Certain shoes can leave you prone to cracked heels and dry skin due to friction from wearing loose-fitted shoes. People who wear sandals and other open-heeled shoes are more at risk for developing cracked heels. Instead, opt for closed-heeled shoes that fit properly and provide support.
If you are overweight, you may be surprised to discover that this could be contributing to your dry, cracked heels. This is because your feet take on all of your weight while standing, walking, and running. By safely dropping that excess weight through a healthy diet and regular exercise you can alleviate some of the pressure placed on your heels to reduce the risk of cracking.
While we know just how luxurious it feels to stand in a steaming hot shower, especially during the winter months, this could be contributing to dry skin on your feet and cracked heels. If this is something you deal with regularly you may look at your current bathing or showering ritual to see if that could be the culprit. Simply use warm and not hot water, which can strip the skin of the oils it needs to stay moist.
You should moisturize your feet every day to prevent dry skin from happening in the first place. Moisturizers that contain lactic acid, glycerin, or petroleum jelly can help to lock in moisture in your feet. Moisturize every time you get out of the shower and throughout the day, especially before going to bed. If you are prone to very dry, cracked feet, you may wish to moisturize and then wear socks to bed.
If you have a serious health condition or are an athlete in training, visit your podiatrist in the Wilmette, IL, area, Dr. Gary Rogers. At Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic, Dr. Rogers often prescribes custom-made orthotics to alleviate problems associated with diabetes, running, and gait differences, such as overpronation. His high-quality orthotics fit your feet uniquely to reduce pain and increase mobility.
Podiatry Today reports that over the counter, or OTC, shoe inserts (orthotics) have increased in popularity in recent years, particularly as people participate more in amateur athletics and stay active long into their senior years. Primary care physicians often advise drugstore inserts as a first choice in treating foot complaints because of the lower price point of these products and the quick and ready availability at many retail outlets.
It's better to consult a podiatrist about orthotics
If you are experiencing foot pain, dysfunction, friction, or ulcers/wounds of any kind, your better choice for diagnosis, treatment, and orthotics is your podiatrist in the North Shore area. Dr. Rogers is an expert in foot and ankle biomechanics--in other words, how your lower extremities move and the pressures they withstand every day.
Also, he will diagnose your foot health issue accurately. Common foot ailments and conditions he treats include:
- Plantar fasciitis, inflammation of the ligament spanning the arch of the foot
- Diabetic wounds and ulcers
- Flat feet, toeing-in, and toeing-out
- Heel spurs
Many of these conditions respond well to consistent use of shoe inserts designed and fitted by your foot doctor.
How the orthotic process works
In general, custom orthotics are crafted from rigid, soft, or semi-rigid materials. Soft materials cushion and protect the feet. Rigid orthotics change or control how you place your feet as you walk, run or stand. Semi-rigid materials help athletes attain optimal balance and muscular function.
During your consultation with Dr. Rogers, he'll explain your diagnosis and treatment choices. Typically, foot care plans are multi-faceted with orthotics being just part of helping you feel better and function at your best.
To custom-craft your orthotics, Dr. Rogers will take a digital or plaster impression of each foot. From there, a pedorthist makes your shoe inserts. This professional consider the kind of shoe you wear--dress shoes, cleats, or running shoes as examples. Dr. Rogers will tell you when you should wear your orthotics and how to care for them.
If you have foot pain or dysfunction, contact your podiatrist at Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic in the North Shore, and Wilmette, IL, area. Dr. Rogers has wide-ranging expertise in a variety of foot and ankle conditions, and if you need orthotics, he's the doctor to see. Phone us today for an appointment: (847) 256-4434.
- Pain that occurs immediately after an injury or accident
- Pain that is directly above a bone
- Pain that is worse with movement
- Bruising and severe swelling
- A cracking sound at the moment of injury
- A visible deformity or bump
- Can’t put weight on the injured foot
The symptoms of a sprain are far less severe. You can often put weight on the injured foot with a sprain; however, you may notice some slight pain and stiffness. You may also have heard a popping sound at the moment of the injury with a sprain, while a broken bone often produces a cracking sound. The pain associated with a sprain will also be above soft tissue rather than bone. A podiatrist will perform an X-ray to be able to determine if you are dealing with a break or a sprain.
