What Does it Mean if My Feet Burn?

Most people don’t think much about how their feet feel. They might get a bit sore from running around all day, itchy from rough socks, or cold in chilly weather, but these sensations are understandable. It can be especially unnerving when your feet begin to feel something unusual and you can’t figure out why. Fortunately, Dr. Jeffery LaMour and our Austin podiatry practice are here to help you handle any and all concerns regarding your feet. Patients often ask us about a burning sensation in their feet. While it may seem to be a strange symptom, there are actually many potential causes for this condition. So, when your toes are tingling or your feet feel like they’re on fire, we can help. Read on to learn what it means if your feet burn.

Symptoms

The clearest symptom of burning feet is a warm sensation throughout any portion of the skin or muscles in your foot. This might feel very slight, as if you’re standing on a warm surface, or more extreme, as if your feet are in a flame. However, there are other, less obvious sensations that might come along with this, as well. For example, Mayo Clinic explains, “With certain conditions, burning feet may also be accompanied by a pins and needles sensation (paresthesia) or numbness, or both.” If your feet don’t feel warm, but they do prickle, sting, or lose sensation altogether, you may still be suffering from “burning feet.”

Common Culprits

So, what is the source of this strange sensation? There are a few different reasons your feet might burn. These include:

  • Exhaustion. Overusing your feet or putting too much pressure on them in a given day or week can cause swelling. As blood rushes to your feet, they might feel hot.
  • Infection. If you contract a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection on the skin of your feet, your body might flow extra blood to the area, making it feel warm.
  • Neuropathy. WebMD explains, “Damaged nerve fibers are more likely to become overactive and misfire. The damaged nerves send pain signals to the brain even though there is no wound.” In these cases, most of the time “the leg nerves become damaged first,” and then the tingling, numb, burning sensation spreads to the feet. In addition, many people with neuropathy “complain that their feet are overly sensitive to touch (hyperesthesia).” Neuropathy is a complicated condition, which in and of itself has many possible causes, including kidney disease, alcohol abuse, thyroid issues, Lyme disease, HIV/AIDS, heavy metal poisoning, drug side effects, and more.
  • Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). WebMD notes, “The poor circulation of blood to the feet may frequently cause pain, tingling, and burning feet, especially while walking.”
  • Gastric Bypass Surgery. It may sound odd that a gastrointestinal procedure could case a foot symptom, but this just goes to show how your feet are a part of and can reflect your overall health. According to WebMD, “poor absorption of B vitamins after gastric bypass can cause neuropathy in the legs and a sensation of burning feet.”

These are some of the most prevalent causes for burning feet, but this list is by no means comprehensive. If you suffer from burning feet, we urge you to see Dr. LaMour for a consultation, diagnosis, and customized treatment plan. This symptom may be temporary and even harmless, but it could be a sign of something more severe, so it is worth taking seriously.

Our Treatment Options

The remedies for burning feet are as varied as this condition’s potential causes. If foot fatigue is the source of this sensation, Dr. LaMour can help you find better-fitting shoes, or custom fit you for orthotics to provide outstanding support for feet. If the heat in your feet is a sign of athlete’s foot, we can provide appropriate topical medication prescriptions. If a more holistic circumstance such as neuropathy, PAD, or side effects from gastric bypass surgery is the reason for your burning feet, Dr. LaMour will refer you to a specialist who can help you treat the underlying condition, and work with you throughout your recovery to ensure your feet remain healthy.

Do Your Feet Burn?

This isn’t a symptom you should ignore! To learn more or schedule a consultation with Dr. LaMour, contact our Austin podiatry practice today.

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-diseases/what-does-it-mean-if-my-feet-burn/

The Best Types of Shoes for Flat Feet

According to the Institute for Preventive Foot Health, “8 percent of U.S. adults ages 21 and older (about 18 million people)” suffer from flat feet. This problem may be prevalent, but that doesn’t make it healthy. Your arch is the baseline for your podiatric well-being and the foundation of your general health. However, you might not even realize you have this condition or have a clue how to handle it. At our Austin podiatry practice, Dr. Jeffery LaMour and his team often assist patients with flat feet. While severe cases may require more intensive treatment or even surgery, flat feet can typically be managed with lifestyle modifications. One of the most important factors to consider in handling flat feet is your footwear. Your shoes could make or break your arch health. In the following blog, we go over the basics of flat feet and provide our recommendations for the best shoes if you suffer from this condition.

