Why Are My Feet Always Sweaty?

Sweaty feet can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. There’s nothing worse than sliding around in your shoes, soaking through your socks, or feeling self-conscious about your foot smell. Especially in the summertime, when the temperatures are at their peak and open-toed shoes become more popular, excessive sweating can become a real problem. If you’ve been struggling with sweaty feet, you might think you just have to live with this problem. At our Austin podiatry practice, Dr. Jeffery LaMour and our team understand that your feet are the foundation of your overall well-being. We’re here to assist you with any and every podiatric problem you might encounter, including sweating. In the following blog, we answer the question: “why are my feet always sweaty?” and offer our recommendations.

Why Do Feet Sweat So Much?

Have you ever felt like your feet sweat more than any other part of your body? Well, you’re right—they do! WebMD explains: “the function of sweat glands is to keep the skin moist and therefore supple, and to regulate temperature when the weather is hot or while you are exercising.” Since your feet take a real beating from being walked on all day and are key to most forms of exercise, it makes sense that “there are more sweat glands in our feet than anywhere else in the body.” It turns out that, not only are there more sweat glands in your feet, they’re also particularly active: “unlike sweat glands elsewhere in the body, the sweat glands in the feet secrete all the time, not just in response to heat or exercise.” In short, even healthy feet sweat a lot. It’s just a part of our anatomy!

Could It Be Hyperhidrosis?

We expect feet to sweat, but how much is too much? If excessive foot sweat begins to interfere with your daily life, we recommend coming in to see Dr. LaMour for a consultation. You could be suffering from a condition known as palmoplantar hyperhidrosis. WebMD defines this condition as “a common disorder which produces a lot of unhappiness,” noting that “an estimated 2%-3% of Americans” deal with either axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive armpit sweat) or palmoplantar hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating in the palms and feet). WebMD points out that this condition can have a major impact on a patient’s quality of life: “sweating is embarrassing, it stains clothes, ruins romance, and complicates business and social interactions.” This is why you should not suffer in silence if your feet are overly sweaty.

Is It Just the Heat?

During the summer, it can be particularly hard to tell if you’re struggling with hyperhidrosis, or if your feet are simply sweating more to accommodate the hotter weather and higher humidity. You may have hyperhidrosis if:

  • Your feet sweat excessively in all seasons, not just during the summer heat. Patients with hyperhidrosis may experience sweating even when cold.
  • Your foot sweat is truly excessive. Yes, sweat can always be irritating and uncomfortable, but hyperhidrosis interferes with your day-to-day activities. As the American Podiatric Medical Association explains: “some people [with hyperhidrosis] sweat so much that their feet may slip around inside their shoes.”
  • Your feet look lighter or take on a white hue. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, “the feet may also have a whitish, wet appearance” due to overproduction of sweat.
  • Your feet have a particularly foul odor. Of course, your feet can stink even if you don’t suffer from hyperhidrosis but in many cases, “foot infections are present” along with excessive sweating because “constant wetness breaks down the skin, allowing infection to set in” and making “foot odor…common.”
  • You feel anxious about your foot sweat and odor on a regular basis, even to the point of avoiding social outings. “Those suffering from hyperhidrosis may also experience emotional stress and worry regarding foot odor. Sweat-related anxiety and isolation can be particularly severe among teens with plantar hyperhidrosis.”

The bottom line is this: if extreme foot sweat is having a negative impact on your life, you should see Dr. LaMour and our team for assistance as soon as possible.

Our Sweat Suggestions

If your feet are sweating normally during the heat, you can help alleviate discomfort by keeping as cool and dry as possible. We also recommend maintaining excellent podiatric hygiene, carefully washing your feet every day. Also, if you are sweating due to heat, we recommend making sure you stay appropriately hydrated to maintain your general health.

Dr. LaMour can create a customized treatment plan for those suffering from hyperhidrosis. This could include:

  • A more rigorous daily grooming routine using “antibacterial soap” to wash and, when dried, applying “cornstarch, foot powder, or an antifungal powder,” as per the American Podiatric Medical Association’s recommendations.
  • Wearing “wicking socks made of natural or acrylic fiber blends that draw the moisture away from your feet instead of trapping it.” You may also want to bring a change of socks and/or shoes with you to work or school.
  • Topical antiperspirants designed for your feet.
  • Targeted treatment to handle any bacterial or fungal infections (such as athlete’s foot) resulting from hyperhidrosis.
  • “Oral medications” such as “anticholinergics” to “reduce sweating,” as WebMD advises.
  • An advanced technology called “iontophoresis” in which “a device passes ionized tap water through the skin using direct electricity.”
  • ·Surgery, in very severe cases.

Dr. LaMour will go over your particular symptoms, needs, and preferences to determine which treatments may be most appropriate for you. We are committed to helping you manage your hyperhidrosis and get back to your life.

Are You Suffering from Excessive Foot Sweat?

We can help! Don’t wait to seek treatment! Contact our Austin podiatry practice today to schedule an appointment with Dr. LaMour.

