Thursday, June 26, 2014

Blisters: Your Body's way of Healing

Blisters. We’ve all dealt with them. Whether it’s due to incorrectly fitted footwear, prolonged rubbing or sweating, these pesky little bubbles are a pain in the … foot! 

Blisters result from a hot spot, a place on your skin that is irritated from rubbing, friction or pressure. In the summer your feet tends to sweat more creating increased opportunities for blisters to form. This continual focused irritation causes actual tiny tears in your epidermis (outermost layer of skin). As a healing mechanism your body sends fluids to fill the gap between the layers of skin, to protect the sensitive skin now exposed.

Ideally you want to leave a blister alone to heal. Your body is an amazing organism and sufficiently takes care of itself when allowed to do so. The bubble a blister forms is actually protecting your irritated skin from bacteria and infection, as well as from pain. When left alone new, healthy skin will form under the blister and the fluid will absorb back into the body.  For a normal everyday blister- there is no immediate need to seek medical help.
*Occasionally one can develop blood blisters, where the blister is filled with blood not plasma, or a blister can be filled with thicker, discolored fluid indicating infection. If you notice these signs please seek medical help. 

If the blister is in a particularly nagging area or is very painful you may need to pop the blister. While we do not recommend this, we understand sometimes it cannot be avoided. Taking proper steps and precautions can make all the difference.
  • Wash hands with soap and warm water
  • Wash blister and surrounding area with antibacterial soap and water
  • Dry area completely
  • Sterilize a thin, pin sized, needle with alcohol
  • Gentley poke a hole in the side of the blister
  • Squeeze out all fluid (If the fluid is not clear it may be sign of infection and you need to see a medical professional)
  • Do NOT remove extra skin from blister, this provides a protective barrier from infection
  • Apply an antibiotic cream or ointment
  • If needed apply bandage, loosely, over area

 We also recommend you clean and check affected area often to catch any signs of infection early.

Have a problem with a blister? Come see us for the appropriate treatment for you! 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Barefoot: Safe or Sorry?

It is summertime in Charleston. Weather is warm, sun is shining and the grass is plush and green- so the question remains… do we really need shoes?

Like so many other questions there isn’t one simple conclusive answer. 

Many studies today are promoting ‘earthing’- the practice of walking barefoot on natural surfaces, such as sand, soil, grass etc.  Early studies are showing that the health benefits come from the relationship between our bodies and the electrons in the earth. The planet has its own natural charge, and we seem to do better when we’re in direct contact with it,” via

Aside from the natural link of walking barefoot, doing so can also expose your feet to substantial injury, infections and bacteria. Also, walking barefoot at the beach can expose your feet to burns from the sand or pavement.

Since the age of man the invention of shoes has decreased the function of the feet. Meaning that the first humans’ feet were more durable, less sensitive and tougher in structure- by shoeing feet our general foot structure has evolved over time to need more support and protection.

Being barefoot is freeing and, when done safely, is completely okay. However the idea that we can go shoeless as our ancestors did is not realistic.  

When going barefoot remember these tips:
- Wear sunscreen on your feet
- Properly bandage any open wounds or scrapes (or wear shoes until wounds are healed to avoid infections)
- Avoid going barefoot in extra germy environments such as public pools, waterparks and docks (always clean & dry feet well before putting shoes back on)

- Wear shoes on any rough surfaces such as pavement, cement, splintery docks and so forth

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Pools: a Podiatrist's Nightmare

Like us, we are sure many of you are already enjoying pool days or perhaps an outing or two to Whirlin’ Waters. As much as we love water days in Charleston these activities can result in unwanted foot problems such as warts, nail fungus, athlete’s foot and more.

The most common cause for these issues are the bacteria infested, damp areas surrounding public swimming areas, locker rooms and showers. In the instance of public pools hundreds of people trample through this bacteria thriving environment unintentionally spreading fungus and giving it an ample place to grow...and in result, others pick up these conditions. We suggest wearing water shoes to avoid most problems and making sure to clean and dry feet well after exposure to these areas.
If you are concerned about any of the following please see our office for the most effective treatments. Recent studies show increased evidence of how easily conditions can spread among family members as well as to public. 
- Discolored Toenails (resulting from Onychomycosis)
- Thickened or Flaking Nails
- Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot (itching, scaling, inflammation)

- Newly formed warts

Thursday, June 5, 2014

No Small Break: Broken Toes

One of the least discussed issues we deal with are broken toes. More often than not people who injure a toe do not seek medical treatment assuming the toe will heal fine on its own. However, an actual broken toe that is not treated properly can result in future foot pain, deformity, troubles with shoe fittings and more.
Whether you stubbed it, dropped something on it, rolled your foot or otherwise ‘hurt’ your toe visiting us can ensure your treatment is successful.

What to look for in a Toe Injury:
- Pain that subsides after a few hours
- Crooked appearance of toe
- Bruising and/or Swelling within the following 24 hours
- Pain with, or following, normal activity
- Pain when touched

Contrary to popular belief the saying, “if you can walk on it, it is not broken” is not true.  If you are suffering from any of these symptoms following a potential injury seek medical help for best results in healing.