September 2010 – Patient Sympathy

August 2010 – Back to School Shoewear

July 2010 – Womens Shoewear

June 2010 – Summer Foot Care

May 2010 – Skin

April 2010 – Ingrown Toenails

March 2010 – Barefoot Running

February 2010 – Pediatric Flatfoot

January 2010 – Being a Compliant Patient

December 2009 – Raynaud’s Disease

November 2009 – NA

October 2009 – Shin Splints

September 2009 – Dealing with Corns and Callouses

August 2009 – Relieving Painful Gout

July 2009 – Caring for Plantar Warts

June 2009 – Bunions

May 2009 – Children's Heel Pain

March/April 2009 – Heel Pain

February 2009 – Shoe Fitting

January 2009 – Nail Fungus

December 2008 – Neuroma

November 2008 – Diabetic Foot Care


June 2010

Published in - Healthy Lifestyles

Summer is quickly approaching and most of us have been looking forward to the warmer weather, especially after the snowstorms we’ve had this past winter. Hopefully this summer won’t be as wet as last summer, unless of course you’re spending it near a pool or a beach.

During these warmer months there are a number of things/ issues which we/ you need to keep in mind while enjoying running around the pool, the beach, and while engaging in sports. The following are podiatric concerns common for the warmer months. I am going to touch upon a number of items that I may have addressed in a previous article, but I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest version.

Gout: A high level of uric acid, which is a break down product of certain food. This can be due to eating a lot of shellfish (clams, shrimp), beef, chicken, liver, beans and drinking alcohol, or consuming a quite a bit of each. Pain, redness and swelling usually occur around the big toe joint beginning at night. Drinking water, cherry juice and taking Ibuprofen can help until being seen for prescription medicine.

Foreign Bodies: This includes glass, splinters, seashells, nails, needles etc. more common during this barefoot and sandal-wearing time of the year. If these items are not readily visible and do not come out easily, it’s best not to go digging. You may end up pushing it in deeper. It truly is best to be seen and have it removed by a Podiatrist. Unless, of course, you enjoy spending 4 hours in the emergency room.

Plantar Warts: A common problem that occurs during the summer when running around barefoot. Warts are viruses that need to get through our body’s defenses, skin in this case, to cause a painful callous-like lesion on the bottom of the foot to develop. Over-The-Counter topical medications may help but some may require a prescription strength medicine.

Broken Toes: Who hasn’t struck their foot on a table leg around the pool or late at night, at least once while barefoot? More patients have told me, “There’s nothing you can do for a broken toe” so I didn’t bother coming in. Nothing to do for a broken bone? Tell that to the patients I’ve had to “re-break” their toe to re-align and set it in a proper and corrected position. How about splinting it so it can heal well, and in a straight position?

Ingrown Nails: These have a tendency to develop over time but begin as a nagging pressure at the corner of the toenail. It is usually due to the nail being cut incorrectly, trauma and occasionally ill-fitting shoewear. When it begins to become red and swollen, you’re on the way to an infection. It is much, much easier if it is treated before it becomes too painful or infected. Usually due to being overzealous in cutting your nails too far, or just by missing a piece while doing so.

Spider Bites/ Tick Bite/ Poison Ivy: Ouch! No matter how you slice it. For any kind of skin issue, wash the area well with soap and water thoroughly. For the bites, antibiotics are typically needed. Cortisone cream or an oral course of steroids may be warranted for treating any poison ivy, oak or sumac, in addition to washing the area thoroughly.

Athlete’s Foot: No, it’s most likely not dry skin, especially in the summer. Dry skin usually doesn’t itch either. If you are applying moisturizing cream and it doesn’t appear to improve, it’s athlete’s foot. This is a fungal infection of the skin. This can be the same organism as the next item, nail fungus. Athlete’s Foot can stem from nail fungus or vice versa.

Nail Fungus: Ever bury your feet in the sand because of the discoloration of your nails? If your nails appear thickened, yellow, brown and break easily you most likely have nail fungus. There are a few ways to go about clearing the fungus from the nails and depending how involved it is, it may be a somewhat simple solution to clear up. Or, a bit more involved that requires a prescription.

Sports Injuries: Other than twists and sprains, sports injuries can include blisters, plantar fasciitis, neuromas and overuse injuries such as stress fractures and tendon and ligament injuries. Most of these can be alleviated by the use of properly fitting and sport specific shoewear. Proper training and conditioning is equally important in keeping injuries to a minimal.