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/why-are-my-feet-always-sweaty/

Why Do My Feet Smell?

No one wants to smell badly. A foul odor fuming up from your feet can make you feel self-conscious on a date, at a business meeting, or even just walking down the street. In addition, while stinky feet may be common, they can also be symptoms of more serious podiatric problems, so it’s best not to ignore them entirely. At Dr. Jeffery LaMour’s Austin podiatry practice, we help patients deal with all sorts of foot-related difficulties, including smelly feet. Of course, if you want to tame the stench and give your feet a sweeter scent, you first need to figure out what’s causing them to smell at all. In the following blog, Dr. LaMour details exactly why your feet might smell and what you can do about it.

Bromodosis Basics

You’ve almost certainly noticed a less-than-rosy smell when taking off your shoes or washing your socks at some point, but you might not know the science behind this stink. As WebMD explains, the “medical name” for this condition is “bromodosis, [and it] can affect anyone.”

As you might have suspected, stinky feet have a lot to do with sweat and bacteria: “the function of sweat glands is to keep the skin moist and therefore supple, and to regulate temperature.” While they have their purpose, sweat glands can also get out of hand, and your feet are particularly prone to odor because “there are more sweat glands in our feet than anywhere else in the body.” Adding further power to your podiatric stench is the fact that “the sweat glands in the feet secrete all the time, not just in response to heat or exercise.” This means that, to some degree, your feet’s many glands are always sweating.

Sweat on its own can have a mild odor, but it’s when bacteria enter the picture that foot smells get more serious. WebMD notes: “feet smell when bacteria on the skin break down sweat as it comes from the pores. A cheesy smell is released as the sweat decomposes.” Ultimately, it’s the synthesis between many sweat glands and the bacteria on your feet that creates a truly remarkable reek.

Common Causes

As it turns out, the formula for smelly feet is pretty simple—sweat plus bacteria equals stink. There are many situations that could cause this equation to add up to odor. A few of the most widespread factors in bromodosis include:

  • Footwear. Your shoes could be the source of your stinky feet. As Fox News reports: “when the foot sweats, ‘usually it is trapped inside a shoe, and the sweat can’t evaporate’…this is true of most types of shoes, especially those made with synthetic materials and closed toes. As shoes get worn, dead skin and bacteria can build up inside, holing that pungent smell hostage.” Basically, your favorite cloth ballet slippers or gym shoes could be serving as incubators for odor, allowing bacteria to further infect your feet every time you put them on. If you’ve noticed that your feet tend to stink in certain shoes, you might consider either cleaning them or throwing them out. Old socks can also perpetuate the same vicious, smelly cycle, particularly if you don’t wash them appropriately.
  • Infection. Without bacteria to decompose your sweat, your feet wouldn’t really stink much. Fungal infections like athlete’s foot could also be to blame.
  • Stress. Anxiety and high-pressure circumstances can cause you to sweat more, providing more material for bacteria to break down into their stinky components.
  • Activity. Since stress is a major component of bromodosis, it makes sense that walking or running all day could worsen this condition. If you spend a lot of time on your feet, it’s particularly important to clean your feet regularly, wear breathable socks, and choose the right shoes.
  • Hormonal changes. WebMD explains: “teenagers and pregnant women are especially prone” to stinky feet, given the changes their bodies undergo.
  • Podiatric hygiene. It makes common sense that cleaning up your feet could help them smell a bit better. Scrubbing your feet with soap and water on a daily basis help wash away bacteria and sweat. On the flip side, poor podiatric hygiene can lead to or worsen bromodosis.

If you suffer from stinky feet, chances are, one or more of the above elements are affecting your podiatric health.

Fending Off Foot Smell

Once you understand the causes of bromodosis, the solutions to foot stench become relatively simple. While overall health factors like hormonal changes can be more difficult to address, you can do a lot for your foot odor by taking a closer look (or sniff) at your footwear, minimizing foot activity if possible, cleaning your feet appropriately, and treating any infections.

If you suffer from bromodosis, you should see Dr. LaMour for a consultation, since a bacterial or fungal infection may require professional podiatric care. Furthermore, we can recommend footwear and teach you podiatric hygiene tips to help you better care for your feet. With a full suite of outstanding foot and ankle services, we’re available to assist you in any way we can.

Do Your Feet Smell?

You don’t have to simply live with this embarrassing, uncomfortable, and potentially unhealthy condition! Contact our Austin podiatry practice today to learn more and schedule an appointment with Dr. LaMour.

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/why-do-my-feet-smell/

Nighttime Foot Cramp Causes

Imagine this: after a long day of work, you finally get in bed and begin to drift off to sleep…only your foot begins to cramp. Muscle spasms can interfere with your relaxation, enjoyment, and general lifestyle, especially if they occur in the evening. At our Austin podiatry practice, Dr. Jeffery LaMour and our team are committed to helping patients enjoy excellent podiatric and general health. After all, your feet are the foundation for your well-being. Understanding more about podiatric conditions can help you take better care of your feet. In the following blog, Dr. LaMour and our team explain what causes nighttime foot cramps and how we can assist you with them.