Flat Feet Fundamentals

Many people suffer from flat feet without knowing it. The Institute for Preventive Foot Health offers this definition: “Flat feet (pes planus) is a fairly common condition in which the foot does not have a normal arch, and so the entire foot touches the floor when you’re standing.” WebMD explains further, “Tendons—tight bands that attach at the heel and foot bones—form the arch…when the tendons do not pull together properly, there is little to no arch. This is called flat foot or fallen arch.” Basically, the inner middle portion of your feet should be slightly raised to properly support your body weight and maintain a healthy foot structure. If it has collapsed, you suffer from flat feet.

There are a variety of factors that can lead to flat feet, including genetic conditions, tendon damage, foot fractures, aging, obesity, arthritis, and many others. If you suffer from flat feet, WebMD explains, your feet might

  • become tired easily
  • be “painful or achy, especially in the areas of the arches and heels”
  • swell at the heel
  • cause leg and back discomfort
  • strain or be unable to move in certain ways, such as “standing on your toes.”

If you have experienced any of the above, we recommend that you Dr. LaMour for a complete diagnosis and customized treatment plan.

Footwear Characteristics to Consider

If you have flat feet, what kinds of shoes should you be wearing? In her Livestrong article on this topic, Deborah Dunham highlights three features your footwear should have if you’re flat-footed:

1.    Support. She advises against “shoes without any support such as flip-flops, sandals, or high heels,” since “these do not give the arch any lift.” At a minimum, she recommends purchasing footwear with “added support” which simply means the shoes “are technically designed to do what a normal arch is supposed to do.”

2.    Stability. Dunham describes, “People with flat feet tend to pronate, or turn their ankle inward when they walk or run.” Stability shoes are specially designed to control the angle of the foot within the shoe and “correct this pronation.”

3.    Motion Control. Particularly for those with flatter feet, Dunham suggests, “motion control shoes…a step above stability shoes with additional support and control to keep the ankle straight when moving forward.” These shoes are jam-packed with extra material to support your feet and lift your arches up as you exercise.

Keeping these three points in mind should help you make better choices when you pick out your next pair of shoes.

Our Recommendations

If you have flat feet, it might feel like there simply aren’t any good shoes for you, but that isn’t true! Dr. LaMour and our team can assist you in finding great footwear that suits your needs and boosts your podiatric health. For example, FootSmart has a wide selection and allows you to sort by ailment, so you can look for shoes designed specifically for flat feet. Riley Jones’ Complex article suggests the “10 best sneakers for runners with flat feet.” For an elegant, pretty look, Barking Dog Shoes spotlights five different styles of gorgeous flats for women with flat feet, including a pair from Taryn Rose footwear, which was “founded by an orthopedic surgeon…designed with room for the toes to wiggle, substantial arch support, and a layer of PORON® Performance Cushioning which is breathable and won’t break down with wear.” If you know what to look for, your options are virtually limitless!

How We Can Help

In addition to diagnosing your condition and helping you find appropriate footwear, Dr. LaMour can custom fit you for orthotics. These inserts can support your arches, enhancing your existing shoes or adding an extra layer of protection to already-supportive footwear.

Do You Have Flat Feet?

Dr. LaMour and our team can help you enjoy healthier, more comfortable feet. Contact our Austin podiatry practice today to learn more and schedule your appointment!

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-diseases/the-best-types-of-shoes-for-flat-feet/

Do My Toenails Need to “Breathe”?

If you frequent the nail salon, you may have heard from friends or family that you need to take regular pauses from pedicures to “let your toenails breathe.” In theory, this seems plausible—after all, the rest of your body wouldn’t do so great if it were constantly covered in paint. However, many professional pedicurists beg to differ. Clearly, you care enough about your feet to keep them looking attractive, so who are you to believe? Is the idea that your toenails need some air an old wives’ tale, or scientific fact? Fortunately, when it comes to podiatric problems like these, Dr. Jeffery LaMour and our team are here to help. In the following blog, we answer the common question, “Do my toenails need to breathe?” so you can stride into the nail salon with confidence and maintain your foot health.

Do Toenails Actually Breathe in the First Place?

The short answer is: no! In her Huffington Post piece on the topic, Dana Oliver explains, “The reality is that nails do not actually ‘breathe,’ as they receive their nutrients and oxygen from the blood stream and not the air.” Basically, whether you put on polish or not, your toenails will get the same amount of oxygen. So, suggesting that keeping your toenails au natural lets them “breathe” is a bit of a misnomer. However, having polish-less periods are a good idea for several other reasons.

