can lead to bunions, hammertoes, pump bump, corns, calluses, neuromas, ankle sprains, and even back pain. If you would still like to wear high heels, reduce the risk of potential problems by opting for shoes that do not have pointed or narrow toe boxes, or a heel taller than two inches. If you start to feel foot pain while wearing these shoes, it is suggested that you change into something more comfortable and properly fitting as soon as possible. For more information about the effects of high heels on the feet, please consult with a podiatrist. 

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from The Foot Institute. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our 3 locations located in El Paso, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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