Cramping 101

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons notes, “just about everyone will experience a muscle cramp sometime in life.” You’ve probably suffered through one yourself, but you may not have understood exactly what was happening. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, “a cramp is an involuntary and forcibly contracted muscle that does not relax. Cramps can affect any muscle under your voluntary control (skeletal muscle). Muscles that span two joints are most prone to cramping.” Given that there are 33 joints in the foot, your feet are particularly susceptible to this condition.

Nighttime Cramp Culprits

So, we understand why your feet are more likely than other body parts to cramp at all, but what causes this to happen at night in particular? Of course, there are many elements that can contribute to nighttime foot cramping. A few of the most common reasons include:

· Dehydration. If you don’t drink enough water throughout the day, dehydration can come back to haunt you (and your feet) at night. Sweating during sleep could also worsen this scenario. If you suffer from nighttime foot cramps, make sure to drink plenty of water in the evening and try to cool your bedroom to minimize perspiration.

· Circulatory issues. Livestrong explains: “the general reason for foot cramps while sleeping is decreased circulation [blood flow] in the foot. The drop in oxygen to the foot muscles [during sleep] causes them to constrict or spasm, sometimes painfully.” If this is the cause of your nighttime cramping, you may need to see a general physician for assistance, but you can also minimize circulatory problems by making lifestyle changes like avoiding tight socks during sleep.

· Overexertion. Exercising is great for your health, but pushing your foot muscles too hard on long walks or at the gym during the day could lead to foot cramps at night. Try to take it easy on your feet when working out, especially right before bed.

· Electrolyte imbalance. Your muscles require a carefully calibrated combination of vitamins and minerals to work correctly. Livestrong notes: “electrolytic imbalance is a major factor in foot cramps. There must be a proper balance in the salts of sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. A dip in potassium is the chief culprit for stopping the proper electrical signals from being transmitted to your muscles.” If you fail to take the right vitamins or eat the right foods throughout the day, your electrolytes could become depleted during the night, causing foot cramps. Taking electrolyte supplements or eating a potassium-rich snack like a banana in the evening could help combat these cramps.

· Irregular positioning. Sleeping in strange configurations can also cut off circulation to your feet and lead to cramps. WebMD describes how “standing on a hard surface for a long time, sitting for a long time, or putting your legs in awkward positions while you sleep” can result in nighttime cramps. If you’re suffering from nightly foot cramps, you might consider how you position your legs while you drift off.

· Medications. Nighttime foot cramps may also be a side effect of certain drugs. According to WebMD, “antipsychotics, birth control pills, diuretics, statins, and steroids” can cause this condition. If you are on this type of medication and suffering from nighttime foot cramps, you may consider speaking to your doctor about your options.

These are just a few of the potential causes for nighttime cramps, but remaining aware of these considerations can help you take more control over this condition.

How We Can Help

If you’re experiencing moderate to severe foot cramps on a daily (or, in this case, perhaps nightly) basis, you don’t have to simply live with the discomfort. Dr. LaMour and our team are available to examine your feet, perform diagnostic tests, pinpoint the source of your symptoms, and create a customized treatment plan to suit your needs. We offer a full suite of podiatric treatments and services.

Contact Our Austin Podiatry Practice Today

Are you experiencing nighttime foot cramps? Do you want to learn more about your condition and enhance your podiatric well-being? Contact us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. LaMour!

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-diseases/nighttime-foot-cramp-causes/

Toenail Fungus Relief at Home

It’s time to talk about toenail fungus. According to the British Medical Journal, up to 5% of the general population and 15-20% of patients over 40 years old suffer from fungal nail infections. This condition can be both unsightly and uncomfortable, but it’s unfortunately common. Thankfully, Dr. Jeffery LaMour and our Austin podiatry team are here to assist you. We can utilize our extensive experience, comprehensive knowledge, and sophisticated technology to remedy your toenail fungus. Of course, we also recognize that you might want to try treating milder cases of toenail fungus at home, to begin caring for your toes before you have the chance to come in or enhance our professional treatments with additional methods. That’s why we’ve put together this week’s blog on toenail fungus relief at home.

Fungal Fundamentals

To help handle toenail fungus at home, you first need to understand what it is. WebMD explains: “toenail fungus is an infection that gets in through cracks in your nail or cuts in your skin.” Basically, these tiny organisms find a way into your nail and make their home there, creating a whole host of issues. According to WebMD, “[toenail fungus] can make your toenail change color or get thicker…hurt…[and] left untreated, an infection could spread to other toenails, skin, or even your fingernails.”

If you’ve never suffered from or seen toenail fungus before, you might imagine tiny mushrooms growing out of your toes or brightly colored skin surrounding them, but in reality, the symptoms are much subtler. Toes inhabited by fungus are “usually thicker than normal and could be warped or oddly shaped…break easily…look yellow… [and have] a white dot [that] shows up on the nail and gets bigger.” In extreme cases, the fungus “can loosen and even separate the nail from the bed.”