The Benefits of Pedicure Breaks

Most likely, the reason the myth of “breathing” toenails became popular is because it actually can be detrimental to keep them constantly covered with polish. Letting your toenails go au natural from time to time can help you avoid the following conditions:

  • Keratin granulation. Have you ever taken off your nail polish only to discover white, dry patches underneath? Foot Files defines keratin granulation as “rough, white patches on the nail that form when old polish is removed and ends up taking superficial layers of the nail with it.” In this case, you’re actually scraping off the top part of your nail, removing important nutrients and tissue. This is much more likely to happen if you get frequent pedicures or often change out your colors. Taking a break from polish can help your toenails heal.
  • Acetone overuse. Anyone who’s ever put on nail polish knows that it takes more than just soap and water to take it off. Foot Files warns, “Frequently removing nail polish with acetone remover can dry out the nail, causing it to crack, peel, separate, and become brittle.” This isn’t the cutest look for your nails, with or without a layer of polish over them, plus it “leaves your nails more susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections.” Don’t think that you’re safe with gel nails – these actually “[require] extra time and scrubbing with the acetone.” If you do end up damaging your toenails with acetone and contracting an infection, Dr. LaMour and his team can help you restore your nails with our advanced laser toenail fungus treatment. However, it’s easier just to avoid acetone in the first place by taking pedicure vacations.
  • Discoloration. Vibrant toenail colors can be playful, fun, and stylish, but they also leave behind residues. Yesterday’s bubbly pink can become today’s yellowed nail. Going polish-free for a week or two can help your toenails return to a healthy hue.

Although they don’t exactly “suffocate” your nails, polishes, gels, and other nail products often contain chemicals that can be harmful to the appearance, texture, and health of your toenails. The old adage “everything in moderation” applies to pedicures, too.

Other Foot Factors

Of course, polish isn’t the only element of toenail health. You should also let your feet “breathe” by wearing appropriate footwear that isn’t too constricting. Tight shoes can put undue pressure on your feet, increasing your risk for infection or even cracking your toenails. Wearing supportive, roomy footwear that gives your feet space to move and “breathe” is especially important if you have longer nails.

Our Recommendations

For top-notch toenails, Dr. LaMour and our team suggest:

  • Taking 1-2 week breaks every couple of months from toenail polishes.
  • Avoiding excessively tight shoes, especially those that could pinch your toes.
  • Working with a pedicurist who properly prepares your toenails, including addressing your cuticles, applying a clear, protective base coat, and using moisturizers throughout the pedicure process.
  • Seeing your podiatrist for annual checkups and advice! We can help you diagnose issues before they become difficult to treat, and give you excellent suggestions to further enhance your podiatric well-being.

Taking care of your feet can help you enjoy the perfect pedicure!

Do You Have Other Toenail Questions?

Dr. LaMour and our team would be delighted to assist you. Contact us today to find out more and schedule an appointment at our Austin practice.

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/do-my-toenails-need-to-breathe/

March 30th is National Doctors’ Day! Celebrate Doctors with 4 Ideas

National Doctors’ Day is just two days away! Physicians, surgeons, and other types of medical practitioners are an important part of all of our daily lives. They help us stay healthy so we can take care of our families, enjoy our favorite activities, and accomplish our goals. National Doctors’ Day is a time for all of us to honor this important role in our society.

At our Austin podiatry practice, Dr. Jeffery LaMour and our team are delighted to serve each and every one of our valued patients. We look forward to National Doctors’ Day as a time to remember the important relationships we share with our clients. In the following blog, we provide four ideas for celebrating this holiday. Read on to learn our suggestions for showing your doctors that you appreciate them.

1. Write a handwritten card.

One of the best ways to show you care is to write a nice note to your doctor, telling him or her how much you appreciate his or her help. You can explain how medical care has impacted your well-being or simply send good wishes to your physician. Ask an MD provides his firsthand experience: “trust me, doctors are normal people: we always love it when people thank us for a job well done.” Just in case you’re worried about how to phrase your thanks or word your appreciation, Ask an MD adds: “trust me, your doctor will be thrilled any way you say it.”

Furthermore, a handwritten card could benefit your doctor in other ways. Will, a New York Times user, advises: “the best thing you can do to show appreciation to a physician is to write to their superior or department chairperson (if they are at an academic center) or the chief of staff at their hospital (if they are in private practice) and tell that person how great the physician is.” We all love it when our boss is pleased with us, including doctors!

