Why Your Feet Are Peeling and Remedies From Your Toronto Chiropodist

Spring is here and we see an uptick in visits to our Toronto Chiropodist Clinic. Your feet undergo a lot of different strains as the weather warms up. Being exposed to the elements and wearing tight fitting shoes can cause them to peel.

Here’s a few common reasons for that condition and what you can do about each.

Athlete’s Foot and Other Fungal Infections

Lots of patients don’t associate peeling skin on their feet with one of these infections. However, a fungal infection like athlete’s foot can spread to your toenail if it’s left unchecked. A minor problem can usually be tackled by an antifungal spray or cream.

If you have a more severe case, you might need a prescription. You’ll more than likely need to spray your shoes as well.

There are a variety of other causes for peeling feet. The next one isn’t as common, but it can still cause redness and irritation.

Hyperhidrosis

This is a medical condition that causes excess sweating. It can affect one area or your entire body. It shows up quite often on the soles of your feet. Even though this condition isn’t usually serious, you should come in and see a Toronto chiropodist :

  • If you are a diabetic, your feet are peeling and there are signs of an infection.
  • If there is an odour that doesn’t go away.
  • If the situation is accompanied by a fever.
  • If this peeling is accompanied by a rash that doesn’t go away after a short time.
  • If there’s discomfort that goes with the peeling that persists.

There are several treatments including prescriptions that can help to reduce sweating. Toronto orthotics are another workable solution if your shoes don’t fit properly.

Eczema

This is a skin condition that is common on your elbows, arms and scalp. It can develop on your feet too and the symptoms include dry and itchy skin. Although the causes are unknown, people with asthma and allergies are more likely to develop this disorder.

When eczema causes your feet to peel, over the counter and prescription medications and moisturizers are two possible solutions.

Your feet can peel for several different reasons. Prescriptions and over-the-counter medications can help alleviate the symptoms. If the condition doesn’t improve, consult a Toronto chiropodist.

Our Foot Clinic in Downtown Toronto Treats Heel Spurs. Here’s What You Need To Know

Our foot clinic in downtown Toronto can treat those bony growths between your arch and heel bone. Heel spurs might not be visible at first but they can affect other parts of your feet. They can be tricky to detect because they aren’t always painful. These are usually a calcium deposit found on the underside of your heel bone.

Here’s some other things you need to know about heel spurs and how they get started.

The calcium deposits that build up to cause a heel spur occur over several months. There are several different causes like strains put on the plantar fascia and tearing the membrane that covers the heel bone itself. Athletes and other active people who run and jump a lot are at risk.

There are several symptoms you should be watching for including pain and inflammation. Look for swelling as well. A good Toronto chiropodist knows this issue may not come with any symptoms at all.

If that’s the case, heel spurs are only usually discovered by x-rays.

The Causes

Repeated ligament and muscle strain is usually the culprit behind this condition. Wearing the wrong shoes that don’t have the proper support also causes them. Basically you are at risk if you walk, run or jump on a hard surface over a long period of time.

There are other possible causes including arthritis and being overweight. Some patients have heel spurs and plantar fasciitis. Having one of these conditions increases your chances for getting the other.

The Treatments

Reducing inflammation to avoid reinjury is the number one goal. Orthotics and shoe inserts are helpful. These take the pressure off the heel spurs. Reducing stress on the Achilles Tendon by using heel lifts is another treatment that works.

Active people should buy running shoes with cushioned soles to help reduce the inflammation and irritation.

The Big Takeaway from Your Foot Clinic in Downtown Toronto

Even though the two conditions are closely related, there’s a big difference between plantar fasciitis and heel spurs. The first condition is an inflammation at the point where plantar fascia attaches to your heel bone and then to your toes. It’s a condition that affects tissue.

A heel spur is a bony growth that starts at the front of your heel bone and points itself back towards the arch of your foot. Heel spurs occur in about 50% of the people who have the other condition.

The ABC’s on Calluses and Corns from Your Foot Clinic in Downtown Toronto Specialists

Our foot clinic in downtown Toronto looks after a variety of services for our patients including smoothing over corns and calluses. These areas of thick skin can develop from ill-fitting footwear and an improper walking gait. They can also form from friction and pressure caused from wearing high heeled shoes and footwear without socks.