In treating toenail fungus, the basic idea is to destroy the tiny organisms wreaking havoc on your nail while preserving your own healthy tissue. Typically, you can attack the fungus topically (with ointments, creams, and liquids applied directly to it), surgically (with whole or partial removal of the affected nail), or orally (through prescription medications to eliminate the fungus from the inside out).

At-Home Remedies

As we’ve explained, many people suffer from toenail fungus. On the plus side, this means that they’ve come up with numerous ways to help resolve it, and some of them are quite effective. A few of the at-home remedies Dr. LaMour and our team recommend include:

  • Oregano oil. As it turns out, this fragrant substance is useful for more than just recipes. Healthline points out: “oregano oil contains thymol. According to a 2016 review, thymol has antifungal and antibacterial properties. To treat toenail fungus, apply oregano oil to the affected nail twice daily with a cotton swab.” This topical treatment is easy to apply and can help kill off the pesky fungus.
  • Listerine. That’s right: Listerine! It may seem silly to soak your fungal feet in mouthwash, but it may also work. According to Healthline, “Listerine contains ingredients such as menthol, thymol, and eucalyptus, which have antibacterial and antifungal properties.” If you’re ready for minty-fresh, fungus-free toes, you can try “soaking the affected foot in a basin of amber-colored Listerine for 30 minutes.”
  •  Vick’s VapoRub. Just as with the Listerine, this common cough treatment may also help alleviate toenail fungus. As Healthline reports, “its active ingredients, camphor and eucalyptus oil, may help treat toenail fungus. A 2011 study found Vicks VapoRub had a ‘positive clinical effect’ in the treatment of toenail fungus,” when put on the toenail daily.
  • Toenail trimming. Simply cutting the affected nail may help with symptoms. The Mayo Clinic encourages patients to “trim and thin the nails. This helps reduce pain by reducing pressure on the nails. Also, if you do this before applying an antifungal [topical treatment], the drug [or substance] can reach deeper layers of the nail.”
  • Garlic. For an at-home oral treatment, you might try garlic. “Garlic has some antifungal and antimicrobial capabilities…[you can] treat [toenail fungus] from the inside out with garlic capsules. Take as directed by the manufacturer,” per Healthline.

These solutions may help relieve your pain and speed up your healing.

Our State-of-the-Art Solution

Home remedies are excellent, but should not completely replace professional podiatric care. At our Austin podiatry practice, we offer a high-tech, sophisticated treatment option: our Pinpointe™ FootLaser™. This device sends powerful light beams to destroy fungus while safeguarding the nail bed and skin around it. This treatment is minimally invasive and quite effective, allowing healthy nails to begin growing in just two months. Dr. LaMour can further describe this advanced treatment system at your initial consultation.

Do You Have Toenail Fungus?

Dr. LaMour and our team can help! Contact our Austin podiatry practice today to discover more home remedies, learn about Pinpointe™ FootLaser™, and schedule an appointment.

How to Bandage a Toe Properly

Unfortunately, since they’re always on the ground helping you move about, your toes can really take a beating. From painful stubs to stinging cuts, annoying bruises, or even fungus, your toes can develop any number of injuries. Having a wounded toe can also take a toll on your life. Occupational Health & Safety Online reported: “According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 60,000-foot injuries per year result in lost work days.” Of course, if you’ve experienced toe trauma, you should see a podiatrist like Dr. Jeffery LaMour as soon as possible. Our Austin team can examine your toe, run diagnostic tests, and provide appropriate treatment to get you back on your feet. However, in the short term, you can begin the healing process by bandaging your injured toe. In the following blog, we explain how to do this, why it’s so important, and what else can be done to get your toe back in top-notch condition.

Why Bandage?

Unfortunately, since they’re always on the ground helping you move about, your toes can really take a beating. From painful stubs to stinging cuts, annoying bruises, or even fungus, your toes can develop any number of injuries. Ht your toe, you might be tempted to just leave it be, thinking that the protection of a shoe alone is good enough or that exposure to the air will help it heal. When you’ve cut, bruised, bumped, or even potentially broken a toe, it’s crucial to bandage it. You should dress any toe wounds immediately because: When you hurt your toe, you might be tempted to just leave it be, thinking that the protection of a shoe alone is good enough or that exposure to the air will help it heal. When you’ve cut, bruised, bumped, or even potentially broken a toe, it’s crucial to bandage it. You should dress any toe wounds immediately because:

  • Covering an open cut or sore can help you protect your toe from infection. Your toe will inevitably come in contact with less-than-sanitary surfaces such as the inside of your shoes, floors, or even the ground. A bandage provides a layer of defense against dirt and germs that could make your injury worse.
  • Compresses can help hold your toe in the proper position. Livestrong points out: “your toes are made up of 19 different small bones that can easily be injured and even broken…taping them limits any movement that can cause further pain or worsen the injury.” If there’s a chance your toe may be broken, bandaging it can help it set at the right angle to expedite the healing process.
  • Bandaging your toe can make life more comfortable while you cope with your injury. While it isn’t a permanent solution, covering your injury can make it easier to walk, drive, and go about your daily activities until you can see a podiatrist for professional care.