Rest is key to allowing an injury, particularly a fracture, to heal properly. Along with rest, your doctor may also recommend either an over-the-counter or prescription-strength pain reliever, depending on the severity of your fracture. Those with more moderate to severe fractures may require a special boot, brace, or splint. Those with more severe fractures may need to wear a cast and use crutches, so they can avoid putting any weight on the foot.
If possible, try to keep the blister intact. Do not try to pop or drain a blister that hasn’t popped on its own. It’s important not to put pressure on the blister, so avoid any shoes that may be too tight. If you’re going to put on shoes, make sure to apply a bandage (some band-aids are designed specifically for covering blisters) to the area first.
If the blister popped on its own, clean it with warm water soap (do not use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide on the blister). Once the area is clean, apply an over-the-counter antibiotic cream to the area and apply a bandage over the blister. These simple steps can prevent an infection from occurring.
You should only drain a blister if it’s very large, painful, or affects your ability to move. In this case, you should sterilize a needle with alcohol and then make a small hole in the blister to let it drain. You may need to carefully squeeze the blister to help it drain fully. Once the blister has drained, rinse out the area with soap and warm water before applying antibiotic cream to the area and placing a bandage over it.
You mustn’t keep the same bandage on your blister day in and day out. You should check the blister every day to make sure it isn’t infected. You should clean the area daily with soap and water and then reapply another bandage.
Ankle and foot injuries could impact one or several structures in the ankles and feet. Your ankle and foot complex contains numerous joints, bones, tendons, muscles, nerves, and ligaments. A problem, even a seemingly minor one, with any of these parts could lead to pain, discomfort, and other ill effects.
For this, a proper diagnosis with your North Shore, IL, podiatrist, Dr. Gary Rogers here at Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic in Wilmette, IL, is crucial to obtain proper treatment.
Common Types of Ankle and Foot Injuries
- Dislocations and fractures of the toe, foot, or ankle
- Soft tissue injuries such as ankle sprains, foot and toe bruises, ligament tears, foot infections, and wounds, as well as Achilles tendon injuries
- Repetitive strain injuries such as bunions, toe, foot, or ankle tendinitis, hammer toe, metatarsalgia, plantar fasciitis, and heel spurs
- Deformities and defects like cavus foot and clubfoot and deformities due to injury like Charcot's foot
- Nerve-related conditions such as peripheral neuropathy, tarsal tunnel syndrome, and Morton’s neuroma
It’s vital to consult your podiatrist for persistent ankle or foot injury symptoms, including pain, numbness, or swelling. Seeking proper treatment early on can help prevent the progression of these symptoms and resolve the initial cause of the injury. Some injuries, such as fractures and infections (especially if you’re diabetic), will require immediate treatment.
Common Treatments for Foot and Ankle Injuries
During your consultation in our Wilmette, IL, office, your podiatrist in North Shore, IL, will recommend a treatment plan that’s specific to your injury. In general, the main treatment goals include improving your symptoms and fixing any physical issues. These usually require physical therapy.
For minor injuries OTC anti-inflammatory medications and the RICE (resting, icing, compressing, and icing) treatment protocol usually works. Some conditions due to injuries like heel spurs and bunions will require an overhaul of your footwear choices. You may likewise have to use orthotics to help improve your comfort and ankle and foot alignment.
Additionally, for severe injuries, you might have to wear a cast, walking boot, or splint, and use crutches. More potent prescription medicines, corticosteroids injections, and/or surgical intervention might also be necessary to effectively treat certain ankle and foot injuries.
Need Help With An Ankle or Foot Injury? Get In Touch With Us
Arrange an appointment with your North Shore, IL, podiatrist, Dr. Gary Rogers of Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic in Wilmette, IL, by calling (847) 256-4434.
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