Foot and Ankle Center Blog

Posts for: March, 2017

By Foot & Ankle Center Of Illinois
March 30, 2017
Category: Foot Care

Flip Flop FeetAs the temperatures rise and the weather begins to heat up, many will stay cool by slipping on a pair of their favorite flip-flops. Whether you are hitting the beach or simply walking around town, flip-flops are often our selected footwear of choice for those hot, summer months. Unfortunately, wearing flip-flops can lead to painful foot ailments, including cuts and abrasions, broken toes and painful sprains. The flip-flops that are widely purchased today can be extremely unsafe for your feet. 

Some flip-flops can be cushioned, which lead people to believe that they are good for your feet, but most offer little to no arch support. Flip-flops can also be very flimsy, which causes them to break down quickly. Shoes that do not offer proper arch support can lead to biomechanical abnormalities starting when the heel strikes the ground. This, in turn, can lead to pain felt in the joints of your foot and ankle, as well as in the knees, hips, lower back, shoulders and neck. If you wear flip-flops, wear them with caution and in moderation. It is important to assess how long you can wear flip-flops on an individual basis and to be aware of the effects they can have on your body.

Tension for Your Toes

Wearing flip-flops may feel like the next best thing to going barefoot, but your feet are working a lot harder than you may realize. By wearing flip-flops, you are forcing a change in your walking stride. With each step you take, your toes pull down on the shoe to stabilize the foot against the ground because your foot has to work harder to keep the flip-flop on. Forcing your toes to act in this unnatural manner can cause toe pain and even stubbed toes.

Problematic Heel Pain

It is estimated by the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons that about 15 percent of all adult foot injuries involve plantar fasciitis, which is an awful pain caused by the overstretching of a tendon in your heel called the plantar fascia. By wearing flip-flops, you are increasing your risk of developing heel pain. While many people don’t want to give up flip-flops, it's important to understand that if you are going to the beach, wear them. However, if you are going to the mall or even an amusement park, don’t wear them. 

Wear the Right Shoes for Your Activity

When choosing footwear for summer or vacation, it is important to follow these guidelines for healthy feet:

  • Shoes should be lightweight and ventilated.
  • Have an extra pair of shoes and alternate between them daily so that each pair has a chance to dry out completely.
  • Wear socks that are made of an acrylic fiber, not cotton, as acrylic draws moisture away from the feet.
  • Change your socks at least once a day.

Flip-flops should not be worn as everyday shoes—they are meant for the beach and the pool, not for everyday walking. Wearing flip-flops for an occasional stroll may be fine, but you should never overdo it.

If you feel pain in your foot or ankle, visit your podiatrist for further diagnosis and treatment. You can prevent painful foot conditions and injuries by wearing appropriate footwear and avoiding flip-flops. 


By Foot & Ankle Center Of Illinois
March 01, 2017
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Skin Cancer  

Skin Cancer and Foot Care

Skin cancer is common, accounting for nearly half of all cancers in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society. Despite these shocking statistics, less than one-third of Americans apply sunscreen regularly to protect themselves from the sun’s harmful rays—and when they do, the feet are often overlooked.

During the spring and summer seasons especially, the feet are exposed to the sun’s damaging rays, putting them at just as great of a risk for skin cancer as other frequently exposed parts of the body, such as the face and arms. For this reason, podiatrists warn patients to pay extra attention to their feet during months when the feet are exposed to avoid the harmful effects of the sun.

Prevention

The good news is that skin cancer of the feet is very preventable. For starters, always apply a generous layer of sunscreen to the tops of the feet, on and between the toes and to the soles of your feet. Reapply every few hours if you are outdoors for an extended period of time. If you are on the beach or at the pool, opt for water shoes rather than flip-flops which offer a sun-blocking mesh cover. And finally, inspect your feet regularly for unusual skin changes or abnormal growths.

Common Warning Signs

Because skin cancer of the feet can easily be mistaken for other, less serious problems--such as a wart, rash or fungal infection--it is important for patients to report any questionable symptoms to their podiatrist. Detecting skin cancer early is the key to optimal treatment.

Podiatrists are trained to diagnose and treat abnormal skin conditions of the feet. If a lesion is determined to be cancerous, our practice will recommend the best course of treatment for your condition.