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Heading to the beach this weekend? Don’t forget to put sunblock on your feet too!

There’s a reason why your skin is the body’s largest organ. It covers every inch of us, giving us information about the outside world, through the magic of touch. But that also means that in addition to soft and cuddly sensations, the skin is also exposed to harsh elements like the sun, rough surfaces, friction from shoes, pathogens, and anything you might be allergic to.

The skin on your feet are susceptible to the following:

  • Blisters, rash, or hives: Allergies can cause your skin to react to certain substances like sock materials or grass. You may feel itchy at the contact location, and pain if blisters occur in response to allergic contact dermatitis.
  • Athlete’s foot: Dry, itchy skin near the toes (as with Athlete’s foot) can be caused by the fungus, tinea. The same fungus can get into the toenails, causing brittle, discolored toenails, or fungal toenails.
  • Rash: Athlete’s foot can be a cause for a rash on the feet, but autoimmune skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis can also cause dry, itchy, scaly skin and rash.
  • Corns and calluses: These are caused by chronic friction, typically on the toes or near the balls of the feet. As a preventative measure, the skin thickens and can become painful and unsightly.
  • Smelly feet: Foot odor usually occurs when there is an overgrowth of bacteria or fungi. They can be contracted in communal areas such as locker rooms or community pools and can live in your socks and shoes. If you tend to sweat throughout the day, especially if you have hyperhidrosis, there’s a good chance that the bacteria and fungi thrive and make things stinky. They can also cause an infection!
  • Infection: Any cuts, scrapes, or large wounds are susceptible to attack by bacteria, fungi, or viruses. Any open skin allows for pathogens to enter and cause problems for your skin, including ulcers.
  • Warts: If you an open wound on your foot comes into contact with a surface in which someone else with warts has touched it, you are at risk of getting warts on your feet too. They can come and go on their own, but warts can become painful and continue to live in your body if not properly treated.
  • Malignant melanoma: While not commonly found on the foot, it is still possible to find an unusual looking mole on your feet, especially if your feet are often exposed to the sun.
  • Dry skin and heels: Just like the rest of your skin, your feet might become dry as well. The most commonly dry area of your feet is the heel. When you’ve got heel fissures, your heels can become dry and cracked, even causing you pain.

If you’ve noticed some changes in the skin of your feet, make an appointment at our Crofton, MD office to see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll. At Crofton Podiatry, we will use the latest treatment options to assess and take care of your foot and ankle care needs. Our Crofton, MD office serves the surrounding areas of Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD.

 

By Crofton Podiatry
March 06, 2018
Category: Proper Footwear

You may not realize it, but shoes have a lifespan. Depending on what they are used for and how often they are used, shoes may need to be replaced as often as every 3 to 4 months!

Why is it important to get new shoes?

Maybe it’s because you love to shop for and collect footwear, or maybe you’re an avid runner. Regardless of why you get new shoes, there is a good foot health reason for getting new shoes. Yes, there IS an actual excuse to go shoe shopping!

When you first purchase shoes, the material is usually rigid, there is plenty of cushioning on the insole, and the outer rubber sole provides a lot of traction. Over time, however, the materials can become softer and worn down. The insoles no longer support you the way they once did, and you might feel more impact with every step you take.

Worn down shoes can begin to cause you problems if you do not replace them (or at least remedy them with orthotic inserts). When shoes lose their supportive features, your feet have to strain to stabilize you as you walk or run. The repetitive and long-term strain on your feet or ankles can lead to painful issues such as plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis. Furthermore, if you keep wearing your favorite pair of shoes until they are falling apart, you could also be risking bacterial or fungal growth in the material, which can lead to foot odor or skin disease.

When should I get new shoes?

Look for some of these signs for the right time to replace shoes:

  • If shoes no longer feel snug on your feet, no matter how tightly you tie the shoelaces, they are probably losing structural support.
  • If you can no longer feel cushion in the inner soles, you need to get new shoes or add orthotic inserts.
  • If the tread on your shoes (especially hiking shoes) is reduced, and you seem to slip on dirt trails, you should get new shoes to prevent injury.
  • If the shoes no longer support your arches, allowing them to fall flat when you walk, it’s time to replace them.
  • If your heels slip around in your shoes, the heel cups are too worn down.

Remember to buy shoes that are comfortable and supportive when you try them on in the store. You shouldn’t rely on them to “break in” and get more comfortable later, as some materials do not allow for it.

Having trouble finding shoes that support your foot needs? Make an appointment by calling our office at (410) 721-4505 to consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. He can assess your feet and, if necessary, help you with custom orthotics. Come see our friendly podiatric team at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.

Have you found a valentine yet? What are your plans to give them the ultimate Valentine’s Day? If you need ideas, start with their feet.

Wait, it may sound silly, but hear us out! Haven’t you ever had a long day of standing or walking, leaving you with achy feet? If only you had someone to give you a nice foot rub to help you wind down…

While a chocolate, flowers, and a fancy dinner are wonderful and almost expected for most couples, try focusing on the feet to get to the heart:

  • Swap out high heels and oxfords or loafers for softly cushioned slippers. A nice night out may have meant squeezing your feet into uncomfortable formal shoes.
  • Schedule in a foot soak. It’s an easy way to start the foot pampering session. For tired or sore feet, add Epsom salts and any essential oils your partner might like. To add some extra romantic vibes, throw in some rose petals.
  • Afterwards, you can roll your sleeves up, grab some lotion, and give your partner a nice foot rub. Key massage points include: below the big toe joint, plantar fascia (the band of tissue that shows up when you pull the big toe back), the arch, and the back of the heel and ankle. These spots are particularly soothing for those who suffer from plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis,
  • You can also just do both the soak and rub in one go by scheduling a pedicure where you can both enjoy some pampering, minus the work.
  • End the experience by snuggling up by a fire or by keeping your feet in a foot-warming blanket. Just be careful not to burn your feet, especially if you or your partner have diabetes and have lost feeling due to diabetic neuropathy.