In short, you’d be remiss not to bandage a toe injury.

Toe Bandaging: Our Step-By-Step Guide

So, let’s say you’ve hurt your toe. Whether you’ve banged it into a wall, bruised it in ill-fitting shoes, cut it against sharp gravel, fallen down the stairs, or had some other sort of accident, the basic guidelines are the same. Dr. LaMour and our team recommend that you:

  1. Press gauze into the injury to stop bleeding, if you are.
  2. Clean the area with water and antibacterial soap, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, or another sanitizing agent to ensure the area remains sterile. You may also want to “spread on antibiotic ointment,” to continue treating the toe beneath the bandage, according to Livestrong.
  3. If necessary, put an appropriate adhesive bandage over any cuts or scrapes. This will help seal the open skin against bacteria.
  4. If your toe is bruised, inflamed, or appears at an odd angle, it may be broken or sprained. In this case, you should wrap sterile gauze around the toe and a healthy toe next to it, which will help keep it in proper position while it heals. Don’t wrap the gauze too tight, and leave the end of the toe exposed, to ensure proper circulation during healing.
  5. Wear comfortable, loose-fitting shoes and socks to accommodate the bandage and limit pressure on your injury.
  6. Change your bandages at least twice per day and monitor the condition of the injury. If it worsens, it is even more important to see Dr. LaMour immediately.

Long-Term Solutions

Of course, bandaging your toe is only a temporary fix. To truly restore the health of your toe, Dr. LaMour and our team need to diagnose the exact cause of your condition and create a customized treatment plan for you. We can help remedy toe fractures, ingrown toenails, toenail fungus, and all sorts of podiatric injuries. The most important thing for you to do is take your toe injury seriously and come see Dr. LaMour so we can assist you.

Are You Suffering From a Toe Injury?

Our team can help! To learn more about toe injuries, find out additional bandaging tips, and schedule an appointment with Dr. LaMour, contact our Austin podiatry practice today!

Original Source: www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/how-to-bandage-a-toe-properly/

How to Wear Shoes When Your Feet Are Sunburned

We hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day yesterday! Summer will be here before you know it, and with the weather heating up, holidays are a great time to go swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. As fun as it is, flip-flopping around in sandals or going barefoot through the grass can put your feet at risk for sunburn. Dealing with burnt, blistered, red skin is no fun anywhere on your body, but it can be particularly tough on your feet, since you’ll probably have to put on shoes and walk around even while they’re still healing. At our Austin podiatry practice, Dr. Jeffery LaMour and our team are here to help you with every facet of your foot health, including sunburns. We provide practical advice to assist with your podiatric health through every season and holiday. In the following blog, we’ll cover how to wear shoes when your feet are sunburned and give our tips for healing that frustrating condition.

Shoe Suggestions

Chances are, you won’t be able to drive your kids to school, go grocery shopping, or waltz into the office barefoot. It can be difficult or even seem downright impossible to strap on shoes over your burnt skin. To get through this tough stage of healing, we recommend:

  • Wearing flip-flops or other open shoes such as sandals, if appropriate. The less pressure you can put on your skin and the more you can leave it open to the air, the better. Steer clear of tight straps or textured materials that could rub against the burn.
  • Wearing loose socks and relatively roomy shoes, if you must wear close-toed footwear. Ideally, you can strike a balance between shoes that are too tight, which will pinch the burn, and those that are so big that your feet slide around in them, which could create much-unwanted friction for your sensitive feet.
  • Test out your shoes before you leave the house. While you might want to remain barefoot for as long as possible with a burn, it’s a good idea to try out your footwear for five to ten minutes before you head out. This gives you time to realize that the straps on those sandals are actually too tight, or switch out those textured socks for a smoother pair.

In addition to the above, you may want to take a low dose of an anti-inflammatory medication while you’re out and about to diminish discomfort and swelling. Also, see if you can minimize your time in shoes during the first few days after your sunburn. You should also avoid sun exposure as much as possible (so, if you need to work or run errands outside, you might want to go for close-toed options). This will give your feet the opportunity to heal faster.

Treating the Sunburn

Following the right steps at home can also make wearing shoes out more bearable, even with a bad burn. WebMD suggests: “apply cold compresses to your skin or take a cool bath to soothe the burn.” You can also utilize special “creams or gels” such as those with “menthol, camphor, or aloe.” These ingredients can help relieve discomfort and moisturize the area. For even greater relief, WebMD suggests: “refrigerating the cream first” so it’s nice and cool. You can also help treat your sunburn from the inside out by “drink[ing] plenty of water and other fluids so that you don’t become dehydrated.” Prevention also advises avoiding soap or using only a mild brand, since it “can dry and irritate skin with a sunburn” and instructs sunburned patients to “gently pat your skin dry with a clean towel” after wetting them, since rubbing the skin too vigorously with a towel can “irritate it further.”