Corns can be found on the sides of your toes and the bottom of your feet and they can hurt. Calluses are a layer of skin that develops on the feet and hands or anywhere else there’s friction.

The Difference Between Corns and Calluses

Here’s the ABC’s on what you need to know about both.

Corns can be divided into several different types. Look for them on the sides or tops of your toes.

  • If the ones you notice are white or gray, you probably have a soft corn. These have a rubbery, soft texture and are found more often than not between your toes.
  • As the name suggests, hard corns are dense and small. They usually form on the tops of your toes.
  • If you find these growths on the soles of your feet, you more than likely have what’s called a seed corn.

Our foot clinic in downtown Toronto can identify situations that irritate existing calluses or corns or promote new ones. We can suggest the best shoes to relieve pressure points where your existing footwear rubs against your feet.

Calluses are thick and hard. They are larger than corns with a less defined and wider shape. Look for them on the sides and bottom of your feet. They can also form on your big toe, heel and the ball of your foot.

How They Get Started

Our patients often ask us how corns and calluses start to develop. We tell them they result from pressure and repeated friction on the skin. Constant rubbing or any kind of pressure can cause them to occur.

Remember, these hard layers of skin protect what’s underneath from further irritation and damage.

There are people who are more susceptible to calluses and corns than others. If you wear ill-fitting shoes that are too narrow or you walk around without socks, you’re on the list. Our foot clinic in downtown Toronto can diagnose and treat a variety of ailments to alleviate foot pain and increase mobility.

Buying Winter Boots? Our Foot Clinic in Downtown Toronto Has These Tips

It’s that time of year again. Our foot clinic in downtown Toronto is seeing an uptick in patients getting ready for the cold weather. Our team has many years of experience. Chris Hastings has even served as a consultant in provincial hospitals. Everything comes together when they ask us about how to go about buying winter boots.

Here’s a few things we suggest.

Look For Warmth

Being practical is important. That means being aware of the fact that we lose most of our body heat through our feet, hands and head. Before you buy any winter boots, check out the material the linings are made from. If you’re looking for heavy duty boot liners for the winter, some suggestions include multilayer foam and Thinsulate.

This material keeps its shape and the same density for long periods of time. It’s the best way to keep your feet warm for as long as possible. Other options include Zylex that is layered and has a thermal foil covering that acts as a defense against the cold.

Look For Grip

Choose the boots that have rubber soles with a good tread. You’ll be walking through snow and over hidden icy patches in the winter. Our foot clinic in downtown Toronto sees a spike in ankle sprains due to slips and falls under these conditions.

Here’s another helpful tip. If you’re unsure about the boot’s ability to provide good traction, by a pair of strap-on crampons or ice cleats. Some boots now have picks that flip out from the sole.

Get The Right Fit

Finding a boot that is the right size will make all of the difference. It’s best to try on any new ones with the socks you will be wearing.

Here are a few more things that you should consider to get the right fit:

  • Winter boots need to fit comfortably. They need to supply insulation and support but hug your foot at the same time. Watch out for loose fitting boots. They might provide a little extra warmth but you’ll have issues when trying to walk in them for long distances.
  • Try the kick test. Put your new snow boots on and gently kick a wall. If you feel your toes hitting the end of the boot, they might rub and irritate your toes when walking.

The experts at our Foot Clinic in Downtown Toronto suggest that you should be able to wiggle your toes in the boots without hitting any pressure points.

A Quick Guide to Toronto Orthotics

Toronto orthotics are shoe and/or heel inserts prescribed and custom-made. These help with a variety of back, foot and leg issues. The ones we prescribe for our patients do a number of things including aligning the ankle and foot. Here’s some other things you should know concerning the best way to break in your orthotics and basic cleaning advice.

Getting Accustomed

Getting accustomed to wearing prescription medical appliances is a process. It’s a good idea to start out gradually and wear the inserts for short time periods. Begin with one hour a day and slowly extend the time you wear them as your comfort level increases. If you begin to feel any pain or irritation, we suggest resting your feet for several hours.

Maintenance

Following this pattern, you should be able to wear your orthotics full-time within three weeks. Here’s another quick tip you’ll find useful. At the end of each day, you should remove the customized inserts. Wipe with a dry cloth to remove any moisture and allow time to air dry before reinserting into your footwear.

