5150 Hill Rd. East Suite A, Lakeport, CA 95453
415 Hospital Drive, Ukiah, CA 95482
There are many people who notice they have dry skin on their feet, especially in the cold months. This could lead to a condition that is referred to as cracked heels, which may become a serious ailment if it is not treated properly. Some of methods that can be used to prevent cracked heels include moisturizing the feet within five minutes of bathing, and wearing shoes that have a closed back. Dry skin on the heels may be prevented by applying a balm and wearing socks before bed. People who are obese may experience cracked heels, as a result of the extra weight the feet must endure. There may be existing medical conditions that can lead to this ailment, such as diabetes and thyroid disorders. Cracked heels can cause pain and discomfort, and may bleed in severe cases. If you notice dry skin on your heels, it is suggested you consult with a podiatrist before it becomes worse and develops into cracked heels.
Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Matthew McQuaid, DPM from Lake Mendocino Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.
How Do You Get Them?
Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.
Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.
Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.
Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.
Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin.
Change in Diet
Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.
Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed.
Cracked heels may make you want to think twice about showing off your feet in warmer weather. However, cracked heels may be harmful to more than just the appearance of your feet. If deep fissures and cracks develop in your heels, they may make walking and standing painful for you. Additionally, these openings make way for germs to enter through your skin and cause infection.
There are several different causes of cracked heels. One of the most common reasons for this ailment is dry skin. This problem may make your keeps feel rough tight and itchy. Dry skin may be caused by cold air, extremely hot water, harsh soaps, and aging. Skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis may eventually lead to dry skin. In some cases, complications may arise from cracked heels. Some of these complications are a loss of feeling in the heel, cellulitis, or a diabetic foot ulcer.
There are ways you can try to prevent getting cracked heels. One of the best ways to do so is to avoid wearing flip flops and sandals because these shoes increase your risk of drying out your feet. You should also avoid wearing shoes with a tall skinny heel, because these shoes cause your heel to expand sideways. At night, you should slather on a thick moisturizing cream on your feet and then cover them in socks to keep your feet moisturized overnight. Drinking water to stay hydrated is also a good way to ensure that your skin doesn’t become dry.
If you suffer from a severe case of cracked feet, you should make an appointment with your podiatrist to see what treatment methods are best for you.
Your feet are covered most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.
When conservative, noninvasive methods prove ineffective, surgery may be selected as the next course of action for the treatment of your foot or ankle condition. A wide number of foot and ankle surgical procedures exist, and it is up to your podiatrist to determine which intervention will be most appropriate and helpful for your case. Some surgical procedures include bunion surgery, fusion, hammertoe surgery, heel spur surgery, metatarsal surgery, nail surgery, neuroma surgery, reconstructive surgery, skin surgery, and tendon surgery. Typically, surgery is turned to as a definitive way to alleviate excessive pain or discomfort and to return your foot to full mobility.
Regardless of the location on the body, all surgical procedures require preoperative testing and examination to ensure the surgery’s success and preferred outcome. A review of your medical history and medical conditions will take place, as will an evaluation of any current diseases, illnesses, allergies, and medications. Tests such as blood studies, urinalyses, EKG, X-rays, and blood flow studies may be ordered. Because the procedure involves the foot and/or ankle, the structures of your feet while walking may also be observed by your podiatrist.
Care post-surgery will depend on the type of surgical procedure performed. Typically, all postoperative care involves rest, ice, compression, and elevation. To improve and ensure a safe recovery, your foot and ankle surgeon may also employ the use of bandages, splints, surgical shoes, casts, crutches, or canes. He will also determine if and when you can bear weight. A timely and thorough recovery is a priority for both you and your podiatrist, and carefully following postoperative instructions can help achieve this.
People who have severe arthritis may consider having a surgery performed that is known as a triple arthrodesis. It is a procedure that fuses three joints of the ankle. It may help to have this type of foot surgery done to relieve pain if the joints are deformed or unstable as a result of arthritis. Existing conditions that may qualify for a triple arthrodesis can include ankle instability, severe flat foot, or extremely high arches. Some patients have abnormal connections between the bones and may consider this type of surgery. A proper diagnosis is performed by having X-rays taken, which can be beneficial to completely understanding the problems in the ankle. There may be risk factors with this type of surgery. Bones may fuse abnormally, and there could be delayed wound healing or nerve injury. If you have arthritis, and it is severely affecting your ankle, it is suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can determine if this surgery is correct for you
When Is Surgery Necessary?
Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:
What Types of Surgery Are There?
The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:
Benefits of Surgery
Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.
Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.
Foot Therapy for Sports Injuries
Athletes are used to engaging in high-intensity workouts. Consequently, athletes are at an increased risk for enduring foot or ankle injuries. The most common way to treat these types of injuries is the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). However, braces and casts may be required in some cases. If you are suffering from any of these injuries, it is best that you seek help from your podiatrist right away.
Achilles tendinitis is a type of overuse injury of the Achilles tendon, which is the tendon connecting the calf muscles to the heel. This type of injury commonly occurs in runners who increase the intensity of their workouts. Symptoms for this condition start off as a mild ache in the back leg or above the heel. Some people experience tenderness around the area in the morning, however this feeling tends to improve over time. If you suspect you have Achilles tendinitis, you doctor may order an x-ray to show whether your Achilles tendon has calcified. Common treatment options for this condition include rest, ice, exercise, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication.
Plantar Fasciitis is a condition that is commonly found in women. It is a painful condition that occurs when the bands of tissue that connect the heel to the toes become inflamed. Symptoms for plantar fasciitis are heel pain that worsens in the morning and improves throughout the day with activity. Your podiatrist will diagnose plantar fasciitis by checking for tender areas on your foot. In rare cases, an x-ray may be required for a more thorough examination. There are various treatment options that may be used to help someone with this ailment. Depending on the specific case, some of these options include: physical therapy, shockwave therapy, and in rare cases, surgery.
Stress fractures are tiny cracks in the bone that occur due to repetitive force. These fractures are typically the result of overuse injuries such as repeatedly running and jumping. Symptoms of a stress fracture include pain when exercising, tenderness, and mild swelling. To diagnose a stress fracture, your doctor will likely ask you a series of questions about your overall health and the activities you are involved in. Next, an x-ray will likely be performed to check for the fracture. In some cases, fractures don’t appear on x-rays until weeks afterward. In these cases, an MRI or a bone scan may be required. Typical stress fractures may be treated by resting the area and taking a break from highly intense activities.
Ankle sprains occur when the ligaments that support the ankle are stretched far beyond their limits. These injuries occur when you roll, twist, or turn your ankle in an awkward way. Ligaments are essential in helping us move around because they are responsible for stabilizing the joints. Usually, sprained ankles occur due to ligaments on the outer part of the ankle becoming stretched. Symptoms of ankle sprains are swelling, bruising, instability of the ankle, and restricted range of motion. Normally, when people sprain their ankle, they will hear a popping sound during the injury. Depending on the severity, ankle sprains are graded based on how much damage has occurred to the ligaments. Grade 1 is mild, grade 2 is moderate, and grade 3 is severe.
Foot massages can be an effective form of foot therapy. The benefits of this form of therapy include relieving sore muscles, and it can help to aid in relaxation. Additionally, research has shown that getting frequent foot massages may help patients to sleep better and it may be easier to manage emotions. There are several methods of performing a good foot massage. These can include gently bending the toes which may help to increase flexibility, and squeezing the heel which is beneficial in relieving tension at the back of the foot. Additionally, when pressure is applied to the inside of the foot, this may help to provide an overall positive feeling in the body. Many patients enjoy having their Achilles tendon massaged which can aid in reducing any tightness in that area. If you would like additional information about how foot massages can help you, please confer with a podiatrist who can answer any questions you may have.
Foot therapy is often necessary for those recovering from either foot deformities or foot injuries. If you have concerns regarding therapy, Matthew McQuaid, DPM of Lake Mendocino Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Most Common Injuries
People who are active or athletes are prone to a variety of injuries. Therefore, it is often important to take part in physical therapy in order to quickly get back on the right track.
What to Do When Injured
Physical Therapy – This specialized treatment will focus on the affected area, speeding up recovery and the overall healing process. It is a proven method that has helped millions of people return from any injury.
During physical therapy you will undergo regimented training to get back into full form. Training is often very difficult, especially at first when the foot feels weak. Physical therapy often involves:
Basic stretching and twisting exercises – getting the feet’s mobility and flexibility up.
Massaging – the therapist will massage the injured area in order to activate the muscles and relax them.
Strengthening Exercises – this allows the muscles in the affected area to regain their full strength, a vital step towards full recovery.