If either of you has foot concerns or maybe feel embarrassed about foot odor or foot fungus, make an appointment by calling our office at (410) 721-4505. We can help you feel better about your feet! Consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry for an assessment and treatment, if needed. Visit our dedicated and friendly team at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.

By Crofton Podiatry
January 16, 2018
Category: Footwear

What does a nurse, line cook, hairdresser, and a member of the Queen’s Guard at Buckingham Palace all have in common? The answer: they stand for the majority (if not all) of their time at work. While standing still or simply walking around doesn’t seem too difficult, it’s more challenging than you think. It’s especially tough on the feet and ankles, as they do not get enough rest to recover throughout the day.

People who stand all day at work tend to have more issues with their legs, feet, and back, especially if they do not maintain a good posture all day (and let’s be honest, who is able to maintain proper posture the WHOLE time – with the exception of the Queen’s guard?). The surfaces are usually hard, so unless you have supportive, cushioned shoes, as well as a cushioned standing mat, your body can feel much more fatigued than the average office desk employee.

So what kind of shoes can help you if you have to stand all day? Consider the following footwear factors when buying your work shoes:

  • Cushion – Look for shoes with more cushion on the insoles than regular shoes. If you have to, add orthotic inserts to give you even more cushioning.
  • Fit – Shoes should fit well. They shouldn’t be too small, narrow, or tight as that can cause problems like hammertoes, bunions, or corns. They shouldn’t be too big either, as your feet will have to strain to stabilize you, causing overuse problems like plantar fasciitis.
  • Support – If you have flat feet or fallen arches, you’ll want to make sure you have good arch support. Otherwise, you may be standing or walking in an overpronated position all day, straining other parts of the feet like your Achilles tendon (causing Achilles tendonitis).
  • Material/Protection – Depending on your worksite, try to choose shoes that are breathable so that they do not get overheated and sweaty, which could lead to foot odor and fungal or bacterial growth. However, if you will be at risk of injury from heavy or sharp falling objects, adhere to the work site’s dress code for shoes and add orthotic inserts as needed. You may also want to change your socks mid-shift if you tend to sweat a lot (like with hyperhidrosis). 

Take breaks when you can, and try to elevate your feet if you are prone to swelling. When you get home, take a warm foot soak and get a foot massage to find relief and rejuvenate your feet for the next workday!

Do you have overuse injuries or pain from your work shoes? Consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry to get an assessment for the right treatment. Make an appointment at our office in Crofton, MD by calling (410) 721-4505. Our office also serves the surrounding areas of Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD.

By Crofton Podiatry
December 06, 2017
Category: Proper Footwear

The cold weather has come and it looks like it’s here to stay! We’ve talked about “Keeping Your Feet Warm” and “Winter Foot Care for Diabetics” in previous posts, but another important aspect of winter foot care includes choosing the right footwear during these cold months. The following are some questions to consider when choosing your winter boots to keep your feet injury and pain-free:

What is the condition of any winter boots that you already own?

  • Do they still fit you, and are they comfortable when you put them on? Do they support your arch and heels, or do the insoles feel flat?
  • Also, check the outer sole. One of the most important parts of winter boots are their non-skid properties, so if tread on the outer sole has worn down (and if the other parts of the shoes are worn out), it’s important to get a new pair. 

What is the weather like where you live?

  • Do you get a lot of snow (and need non-slip tread) or are you more likely to encounter ice (in which case you may need ice grip attachments)? Maybe everything becomes slushy, so your priority is waterproofing.

What activities will you be performing?

  • If you won’t be performing any winter-related sports activities or trekking out into the wilderness, it’s likely that regular winter boots – comfortable, warm, with good tread on the outer sole – will do the job.
  • However, if you will be participating in activities like winter hiking, ice fishing, or even ice climbing, you’d better have the appropriate shoes that are specifically designed to keep you safe during those activities. They will have features like built-in liners, laces that you can tighten (as opposed to slip on boots), and waterproofing to keep your feet warm and dry. During most of these activities, you’ll likely be in very cold temperatures, so even the slightest bit of wetness in the shoes can lead to frostbite!

What kind of socks will you be wearing?

  • Especially when trying on new activity-specific shoes, make sure to wear the socks (or ones of the same thickness) that you plan to wear with them to ensure a good fit. If you change the socks, it can affect the fit, either leaving too much room in the shoes or being too tight. This could affect performance, restrict blood flow to your toes, or cause your feet to slide around inside, reducing agility.
  • For everyday winter boots, you should still wear socks with your shoes, even if they are fur-lined. While they may be warm, the warmth can actually cause your feet to sweat and increase foot odor. Beyond that, you can bring germs like bacteria and fungus into your shoes, which can live in your warm boots. Wear clean socks each day to prevent infection.

Do you have concerns about how your winter boots fit? You may need custom orthotic inserts, especially if you have previous foot or ankle issues. Consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. Make an appointment at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas. Call (410) 721-4505 today to receive a thorough assessment by our dedicated podiatric team.




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2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25
Crofton, MD 21114

Podiatrist - Crofton, Crofton Podiatry, 2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25, Crofton MD, 21114 (410) 721-4505