Are Your Shoes Causing Problems With Your Feet?

Properly-fitting footwear should have little or no negative impact on our health. Poorly chosen and incorrectly-fitting footwear can harm our feet. If footwear is incorrect, short-term problems can become long-term and create a reluctance to pursue activities such as walking. Today, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is discussing some issues that may be caused by poorly-fitting shoes.

Corns: Corns are a lump of dead, hard skin that occurs over a bony bump, like a joint. In many cases, they are caused by sustained pressure to the specific area, typically from poorly fitting footwear. Loose shoes can cause your foot to rub and slide and cause corns.

Nail problems: Wearing socks with shoes that don’t fit properly and are too tight puts too much pressure on the sides of the toes and can push the skin into the nail plate, causing an ingrown toenail. Avoid wearing tight footwear and hosiery that can cause damage to the toenail through recurring trauma. This can also create a moist environment in which toenail fungus can occur.

Athlete’s foot: This condition is caused by a fungal species that live on the skin. It causes  inflammation, flaking of the skin, and intense itching. The condition is simultaneously uncomfortable, unsightly, and extremely contagious. Wear light, breathable shoes that won’t lock in moisture or overheat your feet. If possible, try alternating the shoes you wear to give each pair a chance to dry out between uses thoroughly.

Collapsed arches: Fallen arches, more commonly known as flat feet, occurs when a person’s feet have no or low arches and, therefore, they press flat against the ground. This typically happens when there is tightness in the Achilles tendon and the muscles at the back of the leg when walking.

Preventative Steps

The answer to avoiding these problems in both the long and short term is quite simple. Be mindful of the footwear you buy, and how often you wear a particular style. A change in footwear will encourage and enable you to walk farther and for more extended periods, leading to a healthier lifestyle.

If you’re experiencing any issues with your feet, or want to be sure you’re wearing properly-fitting footwear, contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists to schedule a consultation. Call our office today at (425) 455-0936 to book your visit or schedule an appointment online.

Ingrown Toenails: What Runners Should Know!

Ingrown toenails are painful, and the throbbing and pressure they cause can make each step unbearable. Today, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing information regarding ingrown toenails that all runners should be aware of.

Causes of Ingrown Toenails

Though they seem to appear out of nowhere, there are a few things that can trigger an ingrown toenail. One of the most common causes is shoes that are too tight on the toe, like high heels that force pressure on the front of your foot.

Running automatically elevates your risk. Any activity that puts repetitive pressure on the nail in the shoe, such as biking, running, or other sports, can put you at a higher risk for an ingrown nail.

Treatment for Ingrown Toenails

There are a few ways to try to relieve the symptoms at home. Soaking feet in warm water with Epsom salts and then gently massaging them may provide short-term relief from inflamed tissue.

You can also try repairing an ingrown toenail using a topical treatment. Over-the-counter, topical medications work to soften the nail or skin, and NSAIDs should provide pain relief.

A word of caution – don’t postpone getting your feet examined if your ingrown nail doesn’t appear to be improving after a few days of treating it on your own. If the issue is not improving, see your podiatrist for professional care. This is especially the case if there’s any drainage that looks like pus, if there’s redness to the toe, or if you experience fever, nausea, or chills.

Podiatrists agree that it’s not smart to play doctor and perform “surgery” on your ingrown toenail. Repetitive cutting and digging of the nail can worsen the ingrown toenail. If you have a chronic ingrown toenail, you may want to talk to your podiatrist about a procedure to permanently stop them from happening.

Preventing an Ingrown Toenail

The most important thing you can do to stop ingrown toenails from occurring is to wear shoes that fit properly with sufficient width in the toe box. Also, socks that don’t overly compress the toes can help.

Cutting your toenails correctly can also help reduce your risk of getting an ingrown nail. They are less likely to occur if your nails are cut straight across with no angles.

If you’re a runner, you know that proper foot health is key to your endurance. If you’re experiencing the symptoms of an ingrown toenail or any other condition that affects your feet – don’t hesitate – call the office of Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists today at (425) 455-0936 or schedule your appointment online.