2. Send a small gift.

Especially during the holidays or on a special day like National Doctors’ Day, it can be appropriate to send a gift to express your gratitude. In her New York Times article, “When Your Doctor Is on the Gift List,” Tara Parker-Pope explains the etiquette of doctor presents: “Although small tokens like cookies or fruit baskets don’t usually pose a problem, physicians struggle with the ethics of accepting more costly or more personal gifts from patients.” A little present is an inexpensive but thoughtful way to show your doctor that you care.

3. Come in for a routine appointment.

You may have heard the adage: “prevention is the best medicine.” Coming in to see your doctors for regular examinations and consultations can help you catch conditions before they worsen and learn how to avoid future problems. For example, many patients don’t realize that it is very important to come and see your podiatrist at least once a year. Your feet are fundamental to your overall health, and your daily life would be very different without their proper function. Dr. LaMour and our team would be thrilled to see you. We offer a wide variety of foot and ankle services to help you keep your feet in excellent condition.

4. Take care of yourself.

It might sound cheesy, but as medical professionals, we know it’s true: the best gift you can give your doctor is taking care of your health! Our ultimate goal is for our patients to lead happy, healthy lives.

Celebrate National Doctors’ Day With Us!

We’d love to see you at our Austin podiatry practice to enjoy this doctor-full holiday! Contact us today to find out more and schedule your next appointment.

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/march-30th-is-national-doctors-day-celebrate-doctors-with-4-ideas/

Icing Your Ankle After a Sprain

Approximately 850,000 Americans suffer from ankle sprains every year, according to Right DiagnosisUnfortunately, this common injury can be quite uncomfortable, limiting your ability to walk, run, move, and go about your daily life. Since sprains are so widespread, everyone seems to have a different remedy for them. One simple but effective solution is to ice your ankle. We speak from experience on this issue—Austin podiatrist, Dr. Jeffery LaMour, and our team frequently assist patients with ankle sprains. In the following blog, we go over the basics of sprains, explain how icing your ankle can help, and describe how we can help you.

What is a Sprain?

Many people refer to any sort of ankle injury as a “sprain”, but this disorder actually has a more specific definition. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ Ortho Info page explains: “an ankle sprain occurs when the strong ligaments [the bands of connective tissue that hold a joint in place] that support the ankle stretch beyond their limits and tear.” Chances are, you’ve suffered a sprain: “Ankle sprains are common injuries that occur among people of all ages. They range from mild to severe, depending upon how much damage there is to the ligaments.”

All sorts of situations can lead to a sprain. You could harm your ankle in this way by tripping, falling, wearing inappropriate shoes, exercising too hard, stumbling, or simply holding your foot at the wrong angle. Any activity that twists your leg or foot could put you at risk for a sprain. Everyone should know the signs of this prevalent condition and learn how to care for their ankles.

Sprain Symptoms

You may have suffered a sprain if:

  • Trouble putting weight on the affected ankle. This could be slight (a mild limp or discomfort only at certain angles) or severe (a complete inability to engage in everyday activities).
  • Inflammation. Your ligaments and other tissue may swell as your body attempts to repair the sprain.
  • Discoloration and tenderness due to bruising.
  • “Coldness or numbness in your foot” due to reduced blood flow, according to Family Doctor.
  • “Stiffness” or loss of mobility, due to the discomfort and the fact that damaged ligaments can limit your range of motion.

If you experience any of the above, we recommend that you come and see Dr. LaMour for treatment.

A Cool Cure

Ice is one of the most widely recommended remedies for sprains, and for good reason. Chilling the tissue can be highly beneficial. This simple treatment can:

The Faster Skier blog describes just why icing can be crucial to healing a sprain: “when the body is hurt…physiological reactions begin to take place automatically. The five most recognizable signs of inflammation are: redness, swelling, loss of function, warmth, and pain. Visualize a large flame coming from the injured body part…Icing is a way to ‘put out the fire’ that is occurring in your body.” It helps alleviate uncomfortable symptoms and limit cell degeneration to keep your tissue in top shape.

However, you should ice your ankle with caution and make sure to cool it properly. Family Doctor points out: “the cold can damage your nerves if you leave ice in place too long. You should only use ice for up to 20 minutes at a time.” Dr. LaMour can provide more information about proper icing protocols at your appointment.

Contact Our Austin Podiatry Practice Today

Have you injured your foot? Dr. LaMour can assist with ankle sprains, fractures, athlete’s foot, and a variety of other podiatric conditions. Contact us today to find out more and schedule an appointment.