Wearing Toronto orthotics At Play

We often recommend this type of treatment for patients with strenuous jobs or those who play sports. In tennis, for example, these special shoe or heel inserts supply motion control and shock absorption. It’s best to get used to wearing these devices in athletic shoes during practices before a game. Research indicates orthotics lessen fatigue on the lower body and actually help stabilize your feet in sports such as golfing.

Relief from Pain and Discomfort

Many people enjoy running and walking. The orthotics custom-made specifically for our patients offer relief from ailments like knee pain, shin splints and lower back discomfort. It stands to reason that you want to know the best practices for cleaning them too. This will help these devices to keep their shape and last longer.

Easy Cleaning Tips

Once you are able to use your orthotics on a regular basis, they will require occasional cleaning. The routine you’ll need to adopt involves several factors like your activity level and weight. It’s a good idea to avoid using cleaning solvents and detergent. Usually, dampening a cloth in a solution of water and soap is all that’s needed to wipe the insert clean.

Simply allow your Toronto orthotics to dry naturally at room temperature and avoid exposure to sunlight or other direct heat sources.

Common Winter Running Injuries From Your Toronto Chiropodist—And What to Do About Them!!

As your Toronto chiropodist and Toronto podiatrist, we are always available to administer the latest treatments and provide up to date advice. As the weather turns colder, people who exercise outside will encounter uneven terrain and hard frozen surfaces to move across.

If you’re running outside during the colder weather, you stand the risk of suffering a number of injuries if you don’t plan properly. Here’s a few common winter running injuries and what you can do about them.

Frostbite

Exposed skin can freeze when the temperature goes below zero. It’s important to make sure feet, hands and your face are covered in layers. Remember there is the wind chill to consider as well. We recommend running with your back to the wind as part of your exercise routine.

You’ll also want to avoid hypothermia. Make sure that you are wearing moisture wicking socks and other apparel that’s both wind and waterproof. Socks made of wool are sure to keep your feet warm and dry. Our chiropodist, Laura Desjardins, always wears wool compression socks in the winter to help her feet stay warm.

Knee and Ankle Sprains

Our Toronto chiropodist sees quite a few of these injuries. They are quite often the result of walking or running on uneven terrain that’s snowy or icy. Exercising in this kind of weather means putting extra strain on what are called ankle stabilizers. Running or even hiking in the snow shifts the pressure point from your heel to your ankle. This situation can be made worse by running and walking in other people’s footprints.

Avoiding any of these types of injuries means being proactive. Taking the time to purchase footwear that has extra traction, support and cushioning helps.
Lower Leg Injuries

Every time your foot hits the ground in colder weather, the extra stress puts a greater impact on your feet and lower legs. Conditions like plantar fasciitis can result. Achilles tendinitis is another injury that’s common.

A good workaround to avoid these mishaps is warming up your muscles to increase flexibility. Make sure that your footwear is still in good shape. Take a look at the cushioning to see if it’s worn.

Groin Pulls

Even walking on wet and icy surfaces can cause problems. Many pulled and/or strained muscles occur in the winter because falls and slips are more common. It’s a good idea to pre plan your route. Try to find even surfaces and well-lit clear areas to go for a walk or run in the colder months.

If you get injured in the winter, we are the Toronto chiropodist that has all the latest innovative treatments. We offer treatment plans and modalities for this.

How Often Should You Replace Your Shoes? Chiropodist, Explains to Canadian Running Magazine!

How often should you replace your shoes?

Podiatric medicine practitioner Laura Desjardins explains how to prolong the life of your shoes, and when it’s time to throw them out

Your shoes are arguably the most important part of your running wardrobe, which is why runners spend so much time and money looking for just the right pair. Once you have found the perfect shoe, you should do your best to take care of them so they continue to provide the support you need throughout your training. This includes replacing them when they’re no longer in good condition. But how do you know when it’s time to replace your shoes, and why is it so important? We spoke with avid runner and podiatric medicine practitioner Laura Desjardins to find out.

 

RELATED: Tips for buying running shoes online

Desjardins says on average, you should replace your shoes after about 800 kilometres. That being said, how long your shoes last depends on their structure and durability. Lightweight shoes with soft soles, such as a racing flat, will wear much faster than a sturdier shoe with firmer soles.