Podiatric Prevention

Of course, we’d all rather just not get sunburns on our feet in the first place. In addition to avoiding the discomfort of a burn, a proactive approach can help you avoid more serious health risks. Care2 reported: “Members of the New York State Podiatric Medical Association (NYSPMA) were recently polled to find out if they’d ever found melanoma or skin cancer during a routine foot examination. Seventy-five percent said they had.” To save your feet and, potentially, your life, we recommend that you always remember to put sunscreen of at least 30 SPF on your feet, reapply it every two hours, and avoid excess sun exposure. We also recommend you see Dr. LaMour at least annually for podiatric examinations. During these appointments, he will check your feet for any abnormalities and provide further foot care advice.

Are Your Feet Sunburned?

Did your feet have a little too much fun in the sun this Memorial Day? Do you want more recommendations for handling sunburned feet and other summer foot care tipsContact our Austin podiatry practice today to find out more and schedule an appointment with Dr. LaMour.

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/how-to-wear-shoes-when-your-feet-are-sunburned/

Do Animals Get Ingrown Toenails, Too?

If you’ve ever shared a home with a pet, tuned into Animal Planet, or even taken a stroll through the dog park, you know that animals and humans have a lot in common. Our cuddly friends also enjoy spending time outdoors, eating cookies, and taking cozy afternoon naps, but do they suffer from the same podiatric struggles? Anyone who’s ever suffered from an ingrown toenail knows that it isn’t exactly a pleasant experience. This condition can make daily activities difficult. Fortunately, the more you know about your podiatric health, the better you can care for your feet. In the following blog, Austin podiatrist, Dr. Jeffery LaMour, goes over ingrown toenail basics, explains which animals get them, and how we assist you.

What is an Ingrown Toenail?

When you imagine an ingrown toenail, you may think of bent or mangled toe. In fact, the condition is much subtler, but no less serious. Mayo Clinic explains: “Ingrown toenails are a common condition in which the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh. The result is pain, redness, swelling and, sometimes, an infection. Ingrown toenails usually affect your big toe.” This condition can be unsightly, uncomfortable, and unhealthy, putting the toe at risk for other conditions, such as infection. According to WebMD, “people with curved or thick nails are most susceptible,” as well as those with “an injury, poorly fitting shoes, or improper grooming of the feet.” It’s easy to see how animals might be vulnerable to these conditions, since they often have thicker, curvier nails, their play may lead to injuries, and it’s not always easy to keep their feet perfectly groomed.

In addition, it’s worth noting that while ingrown toenails may be annoying and certainly merit treatment for most, patients with “diabetes, vascular problems, or numbness in the toes need to be aggressive in treating and preventing ingrown toenails because they can lead to serious complications, including the risk of losing a limb.” Similarly, animals who are already dealing with health issues may be more at risk for complications if they suffer from ingrown toenails.

Which Creatures Get Them?

The most basic answer to “Do animals get ingrown toenails, too?” is a resounding “yes!” Of course, the next question we know you’ll have is: “which ones?” Generally, any animals with feet similar to ours could get ingrown toenails.

For example, both cats and dogs are susceptible to this condition. Petful explains that ingrown toenails do occur occasionally with these furry friends, particularly with cats. Felines’ claws can begin to grow into their pads. Petful points out that “pesky dewclaws” are often to blame. “Even if you aren’t diligent about nail trims, most pets will wear their nails down from normal walking so as to avoid an ingrown nail. But the dewclaws (nails comparable to our thumbs) don’t hit the pavement—and they especially need trimming.” To add to the risk of the dewclaws, Petful notes: “cats in particular can be born with common congenital toe anomalies, which can cause problems.” These abnormalities may increase the chances of an ingrown claw.

Ingrown toenails don’t just affect domesticated cats and dogs. Cheetahs and foxes, wolves and leopards alike can also be affected by this condition. The similarities between humans and primates suggest that animals such as monkeys might also be prone to ingrown toenails, although this is less documented.

Treating an Ingrown Toenail

Although widespread, an ingrown toenail can cause significant discomfort. If you’re suffering from this condition, Dr. LaMour and our team can perform a basic, outpatient procedure to remove part of the nail, then bandage your toe so it can heal and grow back properly. At our Austin podiatry practice, we only work with human patients, but Petful similarly recommends seeking professional veterinary assistance for any animal with symptoms of an ingrown toenail: “the vet may have to remove a nail, treat a deeply infected wound, or take a biopsy.”

