Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

In the health conscience Northwest, many of us ask our guests to remove their shoes when entering the house. The last thing most of us want is for people to track in allergens, pesticides, petroleum products, and bacteria of all sorts including C Difficile which can cause gastrointestinal problems. Parents with babies who are crawling have even more reason for concern since the risk of exposure for them is much higher and also can have a greater effect on their health.

However, asking friends and family to remove their shoes before coming into your home can present a problem from a foot health standpoint. Here are some examples.

Diabetes
People with diabetes should never go barefoot in any environment. The risk of stepping on an object and creating a bruise or open cut can go unnoticed and can lead to ulcer formation which can be difficult to heal. Also people with diabetes often have diabetic neuropathy where feeling their feet on the ground can be difficult. Going without shoes can make a fall more likely.

Plantar Fasciitis
Friends and family who have heel pain or plantar fasciitis should also refrain from going barefoot. As a Seattle podiatrist I always tell my patients that have this condition to be sure to wear a supportive sandal to prevent their plantar fascia from getting re-injured.

Fall Prevention in Older Adults
Even if you don't have diabetic neuropathy if you're an older adult and have a fear of falling or have already fallen going barefoot is also contraindicated.

Some solutions to this thorny problem can include:

-advise guests ahead of time that you have a no shoes policy. That way they can bring their own slippers or other shoes that they only wear inside.

-providing slippers with some tread to people who come to your home. Be sure to provide clean sock as well. Guests who have toenail fungus could pass this along to others if they're feet aren't covered inside the slippers.

-provide a clean and safe environment inside your house. If guests opt to go barefoot the last thing you'd want to happen is for them to injure themselves on a tack or other object on the floor.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

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Did you know that if you have bunions there's a very good chance your daughter will too? Although bunions aren't inherited your foot type is. One of the most common foot types that put people at risk for bunions are flat feet.

Flat feet can cause all kinds of problems for people including heel pain, bunions, and hammertoes. If you've experienced any of these issues the last thing you'd want is for your daughter to have these problems.

So how can you help your daughter avoid all the pain that you've experienced?

Talk to your teenage daughter about high heels

As you may know high heels can make your bunions worse. If you notice your teenage daughter is starting to get bunions then it will be especially important to have this conversation. There are plenty of fashionable shoes that don't include sky high heels. If she wants to occasionally wear them for a special event, that's probably fine. But wearing them on a regular basis will likely worsen her bunions causing problems later in life.

Pay attention to your toddler's feet

Babies are born with flat feet. But as they get older they're feet will start to form an arch. If you notice that your child has not formed an arch by age four or five, it could mean she has Pediatric Flat Foot and her feet will remain flat for the rest of her life. This will put her at risk for all the problems that you've had with your feet.

Fortunately there are orthotics made specifically for young children called Little Steps. Learn more about children's foot problems at our Seattle Center for Children's Foot Health.

Bring your daughter to a podiatrist

Bring your daughter to a podiatrist if they have flat feet, even if they aren't experiencing foot pain. To avoid future problems, a podiatrist can evaluate whether your daughter would benefit from over-the-counter inserts or is at the point that a custom orthotic would be most helpful. Orthotics will correct faulty foot mechanics to slow down development of bunions and prevent other types of foot problems such as plantar fasciitis.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Seattle has always been known for its crunchy granola, non-fashionable trends such as wearing socks with sandals. Although most of the world has shunned this need-to-layer necessity in this part of the world, it appears that the rest of the world may be catching on.

During Men's Fashion Week men were seen sporting shorts and sandals with socks. Perhaps one of the designers spent some time here and decided to put the Seattle look on the runway.

With our love of Tevas and other sandals for walking and hiking it makes perfect sense that in a wet and relatively cool environment many of us choose to wear socks with our sandals. And from the view of this Seattle podiatrist, it's is a good thing.

Why?

With our wet to dry weather, wearing sandals with socks protects our feet from the blistering that comes from excessive rubbing with long walks and hikes in sandals.

The types of socks you choose are very important. Cotton socks retain sweat and don't keep your feet warm. Choose a sock that will wick away moisture, prevent blistering, and keep your feet warm.

Having problems with your feet?

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

Many times throughout my career as a podiatrist I've had patients come to me with big toenails that have turned black. Most often a black toenail is simply the result of nail trauma. The nail turned black because they're a runner or a skier and they wore shoes or boots that were just too tight. Or they loved to tinker with their car and they dropped a tire iron on their toe. Sometimes kicking a solid object too hard can also cause a blackened nail to arise.

But sometimes a black toenail can be the sign of toenail fungus or even worse, melanoma.

That's why it's so important to make sure to see a Seattle podiatrist if you notice your toenail is black or turning black.

Fungal Nails

Onychomycosis or fungal nails are a very common occurrence. In Seattle, our feet are covered in socks and shoes or boots most of the year. And many of us wear cotton socks that keep our feet slightly damp. This is the perfect environment for toenail fungus to thrive.

Some of us are more prone to nail fungus due to our genetics.

Runners and other active people also are at greater risk due to repetitive pressure on the nail bed which causes it to lift slightly allowing the fungus in where it can set up shop.

Fungal nails can be difficult to treat particularly if it's been a longstanding problem and the nail has thickened or the patient is immunocompromised.

It's best to get this condition treated as early as possible to ensure the best chance of success. Even so fungal nails can return just like a chronic case of gingivitis. Prevention is key for those who've had it by limiting their exposure--using socks that wick away moisture, alternating shoes on a daily basis, or using a UV light shoe sanitizer.

Melanoma

At worst a black toenail is diagnosed as melanoma, a very dangerous form of skin cancer. Melanoma tends to grow very slowly so it's important not to dismiss it. In fact, melanoma is the most common cancer of the feet. Unlike our face which we look at every day, many of us ignore our feet.

When found on the feet there is a much higher death rate due to this cancer which can spread throughout the body. That's because we are more likely to find it when it's already too advanced to adequately treat.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

 

By Dr. Rion Berg
April 13, 2017
Category: family foot care
Tags: Untagged

As we commemorate Foot Health Awareness Month, I like to remind my patients that their feet and the feet of their children have to last them a lifetime, so treat them well.

When we stop to think about it our feet are pretty miraculous.

Even Leonardo Da Vinci said that "the human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art”. And it's not surprising when we stop to consider that our feet have 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than one hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Our feet work in perfect harmony to allow us to walk, dance, skip, run, and jump.

Except when they don't!

But this isn't terribly surprising. Many of us aren't lucky enough to be born with perfect feet. And even if we are we take them for granted and shove them into shoes so tight and tall that they have to scream at us before we'll listen.

Or we play out our dreams as ballerinas, gymnasts, marathoners, and basketball players putting our feet  into harm's way.

Some of us love to walk for miles in flip flops or go barefoot where no foot should ever tread naked.

So do your feet a favor.

Follow the 10 commandments of foot love.

1. Don't take your feet for granted.

2. Don't squeeze them into shoes that are too tight or tall.

3. Don't ignore heel pain.

4. Honor them by cutting your toenails straight across.

5. Protect them by wearing the proper shoes for the activity you engage in.

6. Don't covet your neighbors feet, but work within the limits of the ones you have.

7. Get your feet measured every time you buy a new pair of shoes.

8. Be sure to wear flip flops in shower and locker room to avoid the plague of foot fungus.

9. But don't wear flip flops to go walking.

10. If you have diabetes, take them for an annual visit to your podiatrist.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

 

 





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