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/icing-your-ankle-after-a-sprain/

Did I Break My Foot? Signs You Need to See a Doctor

Have you ever broken your foot? Chances are, you may have. According to WebMD, “about 1 out of every 10 broken bones occurs in the foot.” This may seem unrealistic, but not when you consider that “25 percent of all the bones in the human body are down in your feet,” according to Foot.com. Furthermore, “when these bones are out of alignment, so is the rest of your body.” Unfortunately, many people ignore problems with their feet because they don’t consider them important, but, as Foot.com points out, your feet are the foundation of your well-being. Read on to learn about the signs of a fracture and find out when you need to see a doctor like Austin podiatrist, Dr. Jeffery LaMour.

Broken Foot Basics

As WebMD describes, “the human foot has 26 bones.” If one or more of these fractures, you have a broken foot. You may think that a break would be obvious, but this is not always the case. Of course, you may have a dramatic crack in the bone, shifting part of it to the side and making the nature of your injury clear. However, it’s also possible to develop a thin, tiny fracture, subtle enough to ignore, but unwise not to treat, as it will most likely worsen as you continue to put pressure on your feet. WebMD labels these “stress fractures…small cracks can form in bones over a longer period of time from repeated stress on the bones.”

There are many potential reasons your foot may break. WebMD reports: “bones usually break when something happens to crush, bend, twist, or stretch” them. Kicking too hard, tripping, falling, or misaligning your feet could all be the culprits of a fracture. You can minimize your risks for a broken foot by avoiding strenuous exercise, wearing appropriate footwear, and seeing your podiatrist for regular checkups.

Sprains Explained

If you’ve ever injured your foot, you may have found yourself pondering: “is it a sprain or a fracture?” These can be difficult to distinguish from each other, and they often occur at the same time. So, what exactly is a sprain? The American Podiatric Medical Association explains that unlike a broken bone, “a foot or ankle sprain is a soft tissue injury. Most often, a sprain occurs when an injury pulls, stretches, or tears the ligaments that connect bone to bone.” If you sustain enough damage to your foot to break a bone, chances are, you’ve also injured your soft tissue, as well. Sprains share many symptoms with fractures (particularly discomfort and swelling), so it can be difficult to tell them apart. However, even if your injury is “just a sprain,” it’s crucial that you see your podiatrist for treatment to heal properly.

See Your Austin Podiatrist If…

When is it time to see your doctor? We recommend coming in for a consultation if:

  • You experience discomfort when walking, running, or putting weight on your foot. However, WebMD points out: “broken bones in the toes cause less pain, and you may be able to walk with a broken toe.”
  • You notice blue, purple, or red discoloration in one or more areas of your foot. Changes in blood flow can indicate damage to the bone.
  • Your foot appears larger. Inflammation is also a symptom of fractures.
  • You notice a loss of sensation in your foot, which may manifest as a cold feeling.
  • Your foot appears visually “misshapen, deformed, or pointing in the wrong direction.”
  • You have other severe injuries to your foot, such as “a large cut or wound near a possible broken bone.”

If you believe you’ve broken a bone in your foot, we are here to help you! We can assist you with any type of fracture. We will take x-rays of your foot to ascertain if it is, indeed, broken, and recommend an appropriate treatment to help you recover.

Did You Break Your Foot?

If you believe you may have broken your foot or suffer from any of the above symptoms, we encourage you to come in to our Austin podiatry practice. Contact us today to find our more and schedule your appointment.

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/sports-injuries/did-i-break-my-foot-signs-you-need-to-see-a-doctor/

Best Shoes for Plantar Fascitis Relief

Do you suffer from a stabbing pain in your heels? In addition to being irritating, embarrassing, and unhealthy, this sensation can make it difficult to find comfortable shoes. While high heels are some of the most common culprits, certain sneakers or even flats can hurt your feet. If you’re struggling with sore feet and can’t find the right shoes, never fear! Austin podiatrist, Dr. Jeffery LaMour, is here to help. We can help diagnose your plantar fasciitis and recommend the right shoe styles for your condition. Read on to learn more about plantar fasciitis and find the right footwear for your aching heels.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Although it has a seemingly complex name, plantar fasciitis is actually a relatively basic and unfortunately widespread disorder. As The Walking Company explains: “plantar fasciitis, the most common cause of heel pain, is inflammation of the band of tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes, supporting the arch of the foot.” This band, called the fascia, bears the brunt of the force on your feet. Mayo Clinic describes: “Under normal circumstances, your plantar fascia acts like a shock-absorbing bowstring, supporting the arch in your foot. If tension and stress on that bowstring become too great, small tears can arise in the fascia.” A wide variety of situations can put undue pressure on your fascia: excessive exercise, sitting for too long, standing for hours without rest, weight gain, arch issues, and more.

