Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for category: home foot care

By Dr. Rion Berg
February 05, 2016
Category: home foot care
Tags: Valentine's Day  

After hiding your dogs away all winter, wouldn't it be great to give them a treat for Valentine's Day. We've put our heads together to come up with the perfect plan for pampering your feet and making them feel special.

Step 1 Soften Your Skin and Nails

To keep things simple, try this DIY foot soak--1 gallon or more of warm water with 3 tbsps of epsom salts and baking soda per gallon with your favorite essential oil. Soak for about 10 minutes to soften skin and nails.

Step 2 Smooth Your Feet and Remove Calluses

After you soak your feet, gently rub your heels or wherever the skin is rough and built up with a pumice stone and Adessa-30 Heel Liniment to get rid of dead skin cells and calluses. The latter product is available at our office. Warning: Diabetic patients should ask their podiatrist if they can use pumice stone on their feet.

You can also use an Exfoliating Foot Scrub from Gilden Tree which is infused with aloe vera, deep skin moisturizers, and pumice for a real treat.

Step 3 Cutting Your Nails

Although you might want a particular shape for your toenails, it's important to cut them straight across so that you don't develop an ingrown nail. Toenails should be trimmed just enough so that you can see a few millimeters of skin just beyond the nail margin. View this video by a podiatrist to learn more.

Step 4 Caring for Your Cuticles

Once your nails have soaked, gently push them back with an orange stick. Never cut your cuticles. You're welcoming in bacteria and fungus if you do.

Step 5 Painting Your Nails

Use a nail polish such as Dr.'s Remedy Enriched Nail Polish free of formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene and DBP. It's vegan friendly and organic ingredients such as tea tree oil. Regular nail polish can weaken your nails.Also available at our office.

Step 6 Get a Foot Massage

The muscles in our feet get tight from walking on them and cramming them into shoes. You can massage your own feet using your hands or a foot roller and a foot lotion such as Earth Therapeutics Foot Repair Balm. Or better yet ask your sweetie to do it. Want a trained hand? Try a foot reflexologist.

Step 7 Keep Your Feet Soft All Year Long

To keep your feet feeling good all year long try Amerigel® which contains a unique ingredient called Oakin®. This ingredient acts to calm skin irritations, hydrate dry, cracked skin, and restore skin to its natural healthy form. You can purchase at our office.

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.

Your free foot book "No More Foot Pain" is waiting to be sent to your home.

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

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+

Do you get complaints from your spouse or kids everytime you take your shoes off? Do they hold their noses, wrinkle up their faces, and leave the room? If so, you very likely have smelly feet.

There is help for this common problem.

The feet and hands contain more sweat glands than any other part of the body (about 3,000 glands per square inch). Feet smell for two reasons: you wear shoes and your feet sweat. The interaction between your perspiration and the bacteria that thrive in your shoes and socks generates the odor. Any attempt to reduce foot odor has to address both your sweating and your footwear.

Smelly feet can also be caused by an inherited condition called hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, which primarily affects males. Stress, some medications, fluid intake and hormonal changes also can increase the amount of perspiration your body produces. 

Prevention

  • Always wear socks with closed shoes. Thick, soft socks help draw moisture away from the feet. SmartWool Trekking Heavy Crew Socks (Gray) Large and microfiber and other absorbent materials are best.
     
  • Bathe your feet daily in lukewarm water, using a mild soap. Dry thoroughly.
     
  • Change your socks and shoes at least once a day
     
  • Check for fungal infections between your toes and on the bottoms of your feet. If you spot redness or dry, patchy skin, get treatment right away.
     
  • Don't wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. If you frequently wear athletic shoes, alternate pairs so that the shoes can dry out. Give your shoes at least 24 hours to air out between wearings; if the odor doesn't go away, discard the shoes
     
  • Dust your feet frequently with a non-medicated baby powder or foot powder such Gordon’s Foot Spray.

Treatment

  • Persistent foot odor can indicate a low-grade infection or a severe case of hereditary sweating. In these cases, our practice may prescribe a special ointment.
     
  • Soaking your feet in strong black tea for 30 minutes a day for a week can help. The acid in the tea kills the bacteria and closes the pores, keeping your feet dry longer. Use two tea bags per pint of water. Boil for 15 minutes, then add two quarts of cool water. Soak your feet in the cool solution. Alternately, you can soak your feet in a solution of one part vinegar and two parts water.
     
  • Purchase a UV Shoe Sanitizer. Shoe Sanitizers kill 99% of the bacteria and fungus that cause foot odor.


If these treatments don't work or if you have another foot problem, Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "Happy Feet for the Rest of Your Life" , 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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By Rion A. Berg, DPM
August 16, 2012
Category: home foot care
Tags: diabetes   foot pain   wound   ulcer   foreign body   flip flops   ice   temperature  

The sudden onset of foot pain that persists throughout the day is not normal. It generally means something is inflamed, and if simple ice, rest, and elevation don’t resolve it, you should have your foot checked by your podiatrist.

The most wonderful thing in the human body is our highly sophisticated early warning system. We’re equipped with the most amazing network of sensory nerve fibers that rivals all of your computers and cell phones put together. 