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/do-animals-get-ingrown-toenails-too/

It’s National Bike Week! Learn to Address Heel Pain While Cycling

Get excited about cycling! This week is National Bike Week! As The League of American Bicyclists explains, this is “a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling—and encourage more folks to give biking a try.” This year’s emphasis is on biking to work, so the league particularly encourages you to pedal professionally. Of course, bicycling provides excellent exercise, gives you a chance to spend some time outdoors, and can save on gas, but it can be tough on your feet. In some cases, bicyclists’ heels take the brunt of this activity. In celebration of National Bike Week, Austin podiatrist, Dr. Jeffery LaMour, is here to help you address heel pain while cycling. Read on to find out how you can enjoy this special week while protecting your heels from harm!

How Can Biking Affect the Heel?

Riding a bike involves moving your legs and feet in ways you might not regularly. This can put your heel at an odd angle. In addition, the repetitive action of pedaling can put undue pressure on your feet. When riding a bike, you can stretch and impact your heels and the surrounding tissue.

Achilles Answers

According to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine (or, the AAPSM), cycling can lead to Achilles tendinitis: “irritation and inflammation of the tendon that attaches to the back of the heel bone can be caused by improper pedaling, seat height, lack of a proper warmup, or overtraining.” The Achilles tendon spans from the calf to the heel. If it becomes swollen, stretched, or otherwise damaged, this can cause heel pain. The AAPSM advises that Achilles tendinitis “can be treated with ice, rest, aspirin, or other anti-inflammatory medications. Chronic pain or any swelling should be professionally evaluated.” If you are suffering from symptoms of Achilles tendinitis after biking, we recommend that you see Dr. LaMour for a professional diagnosis and customized treatment plan. This could include a regimen of special stretches, custom-fit orthotics, medications, and other therapies.

Pedaling with Plantar Fasciitis

Biking can also lead to a common condition called plantar fasciitis. Livestrong explains, “The plantaris muscle is a small, thin ankle muscles that attach to the inner, or medial aspect of the heel bone. It assists the larger calf muscles in flexing the ankle downward and works to increase lower leg proprioception, or the body’s awareness of where it’s at in nature.” This area becomes particularly vulnerable during rigorous bicycling. Livestrong goes on: “Incorrect pedaling technique and poor body mechanics are the source of the plantaris muscle creating heel pain from bike riding.” Plantar fasciitis is the number one reason for pain in the heel, whether on or off of a bicycle. Fortunately, similar to Achilles tendinitis, we can usually help you treat it with ice, stretching, physical therapy, orthotics, and anti-inflammatory medications.

Biking Injuries

Especially if you’re hopping back on the bike for the first time in awhile for National Bike Week, it’s important to do so cautiously. If you ride over some rough ground or lose your balance, you could fracture one of the bones in your heel, pull a muscle, or injure your heel in some other way. Fortunately, if you are suffering from heel pain due to a bicycling sports injury, Dr. LaMour and our team can help. We will examine your foot carefully, diagnose the trauma, and design a treatment plan to have you back on your bike in no time.

Have Healthier Heels!

Whether or not you’re partaking in National Bike Week (and we hope you do!), it’s important to take care of your feet. Contact our Austin podiatry practice today to learn more and schedule an appointment with Dr. LaMour.

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/heel-pain/its-national-bike-week-learn-to-address-heel-pain-while-cycling/

Is it Okay to Wear Socks to Bed?

Since feet are an oft-ignored body part, it can be difficult to figure out how to best care for yours. Patients often come to our Austin podiatry practice with questions about what to do with their feet. While you could let social media comments, friends’ unqualified advice, or your own guesses define your answers, Dr. Jeffery LaMour and our team would be delighted to help. One of the most common queries we get is what to do with your feet during sleep. The important inquiry: socks or no socks? In the following blog, we answer the question, “Is it okay to wear socks to bed?”

Sleeping in Stocking Feet?

Cozying up in socks for slumber actually has quite a few health advantages. By making this a habit, you could:

  • Fall asleep faster. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “heating cold feet causes vasodilation—dilation of the blood vessels—which may tell the brain that it is bedtime. After the blood vessels open in the hands and feet, heat is redistributed throughout the body to prepare for sleep. In fact, some research has shown that the more vasodilation in the hands and feet, the less time it takes to fall asleep.” A little feet heat could help you sleep the whole night through.
  • Improve your circulation. As Healthline points out, “wearing socks at night can help prevent [Raynaud’s disease, which creates inflammation and discomfort due to lack of circulation] by keeping your feet warm and blood circulating.” Keeping blood flowing well can keep your feet healthy.
  • Regulate your temperature. Some people may worry that wearing socks might make the too warm, but Healthline explains that this can “prevent hot flashes. Some women find wearing socks helpful for cooling their core body temperature.”
  • Moisturize your skin. Overnight and exposed to the air, your feet could be more likely to dry out. For this reason, Healthline argues that sleeping with socks on could “improve cracked heels” if you put cotton ones on “after you moisturize.”

These are all convincing arguments for nighttime sock-wearing.