Symptoms

Many people suffer from plantar fasciitis without knowing the name of this disease. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • A sharp, stabbing sensation in the bottom of the foot near the heel.
  • “Pain at the beginning of exercise that gets better or goes away as exercise continues but returns when exercise is completed,” reports WebMD.
  • Discomfort upon walking up stairs or “after you stand for long periods.”
  • According to WebMD, “stiffness and pain in the morning or after resting that gets better after a few steps but gets worse as the day progresses.”

If you suffer from any of the above, Dr. LaMour can help diagnose your condition and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

Fasciitis-Friendly Footwear

Certain shoes can help ease the discomfort of your sore heels. Fasciitis-friendly footwear typically provides two key components: excellent arch support to hold your foot in the proper position, and solid shock absorption, with the strength and suppleness to take the place of your pummeled fascia.

Beat Plantar Fasciitis points out: “do realize that finding a pair of shoes that work with YOUR Plantar Fasciitis is going to be a bit of a trial and error,” since each person’s feet are different, and you’ll also need to factor in the types of activities you do and styles you prefer. Accordingly, the site breaks down fasciitis-friendly shoes into categories: running, walking, tennis, hiking, slippers, flip flops, and dress shoes. The Walking Company also offers dozens of styles of sandals, sneakers, and dressier options that are appropriate for those who suffer from plantar fasciitis. Shoe Finale also ranks the top ten shoes for women and men with plantar fasciitis, as well as categorizing them according to motion control, type, upper material, and number of color options.

How We Can Help

While the above resources are a great place to start, Dr. LaMour can also consult with you to help you find a good pair for your feet. We can also prescribe and custom-fit orthotic inserts for your shoes. While changing your footwear can work wonders, we may also recommend our minimally invasive Topaz Treatment to help your fascia heal and ease your heel pain.

Do You Suffer From Plantar Fasciitis?

Dr. LaMour and our team can help you enjoy healthier, more comfortable feet. If you suffer from plantar fasciitis or another podiatric condition, we’d be delighted to assist you. Contact our Austin podiatry practice today to find out more and schedule an appointment.

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/best-shoes-for-plantar-fascitis-relief/

What To Do When Your Toes Won’t Stop Itching

You’ve probably experienced this beyond-irritating phenomenon: you’re minding your own business, sitting in class, chatting with a date, or even giving an important work presentation, and your toes start to itch. No matter how hard you try, you can’t get the thought of scratching them out of your head. This prickling sensation can become more than annoying, disrupting your daily life. At our Austin podiatry practice, Dr. Jeffery LaMour and our team are dedicated to helping patients enjoy excellent foot health. We can help you diagnose your condition and recommend appropriate treatments to help you find relief. Read on to learn more about what to do when your toes won’t stop itching.

Symptoms

If you’re dealing with persistent itching, the most obvious symptom will be the regular urge to claw at your toes just to stop the sensation. However, you may also experience the following:

  • Swelling
  • Discoloration
  • Peeling
  • Soreness
  • leeding
  • Cracks
  • Blistering

Foot Vitals explains: “many of these symptoms arise after the person continually scratches the foot for a long time. It does not take much scratching to turn your skin red and weaken it, making it susceptible to flaking or cracking.” Likewise, “itchy feet are usually an indicator of another problem,” so you should be vigilant for any other abnormal sensations in your feet or body.

Switch Out Your Soap

While we strongly advocate maintaining a cleanly environment for your toes, some of the ingredients in soaps can actually cause itchiness. As Livestrong describes: “soaps that you use to wash your body and clothes can contain fragrances and alcohol. These are drying agents that can leave skin irritated and itchy. Try soaps with natural products or ones that are hypoallergenic…for clothing detergent, use one that is free of perfumes or dyes.” Solving your scratching could be as simple as making a quick trip to the grocery store.

Check for Skin Conditions

Especially if your itching problem extends beyond your toes, it could be part of a larger skin issue. Livestrong advises readers: “consult a dermatologist. The itching you’ve been feeling may be caused by eczema, a skin disease that produces red, itchy patches followed by scaling and flaking of the skin. Another skin disease that can cause severe itching is psoriasis.” The sooner you can begin treatment for these disorders, the better.

Get Rid of Pesky Pests

Since your feet are close to the ground and often uncovered, they can be particularly prone to bug bites. Foot Vitals lists “insect, tick, or flea bites” as potential causes for itchy feet. If you notice bite marks or see these critters around your home, it may be time to start extermination.