The feet, being the foundation of the body, carry all of the body’s weight and are therefore prone to experiencing pain and discomfort. If you are experiencing foot pain, it is important to determine where in the foot you are experiencing this pain to help discover the cause of it. While pain can be experienced virtually anywhere in the foot, the most common sites of foot pain are in the heel and ankle.
Heel pain can be due to a multitude of conditions including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, and heel spurs. Pain experienced in the ankle can be a sign of an ankle sprain, arthritis, gout, ankle instability, ankle fracture, or nerve compression. In more serious cases, pain in the foot can be a sign of improper alignment or an infection.
Foot pain can be accompanied by symptoms including redness, swelling, stiffness and warmth in the affected area. Whether the pain can be described as sharp or dull depends on the foot condition behind it. It is important to visit your local podiatrist if your foot pain and its accompanying symptoms persist and do not improve over time.
Depending on the location and condition of your foot pain, your podiatrist may prescribe certain treatments. These treatments can include but are not limited to prescription or over-the-counter drugs and medications, certain therapies, cortisone injections, or surgery.
If you are experiencing persistent foot pain, it is important to consult with your foot and ankle doctor to determine the cause and location. He or she will then prescribe the best treatment for you. While milder cases of foot pain may respond well to rest and at-home treatments, more serious cases may take some time to fully recover.
Tendonitis, or inflammation of a tendon, is common among runners as well as others who do a lot of running during sports activities. A particular brand of tendonitis that occurs across the top of the foot is typical of overuse. It is known as extensor tendonitis, and affects the three tendons that connect the leg bones to the bones in the feet that allow you to walk and run. Symptoms include aching pain that worsens through activity. Some swelling may occur, and curling the toes usually adds to the pain as the tendons are stretched. Besides overuse, other factors to address include your footwear and training regime. Running shoes that fit poorly and are tied too tightly contribute to the pressure on the top of the foot. Also, changing your training program to include running up and down hills can negatively affect the extensor tendons. The first action to take against extensor tendonitis is to stop the activity. For other treatment options, it is wise to see a podiatrist who will be able to evaluate the severity of your condition and provide the appropriate solutions.
Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot pain, consult with Matthew McQuaid, DPM from Lake Mendocino Podiatry. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.
Foot pain is a very broad condition that could be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:
To figure out the cause of foot pain, podiatrists utilize several different methods. This can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.
Treatment depends upon the cause of the foot pain. Whether it is resting, staying off the foot, or having surgery; podiatrists have a number of treatment options available for foot pain.
Gout, typically found in diabetic patients, is an unusually painful form of arthritis caused by elevated levels of uric acid in the bloodstream. The condition typically strikes the big joint on the big toe. It has also been known to strike the knees, elbows, fingers, ankles and wrists—generally anywhere that has a functioning, moving joint.
The high level of uric acid in a person’s bloodstream creates the condition known as hyperuricema—the main cause of gout. Genetic predisposition occurs in nine out of ten sufferers. The children of parents who suffer gout will have a two in ten chance of developing the condition as well.
This form of arthritis, being particularly painful, is the leftover uric acid crystallizing in the blood stream. The crystallized uric acid then travels to the space between joints where they rub, causing friction when the patient moves. Symptoms include: pain, redness, swelling, and inflammation. Additional side effects may include fatigue and fever, although reports of these effects are very rare. Some patients have reported that pain may intensify when the temperature drops, such as when you sleep.
Most cases of gout are easily diagnosed by a podiatrist’s assessment of the various symptoms. Defined tests can also be performed. A blood test to detect elevated levels of uric acid is often used as well as an x-ray to diagnose visible and chronic gout.
Treatment for gout simply means eliminating symptoms. Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs (Colchicine and other corticosteroid drugs, etc.) will quell the redness, the swelling, and the inflammation. However, managing your diet, lifestyle changes, and using preventative drugs are all helpful toward fully combating the most severe cases.
Those that lead an inactive lifestyle are at a higher risk for gout. Any amount of exercise decreases the probability of repeat encounters with the condition. Reducing your consumption of red meat, sea food, and fructose-sweetened drinks also reduces the likelihood of chronic gout as well.
Ingesting Vitamin C, coffee, and particular dairy products can help with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. There are new drugs out on the market that inhibit the body’s production of uric acid-producing enzymes. However, reducing or eliminating your overall levels of uric acid is the best remedy to ensuring you lead a gout-free life.