The Argument Against Socks

Despite the potential medical advantages of socked sleeping, some remain staunch supporters of stripped feet for slumber. In a passionate opinion piece, entitled “Sleeping with Socks on Is a Crime Against Humanity,” Dan Katter writes: “the heat, the toenail scratch against cotton, the inevitable morning footbath of sweat.” In addition to arguing that this habit is uncomfortable, Katter cites centuries of popular culture: “sockless sleeping has been the standard for quite some time. Pajamas come from Bengal, where the hot climate made socks unnecessary. When Victorian colonists brought pajamas back to Britain, they kept socks out of the picture…Looking through sleepwear advertisements from the 1870s to the present, virtually every ad features exposed feet or the occasional pair of slippers.” Basically, Katter asserts that you shouldn’t wear socks to bed because most people don’t.

The common reasoning against socks seems to be primarily one of comfort and popularity. Of course, there are additional arguments. If you don’t wash your socks or feet regularly, these garments could harbor infection. Furthermore, tight socks can constrict your feet, cutting off circulation.

Our Advice

Our recommendation for sockful or sockless sleep will depend on your particular feet. Dr. LaMour will examine your feet, diagnose any conditions, and provide customized counsel on daily foot care. For example, if you are prone to Athlete’s Foot, we might suggest keeping your feet bare, but if you need assistance with poor circulation, we’ll probably advise you to keep your stockings on all night.

Do You Have More Questions About Your Feet?

Dr. LaMour and our team are available to answer any and all of your podiatric queries. To find out more and schedule an appointment, contact our Austin practice today!

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/is-it-okay-to-wear-socks-to-bed/

Are Calluses Good For You?

Most of us have had a callus at some point in time. You might develop them after a particularly hard workout, from wearing the wrong size shoes, or you may continually have small calluses on your feet. These thick, dry patches can be unsightly and perhaps uncomfortable, but are they really unhealthy? Could calluses actually be good for your feet? There are many schools of thought on this topic. Fortunately, rather than debating it with your friends or conducting endless online searches, accomplished Austin podiatrist, Dr. Jeffery LaMour, can help. In the following blog, we get candid about calluses. Read on to learn more about what they are and find out about their benefits versus disadvantages.

What Are Calluses?

Before we discuss their pros and cons, it is important to understand what calluses actually areFootVitals explains: “calluses, also called tylomas or keratomas, are protective layers of compacted, dead skin cells or patches of skin that thicken, especially in bone areas [such as the soles and balls of the feet], to protect the skin from damage or injury.” Calluses can often get confused with corns, which look and feel similar, except that corns are smaller, have tough centers, and involve more inflammation. Corns often occur on the sides of the feet or the toes, while calluses typically affect weight-baring regions, like the ball of the foot, sole, or heel.

Calluses are quite a common condition. Harvard Health Publications notes: “According to the Podiatric Medical Association, painful…calluses affect about 5 percent of people in the United States every year, and many people never seek help.” Learning more about the good and bad aspects of calluses can help you take charge of your podiatric health.

The Pros

Generally, calluses develop as a response to friction and weight. Your body wouldn’t do this if it didn’t have some benefit. As Everyday Health’s Dr. Ava Shamban describes: “they’re your body’s natural bumper…Calluses often begin as blisters and are a function of the body’s immune system.” Basically, if a blister isn’t enough to get you to stop putting so much pressure on that area of your skin, your body builds a shield over it. As Dr. Shamban puts it: “the body is protecting you from yourself.”

If you’re an athlete, calluses might be a welcome advantage, toughening up your skin so you can continue pounding the pavement. If your calluses come from improper footwear, bad posture, or podiatric injuries, their placement can help you determine which areas of the foot you need to treat.

Callus Cons

Calluses do have their fair share of drawbacks.

First of all, they can be uncomfortable. They may sting, burn, throb, or ache. This discomfort could interfere with your daily activities. Some people may also be embarrassed by the appearance of calluses.

Furthermore, the changes in tissue that occur with a callus could leave the skin more vulnerable to infection. FootVitals warns: “if proper treatment steps are not taken, the callus can become infected, which may lead to additional symptoms. WebMD adds: “Feet spend most of their time in a closed, moist environment—ideal for breeding bacteria.” If you notice swelling, pus, redness, or any other symptoms of infection in or around your callus, you should see Dr. LaMour as soon as possible.

While a relatively minor issue on its own, a callus could also be a symptom of a larger podiatric problem. For example, WebMD notes: “If you or your child develops a callus that has no clear source of pressure, have it looked at by a doctor since it could be a wart or caused by a foreign body, like a splinter, trapped under the skin.” More general podiatric conditions like flat feet or bunions can also cause calluses. Patients who have diabetes should also pay particular attention to any changes in their feet, including calluses.

Do You Have a Callus?

If this condition is bothering you or you notice any other symptoms, you need to see Dr. LaMour. He can examine your feet, provide an accurate diagnosis, and create a customized callus treatment plan just for you.Contact our Austin podiatry practice today to find out more and schedule an appointment!

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/are-calluses-good-for-you/