Thursday, 27 March 2014

How to Prevent Foot Problems During Summer

Summer, the month of excruciating heat and uncomfortable sweat, brings with it itching skin problems. However, very few know that this is the season when several foot conditions raise their heads too. Your foot remains sweaty most of the time which results in infections like athlete’s foot or warts. Blisters are also quite common during summer. Thus it is very important to know how to keep your feet in proper shape during warmest months of the year.

Be careful of hard or cracked skin

If you have this idea that cracked skin happens in winter only, then think again! Those who love to wear back-open sandals or flip-flops might develop hard or cracked skin around the heels.  The only cure of this problem is to rub away the hard skin and then moisturize it thoroughly to soften the heel area.

Banish those Blisters

Painful blisters often strike during summer; mainly caused by continuous rubbing of sandals or flip-flops between toes. Thus the best way to prevent summer blisters is by keeping your feet dry and wearing sandals that fit well. Also try to give your tired foot ample rest and protect it from the extreme weather.

Trim your Toe Nails

Trim or file your toenails regularly. While doing so, don’t make it too short or cut it too down at the corner. This might lead to ingrown toenails.

Change Socks or Alter your Footwear Regularly

Blame it on wet socks or soggy footwear, your foot remains damp most of the time during summer. This in turn results in several foot conditions. Thus it is highly advisable to change your socks and footwear, if possible on daily basis.

Let Go of your Flip-flops

While it is a natural tendency to look for lightweight footwear like flip-flops or flimsy sandals in the hot weather, the fact is that these don’t provide enough support to your feet. Thus you start experiencing arch and heel pain after wearing the flip-flop for long.

Prevent Sweat

For many sweaty feet is indeed a problem. As the mercury starts rising, it is their foot which seems to catch the heat first. So, if your foot perspires too often then it is important to follow a proper foot care regime. Wash your foot daily with warm water. Use an antibacterial or mild soap for your feet. Then wipe thoroughly and apply some talcum powder. This routine not only helps keep your feet dry throughout the day but prevents smelly feet too.

As is evident from the above discussion, your foot health basically depends on maintaining regular hygienic routine like cutting nails, washing feet or wearing proper footwear. The problem is that some foot conditions may take severe shape, especially for those suffering from other ailments like diabetes. So, if you are really irked by persistent foot problems then it is highly advisable to seek opinion of an experienced podiatrist. Keep in mind that any delay in treatment often augments the problem. On the other hand, timely cure can keep your feet in good shape throughout the year.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

How to Get Rid of Painful Ingrown Toenails

There are several foot conditions which are quite common and can strike anytime due to negligence or poor foot hygiene. Ingrown toenail is one such foot problem that primarily affects the great toenail. While the normal toenail grows vertically or outward towards tip of the toe, ingrown toenails grow abnormally. Though not that serious from medical point of view, but ingrown toenail is one condition which often turns painful coupled with redness or swelling. If not taken care in time, it can result in clear or yellow drainage too.

What causes Ingrown Toenails

One sure indication of ingrown toenail is when the soft skin on one or both sides of the nail starts growing over edges of the nail. Sometimes the nail itself juts into the skin thus causing cracks in that area of the skin. Ingrown toenails often results in inflammation and in severe cases infection too. Inflammation even worsens the problem as the nail folds into the skin even more. As the ingrown toenail protrudes deeper into the skin, this exacerbates pain and injury.

Who are prone to it

Though no such specific category can be pinpointed but experts opine that athletes, children or adolescents are more prone to ingrown toenails. Then there are certain factors which can also trigger the problem one of which is congenital foot/toenail deformation. Repeated trauma or a sudden accident when your toe is stepped on can also cause a piece of nail to pierce into the skin. You are most likely to fall into the vulnerable category if born with long toes or short nails. Cutting the toenail inaccurately can also result in its abnormal growth. If you have this habit of cutting the nail too short, then be careful; you might be inviting serious problem! Those suffering from diabetes, obesity, arthritis or foot sweating problem are susceptible to this foot condition too.

General Complications Related to the Ailment

Infections of varied degrees can happen because of ingrown toenail. The person may suffer from bacterial tissue infection. The nail fold and surrounding skin might get infected or scarred.

How to Treat Ingrown Toenail

It is always advisable to take timely action before infection sets in. You can try out some easy home remedies. Just soak your feet in warm salt water and then dry thoroughly with a clean towel. Apply some mild antiseptic cream on the toenail and surrounding skin. Bandage the toe properly. Shift to comfortable footwear that offers enough room for your toe. However, if the swelling, pain or discharge aggravates in spite of this home remedy then it is time to visit an expert podiatrist. Don’t be intimidated if he says that a minor surgical procedure needs to be conducted. In fact this is nothing but an in-office treatment whereby the overgrown skin or affected nail portion is removed and the infection is treated with some medicine. However, it is always advisable to visit an experienced foot care specialist only for the purpose rather than opting for a general physician.