Are Your Feet Ready for Spring?

Keeping your feet healthy is fundamental to enjoying all that life has to offer. And by the time individuals reach the age of 50, they will have logged an astounding 75,000 miles on their feet. Today, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing his tips for getting your feet healthy for spring and the warmer weather.

As you age, it becomes imperative that you find a podiatrist who can help you care for your feet properly, especially if you have bunions, diabetes, nail disorders, high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, or undiagnosed pain.

The spring months are a popular time for people to think about their feet for the first time after a long winter in socks and boots. We all want our feet to look clean and well-maintained in sandals when the warmer weather hits.

Unfortunately, feet that are neglected can end up with a variety of disorders such as calluses, corns, ulcers, plantar warts, athlete’s foot, cracked heels, infections, fungal nails, ingrown nails, and dry skin, to name a few.

Here are some tips for getting your feet sandal-ready for spring.

  • Soak your feet. Soak your feet in a bath of warm water, a few drops of coconut oil and Epsom salts. This will soften the feet to make it easier to get rid of the dry skin.
  • Apply an intensive moisturizer to cracked heels and soles. Cracks in the feet can lead to infection if not remedied. But don’t use the moisturizer between your toes – that area should remain dry.
  • Smooth rough, troublesome corns and calluses. There are several ways to soften rough patches, including gels, files, electronic devices, and pumice stones. If you apply moisturizing cream and wear spa socks overnight, it can go a long way in softening the feet.
  • Reduce debris from keratin on the toenails. The nails can become unattractive after months of reduced airflow inside shoes and boots. Nails that are particularly thick, chalky, or yellow can be a sign of toenail fungus, which requires professional treatment.
  • Keep toenails trimmed. Trim toenails straight across and smooth the edges using a file so they can’t grow and cut into your skin. If you have trouble completing the task, ask your podiatrist to take over the job.

Don’t hide your feet this spring! By following these tips from our podiatrist, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists, you and your feet can face spring fearlessly. If you notice a condition that needs expert help, call our office today at (425) 455-0936 to book your visit or schedule an appointment online.

If You Have Diabetes, You’ve Got to Stay Active!

Many people who suffer from diabetes are concerned about engaging in vigorous physical activity or exercise, and that’s understandable. One of the most challenging aspects of diabetes is how it makes a person more susceptible to injury, especially in the lower legs and feet. Today, our podiatrist, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing information to alleviate your worries.

If you’re suffering from neuropathy and/or poor circulation, it can be easy to overlook a minor injury for so long that it becomes a bigger problem.

Regular exercise is a critical part of diabetes treatment and management. Engaging in an active lifestyle has major benefits for a person living with diabetes, including, but not limited to:

  • Weight loss;
  • Improved sugar regulation;
  • Better blood pressure and cholesterol regulation;
  • Improved blood flow to the feet;
  • Cells that are more efficient at absorbing nutrients.

Getting (or staying) in shape and living an active life is one of the best ways to keep your condition from worsening, and therefore preventing complications.

As a diabetic, you should be active but do so safely and responsibly

One element of this approach is the activities you select. Depending on the seriousness of any circulatory or neuropathy problems, running or high-impact sports might not be the best choice for you.

However, there are much lower-impact strength, aerobic, and range-of-motion exercises you can perform, including bicycling (outdoor or stationary), brisk walking, weight training, and swimming.

Another component is protection – you should always make sure you’ve got the proper gear for your activity. That includes comfortable shoes that breathe well, fit correctly, and are a good fit for the activities or sports you’ll be engaging in.

Lastly, determine how the exercise is affecting your sugar levels and prepare accordingly. That means always testing yourself before, during (if possible) and after exercising, at regular intervals. Stay hydrated, and pack some quick-acting carbs in the event if your sugar level gets too low. A great idea is to document how your sugar level varies with different activities, so you know what to expect going forward.

You should aim for at least 30 uninterrupted minutes of moderate exercise and stay active throughout the day. Try not to remain sedentary for long stretches of time.

If you have any additional questions regarding your diabetic foot care and how your activity level may be affecting it, call the office of Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists today at (425) 455-0936 to schedule a consultation.

Nervous About Your Neuromas?

If you’re experiencing foot pain, you may be wondering what could be causing it. Many conditions affect the feet, and one such condition is known as a neuroma. Today, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing information to relieve your anxiety.

A neuroma is a disorder of the nerves that can result in a great deal of pain. Sometimes referred to as a pinched nerve, it is actually a nerve growth or tumor many of which are benign (noncancerous).

What Are the Symptoms of a Neuroma?

The most common symptom of a neuroma is foot pain that is usually felt at the location of the neuroma, which is most often between the toes. These tumors can also cause tingling in the ball of the foot, a burning feeling, or even numbness in the foot.

Walking is often particularly painful for people who are suffering from a neuroma. At the first onset of pain, the person often assumes that they have a pebble in their shoe, as the growth can cause inflammation in the foot.

What Causes a Neuroma?

There is no one identified cause of a neuroma; however, there are some possible ones to consider. For instance, trauma to the nerve in the foot can cause inflammation and irregularities in the anatomy of the foot – such as flat feet or extra bones – can also cause a neuroma. They can also be the result of stress injuries from high-impact activities, many hours on your feet at work, or wearing poorly-fitting footwear.

Can a Neuroma Be Treated at Home?

If you suspect that you are suffering from a neuroma, you can try certain therapies at home to lessen your discomfort. Ice massages may reduce pain and swelling in the foot. Rub or massage ice on the ball of the foot and in between the toes for immediate relief.

Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines can also diminish your discomfort. Orthotics can redistribute the pressure on your foot when you are walking or standing to put less pressure on the neuroma and reduce irritation and pain.

What Medical Treatments Are Available?

In addition to home remedies, a number of medical treatments can also help relieve the discomfort from a neuroma. For example, corticosteroid shots are used to decrease inflammation in the affected area and reduce pain.

There are two surgical procedures that can also provide relief from a neuroma. With the decompression technique, your podiatrist will take out the ligament that is applying pressure to the affected nerve. Another option is to remove the nerve entirely, but doctors typically leave this as a last resort because it can result in numbness that is permanent.

Now that you know these facts about neuromas, it’s time you receive the care you need to finally eliminate your foot pain. Call the office of Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists today at (425) 455-0936 to schedule a consultation so we can work together to relieve your pain and your anxiety!