Assess Your Allergies

Allergies come in many forms. You may not be sneezing or breaking out in hives, but your itchy feet could be a sign that you’re suffering from allergies. Livestrong points out: “Your feet come into contact with all types of things that can cause an allergic reaction.” Walking in grass or even across a wool carpet could be an explanation for your itching. Staying away from the offending substance should help you heal your toes.

Stop Going Barefoot

One of the most common causes for itchy toes is a fungal infection called Athlete’s Foot. It runs rampant in moist, public places, which is why you should avoid going barefoot in gyms, saunas, spas, or other similar locations. If you’ve been infected, Dr. LaMour can provide medication and other treatments to help you treat your Athlete’s Foot.

Contact Our Austin Podiatry Practice

One of the best things you can do to stop chronic toe itchiness is come and see us! Dr. LaMour and our team would be happy to help you identify what’s causing this irritating symptom so you can alleviate it. To find out more and schedule your appointment, contact us today!

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/what-to-do-when-your-toes-wont-stop-itching/

Foot Anatomy 101: The Basics Behind Your Feet!

Most people take their feet for granted. You probably don’t think about them on a daily basis, but they literally carry you through life. In his To Your Life piece on the subject, Dr. Kevin Wong explains: “After all, [your feet] are the foundation of your body, which means keeping your feet healthy can keep you healthy.” He expands on this by describing the “complex set of steps that makes movement seem smooth and easy…it is truly a symphony of movement when we walk.” This great ability is made possible by the foot’s complex anatomical structure.

Dr. Jeffery LaMour and our team are intensely interested in the magic of feet. As a podiatric practice, we think everyone should know at least a little more about what makes feet so impressive and important. In the following blog, we go over Foot Anatomy 101 so you can better understand and care for what you’re walking with.

Foot Fundamentals

Your feet are much more complicated and carefully calibrated than you might initially realize. In his Everyday Health piece, Eric Metcalf describes: “The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) considers your feet a marvel of engineering. Together, your feet contain more than 50 bones, accounting for about one-fourth of all the bones in your body.” That’s right—25 percent of your bones for your whole body are contained just in your feet! Metcalfe continues: “And somehow they also make room for more than 60 joints and 200 muscles, tendons, and ligaments that hold them together and help them move.” We could truly go on for days about the hundreds of puzzle pieces that come together in perfect harmony to form your feet. In the following, we’ll have to settle for giving you some of the basics.

These Bones Are Made for Walkin’

28 bones come together to form your feet and allow you to move about. The Arthritis Foundation describes the basic categories of foot bones:

  • Talus – the bone on top of the foot that forms a joint…
  • Calcaneus – the largest bone of the foot, which lies beneath the talus to form the heel bone.
  • Tarsals – five irregularly shaped bones of the midfoot that form the foot’s arch…
  • Metatarsals – five bones (labeled one through five, starting with the big toe) that make up the forefoot.
  • Phalanges (singular: phalanx) – the 14 bones that make up the toes. The big toe consists of two phalanges…the other toes have three.
  • Sesamoids – two small, pea shaped bones that lie beneath the head of the first metatarsal in the ball of the foot.”

These bones function like gears in the elaborate machinery of your feet, allowing you to jump, dance, skip, bike, and beyond. Of course, having so many bones in your feet also makes them particularly vulnerable to fracture. You might not even realize you’ve cracked one of these bones, which is why you should come and see Dr. LaMour if you develop any discomfort or notice anything abnormal with your foot structure. We can diagnose and treat all types of foot fractures.

Great Arches

Dr. Wong asks readers: “do you know how many arches each foot has? If you answered one, you answered like 95 percent of people do – incorrectly. Each foot actually has three arches: one on the inside of the foot, one on the outside, and one across the ball of the foot. These arches are all important and must be functioning properly to facilitate healthy movement and weight-bearing.” Just like a great architectural structure, the curvature of your foot is key. Wearing the wrong shoes, exercising improperly, genetic disorders, or a variety of other factors can cause your arches to be too low (causing flat feet) or too high, which is also unhealthy. If your arches aren’t shaped like they should be, Dr. LaMour can help you correct this.