The moment that something isn’t right in your foot, this system instantly communicates to your brain…”PAIN !!!  Stop whatever you’re doing to me, system will be shutting down in ’X’ minutes.”  I know this sounds silly, but assuming you have the ability to feel your feet, your feet are supplied with an incredible density of sensory nerve fibers that can sense touch, pain, temperature, vibration, and position.

.When you get something foreign in your foot like glass, splinter, hair, a piece of wire, or thorn, your body will react to this, first with setting of pain fibers to tell you something isn’t right, and then it will inflame around the object developing fluid and redness within
24 hours. This can lead to infection, or it may just wall itself off and be sore. Either way, the foreign matter must  be removed. If it’s really superficial and you can remove it without digging in with bathroom surgery, you may not need further attention. Clean it with soap and water, hydrogen peroxide, and apply an over the counter like triple antibiotic or Neosporin. Soaking in Epsom salts can also be helpful.

When you overuse your foot because of wearing flip flops too much, suddenly increasing your athletic activities like going on a long hike while on vacation, or too many hours crouched in the garden, your nerve endings around your joints will sense that you have pushed them too far.  Somehow we’re often able to do a lot of a certain activity without pain, until the next day; that’s when our foot starts talking to us. 

What happens here, is that you are exercising and having a lot of blood flow to the area. But once you overuse your tissues and then try to resume activity the next day, they are sending  you a delayed signal that they simply weren’t prepared for this much work. You may simply need to take a day off and ice, rest, and use an over the counter anti-inflammatory medication. You may need to begin a stretching program regularly, and gradually increase your exercise regimen or distance you walk or hike.

Finally, a word to those of you who don’t feel normally because you have Diabetes or have loss of sensation because of a back injury:

You must inspect your feet daily. Studies have shown that redness and temperature will increase over a very localized area, like the ball of the foot, when it is overused.  This will precede the development of an open wound called an ulcer. 

So, for those of you with this problem, you will not get the early warning sign of pain, and must inspect your feet visually; use a mirror on the floor daily or have someone else look at your feet.  If you get off your feet immediately upon noticing the redness, it will gradually fade and you will avoid developing a wound.

In summary, we are blessed with the ability to feel pain. Our sensory nervous system is highly specialized to tell us when we’ve developed an injury or overuse syndrome.  Listen to your body, apply good common sense measures when you do develop a problem, and then if you have increasing pain, redness, or swelling lasting more than 24 hours, get medical attention. 

Be safe and enjoy the rest of your summer.

Rion A. Berg, DPM
Podiatrist and Board Certified Food Surgeon

2611 NE 125th St., #130
Seattle, WA 98125
206.368.7000

www.bergdpm.com
www.diabeticfootdoc.com

The Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City now offers foot care products on-line. Click here to visit our new, on-line store!

 

 

By Rion A. Berg, DPM
June 21, 2011
Category: home foot care
Tags: walking   ankle sprains   hiking  


When I think about a beautiful summer weekend, I think about the great outdoors, particularly about a moderately vigorous hike, (with our hills in downtown Seattle, that could be in the city or out) that provides both a gorgeous date with mother nature and a fun, challenging way to get my daily exercise. The next thing I think about is how much energy is used and how much work is done by my legs and feet, especially going up hills, down hills, and hiking on natural, unpaved paths. While these are some of the enjoyable parts of exercising outdoors, they also warrant some precautionary thoughts and “what if” questions to be considered.

Since I know my feet and legs are going to work hard, it is certainly necessary to invest in soft comfortable socks and sturdy supportive shoes for this type of exercise. Since I know how tired and sore feet can become after a nice long hike on potentially uneven surfaces, a common musculoskeletal injury comes to mind--ankle sprains.

Ankle sprains, or twisting/rolling your ankle, are very common injuries encountered on hiking trails due to a wrong step on uneven surfaces such as tree roots, rocks, or just a hole in the ground. Since this is an acute injury that will likely lead to swelling and inflammation around your ankle area.

I recommend a common protocol that needs to be applied immediately called "RICE" which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Apply an ice pack to the affected area (with a layer of cloth between your skin and the ice) and held in place with an Ace wrap or elastic bandage to provide compression.

These steps help decrease the swelling and internal damage occurring as part of the body’s natural response to the injury. The ankle should be elevated slightly higher than your heart to help promote drainage from the swollen area. The ice should be applied for 20 min on/20 min off as much as you can for the first 48 hours after the injury. The “rest” part of this treatment means keeping weight-bearing activity to a minimum for a couple of days, and slowly getting back to normal daily activities as tolerated. It is very important to make sure your ankle strength and stability have returned before attempting physical activities, as these sprained ankles are common to reoccur.

If you are still experiencing pain, weakness, or instability after about a week, it may be necessary to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist to further evaluate the ankle and provide more treatment options.

*The RICE method of treatment may also be used as first-line treatment for any type of muscle, tendon, or ligament injury where there is pain and swelling.

If you've sustained an injury, it's important to see a Seattle podiatrist to evaluate the injury and determine whether further treatment is needed. Call us at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.