For this reason, it is important to examine your shoes regularly to look for signs that they may need to be replaced. Desjardins told us that the soles of the shoe are the best indicator of wear. She explained that if the treads on the bottom are worn or if the foam is compressed unevenly on either side of the shoe, you should look into getting a new pair. According to Desjardins, most shoe soles are made of ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), which contains tiny, circular air bubbles. Over time EVA will get thinner, causing those air bubbles to flatten or burst. Multiple wrinkles on the sole of your shoe are a sign that this is happening and your shoes need to be replaced.

ADVERTISEMENT

Aches and pains may also indicate that it’s time for a new pair of shoes. This is because the compressed soles are no longer providing the same level of shock absorption, which increases the stress on your muscles, bones and joints while you run.

RELATED: 5 signs you need new running shoes

Why is it so important to replace your shoes?

According to Desjardins, worn-out footwear is often a contributing factor in almost all overuse injuries. This is because poor biomechanics can mold into your shoe, which then promotes that movement when you run. For example, Desjardins explained that people who have weaknesses resulting in overpronation can actually mold collapsed forces into their shoes. If your footwear is contoured due to collapsing, it can encourage that form when running which can lead to injuries.

If you are trying to manage an injury or correct your running form, replacing your shoes is necessary for this reason. Even if you fall into neither of those categories, you should still avoid running in worn-out shoes to avoid injuries.

How can you prolong the life of your shoes?

If you’re running 50 kilometres per week, just as an example, replacing your shoes every 800K means you’re making a trip to your nearest shoe store every four months. This, of course, can get pretty expensive, so Desjardins offered some advice on how to make your shoes last longer. The secret? Buy more than one pair at a time.

When you keep using the same pair of shoes every day, the foam in the soles doesn’t have enough time to bounce back, causing them to compress faster. Alternating between pairs every other day gives the soles a chance to rest and rebound. While buying two pairs is initially more expensive, you actually save money in the long run because each pair will last longer than they would have otherwise. For those who are able, Desjardins suggested having three pairs: a designated pair for easy mileage runs, a pair for workouts and a pair for long runs.

Of course, if you’re not running every day, having multiple pairs of shoes may not be necessary. This is why the most important thing you can do is regularly check your shoes for signs of wear, and replace them as soon as your wallet will allow. Having a proper pair of shoes that are in good condition will help prevent injuries, so you can continue running and stay healthy.

RELATED: 5 simple tips to make your running shoes last longer

Toronto Chiropodist Winter Foot Care Tips For The Elderly

Chris Hastings is the Toronto chiropodist who provides services for older citizens like nail care. He can look after concave toenails and clubbed nails. His other services catering to senior citizens include gate correction with orthotics and the smoothing of corns and calluses.

Our Chiropodist, Laura Desjardins, now offers a non invasive treatment for ingrown toenails.

With the cold weather here, Chris receives a lot of questions from his patients about winter footcare for the elderly. Here are some of the more common tips he provides.

  • Consider Upgrades to Your Footwear. Thicker socks are standard for colder weather. They keep your feet warm but these can make your boots feel too tight. If you’re looking to upgrade your footwear consider boots with a wide deep toe box that has room for winter socks.
  • Trim Those Toenails. It’s important to remember that toenails need to be trimmed straight across and not at angles. If you let them grow too long with sharp edges they can catch your socks and cause discomfort and pain. FIling the corners also helps.
  • Exercise Your Feet. Even with the cold weather, our Toronto chiropodist clinic recommends foot exercises to relieve pains from bunions and planter fasciitis. Have a look at your local community indoor options for exercises like balls rolls and toe curls.

Here’s a few other ideas for keeping your feet healthy during the winter months. Drying them out after you’ve been outside is important. Even with water resistant boots, your feet can sweat inside thick socks and get soggy or damp.

Take off your boots and socks immediately when you get inside and dry your feet. Not only will this help you to warm up, it will prevent any fungi or bacteria from taking hold.

Drier Colder Weather

Finally, it’s important to remember to moisturize and cleanse your feet in the winter months. It’s drier during the colder weather and that means moisture gets drawn out from the upper layers of your feet. Washing them daily and then applying moisturizer offsets this problem that could otherwise result in uncomfortable sores.