The Rest

Bones and arches may garner most of the attention when it comes to foot anatomy, but there are many other parts at play in your feet. The Arthritis Foundation explains that, in addition to its impressive 28 bones, each foot contains “30 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments, all of which work together to provide support, balance, and mobility.” We can’t cover all of these (we wish!), but we can shine a spotlight on the superstar tendon of your feet – WebMD explains: “The Achilles tendon connects the heel to the calf muscle and is essential for running, jumping, and standing on the toes.” This tissue, which was the downfall of its mythical namesake, is imminently important, but also particularly prone to injury. Fortunately, Dr. LaMour can assist you if you suffer from tendonitis or another related injury to this important tissue band.

Do You Want to Learn More About Your Feet?

Our Austin podiatry practice is here to educate you and help you enhance your foot health! Contact us today to find out more and schedule your appointment with Dr. LaMour.

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/foot-anatomy-101-the-basics-behind-your-feet/

Why is the Ball of My Foot Swollen

The ball of your foot takes the brunt of your foot as you walk, run, dance, and more. This thicker portion of the foot lies between your toes and your heel, and it carries your weight as you move. The ball is already a bigger segment of your foot, but if you notice it getting larger, this could indicate a podiaic problem. Austin podiatrist, Dr. Jeffery LaMour, is available to answer all of your common foot questions so you can take better care of your feet. One query we often hear from our patients is: “why is the ball of my foot swollen?” There are many potential causes for inflammation in this area. In the following blog, we explain a few of the most common reasons for swelling and explain what you can do to address them.

Ball Basics

While we rely on the balls of our feet to carry us through life, many of us may not fully understand what podiatrists call the “metatarsal,” or the conditions that can affect it. Medical News Today explains: “Metatarsalgia, also known as stone bruise, is a type of pain and inflammation that occurs in the part of the foot known as the metatarsal (ball of foot). It often occurs in the metatarsal heads – where the three middle toes meet the ball of the foot. It is a common problem.” Your metatarsal is so vital to your foot function that swelling in the ball of your foot can significantly disrupt your daily life. In addition, the metatarsal is so versatile that there are many related conditions and activities that can affect it.

Medical News Today goes on: “A lot of physically active people suffer from [Metatarsalgia]…the severity of the pain can vary and may affect just one or two toes – sometimes the whole foot or even both feet might be affected.” Although “it is most common in middle aged females,” Medical News Today notes that “Metatarsalgia can affect males and females of all ages.” It makes sense for all of us to know more about the balls of our feet so we can prevent and treat Metatarsalgia.

The Arthritis Answer

Arthritis is a bone condition characterized by swelling and discomfort in the joints. It can affect every area of the body, including the ball of the foot, so inflammation could very well be due to arthritis. Medical News Today writes: “rheumatoid arthritis – swelled joints in the foot, or gout [arthritis caused by uric acid production] can cause Metatarsalgia.” If arthritis is the culprit, Dr. LaMour and our team offer comprehensive arthritic foot and ankle care to help you manage your condition and reduce swelling.

Nailing Your Feet with Hammertoes

Your feet are carefully calibrated systems designed to carry your weight. If one part is malformed, it can affect the rest quite easily. Therefore, a condition known as hammertoes can lead to Metatarsalgia. In this disorder, one of the middle toes is pulled downward, leading the foot as a whole to look like a hammer. Because they don’t distribute the body’s weight properly, hammertoes can stress the metatarsals and lead to swelling in the ball of the foot. In some cases, hammertoes are congenital, but they are often caused by constantly wearing unhealthy shoes that constrict the foot. If caught early enough, Dr. LaMour can help you treat hammertoes with flexible shoes, special exercises, and comforting devices such as cushions. In advanced cases, Dr. LaMour may recommend surgery.

Arch Issues

The curvature of your foot can also have a major impact on the ball of your foot. Foot Smart explains that one of the “common causes of metatarsal imbalances include[s] a high arch or flat feet, either of which places abnormal pressure across your metatarsals.” Genetic conditions, improper footwear, and a host of other factors can cause your arch to be too high or too low. To help re-balance your metatarsals, Dr. LaMour can fit you for custom orthotics, as well as prescribing other treatments as needed.

Metatarsal Management

Arthritis, hammertoes, and arch issues are some of the most likely reasons for metatarsalgia, but there are numerous potential causes for swelling in the ball of your foot. If you notice inflammation in this region, we suggest that you come in and see us for assistance. The sooner we can determine the underlying cause, the sooner we can treat it and restore your foot health.

Find Out Why the Ball of Your Foot is Swollen

Dr. LaMour and our team can help you diagnose your condition so you can find relief from inflammation. Contact us today to learn more and schedule your appointment!

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/why-is-the-ball-of-my-foot-swollen/