We are the Toronto chiropodist professionals that want you to stay active on healthy feet as you age. Please take a few minutes to look over the services that our Toronto foot clinic provides. An active lifestyle for older citizens can cause some foot pain and alignment issues. We can outfit seniors with the right Toronto orthotics to minimize any abnormal movements and stresses in their feet.

New Year Foot Resolutions From Your Foot Clinic in Downtown Toronto

We are your foot clinic in downtown Toronto offering different services including gate correction with orthotics and nail care. Recently, we thought it would be a good idea to put together some New Year’s resolutions for 2021 that can help protect your feet.

Exercise Those Tootsies

Most people know that exercise is good for their bodies. However, we are willing to bet that not everyone knows controlled exercises are great for your feet too. There are a variety you can choose from that will do wonders for your muscle groups. These include sitting in a chair and spreading your toes as far as you can without straining them.

Other exercises that can help pump blood to your feet and keep them healthy include toe curls.

Wear The Right Footwear

Choosing footwear that fits properly will help to keep your feet healthy in the new year. Here’s a tip that you can use when you’re shopping for a new pair of shoes or boots.

race your foot on a piece of paper, you can put any footwear you might think about buying on top. It’s a quick and easy way to find out which ones are too narrow or too short to try on.
Chris Hastings is proud of the work that he does helping his clients find the right Toronto orthotics. These devices fit into your footwear and help to align your foot and ankle.

Laura Desjardins, has experience with building orthotics for runners and also runs in orthotics.

Safety Proof Your Home

Keeping your feet safe and 2021 is also about making sure there are no hazards in your house. If you have relatives who are a little older, adding handles in appropriate places in the bathroom helps. Outside, take a little time to make sure the driveway and walkways are free from snow and ice.

Consider removing any throw rugs. If you’ve got elderly people at home applying non skid treads on stairways is another excellent idea. Our foot clinic in downtown Toronto also suggests you take a look for hazards in older homes. For example, additional lighting on stairways and building ramps helps older relatives secure their footing.

Finally, there is no time like the new year to start inspecting your feet daily if you’re a diabetic. Applying moisturizer and cleaning them on a daily basis are good practices to start and continue on through 2021.

Ingrown Toenail Treatment 

Ingrown Toenail Treatment 

 

 

Ingrown toenails are commonly seen in our practice. They can be painful, debilitating and can even keep you up at night! 

What Causes an Ingrown Toenail? 

Your anatomical makeup 

Some people have nails that grow with a curvature on the sides, opposed to flat. What can happen is when the nail grows down and into the sulcus. These nails can be called pincer nails. What also happens is skin and callus buildup and develop in the corners, leading to more pain. When the nails are trimmed, people with curved nails cannot see the nail going down on the sides. They end up leaving a piece of the nail in the corner of the nail sulcus. 

 

Trimming Nails 

How one trims and maintains their nails can lead to ingrown nails. Some people tear their nails instead of cutting them. This is not a good idea because the nail can be torn off extremely far back and left jagged. The further back the nail spicule is, the more likely one is to undergo a surgery to remove that spicule. 

Another issue is that people tend to chase the corners when trimming their nails. It is always best to trim the nails straight across and file the corners with a nail file. I suggest filing with a nail file so the corners are not sharp and do not cut the adjacent toe. Another tip is to make sure the nails are not cut too short. Having some length to the nail ensures that you are going to cut across the entire length of the nail. 

 

Trauma 

Dropping something on your toe nail or stubbing your toe is never fun! What makes this situation a bit tricky is that the nail can break or chip leaving sharp corners. These jagged edges or sharp corners can dig into your skin, leading to a wound that can become infected. 

Improper footwear 

Some people wear tight dress shoes or pointy shoes and are unaware how that impacts their nails. This is more problematic in people who already have nail troubles. The constant pressure on the nails can lead to an ingrown toenail. If shoes are too small, that is also a predisposing factor for ingrown toenails. 

Biomechanical issues 

People who have flat feet or pronate a lot can drive their big toe into the shoe leading to trauma. This can be corrected with strengthening, toe aligners, toe spacers, gait retraining, wider footwear, stability footwear or orthotics. 

Medical Conditions 

Underlying medical conditions can make some people more susceptible to this condition. Fungal nails can become thickened and hard to or break off leaving jagged edges. Some people who have excessive swelling in their feet such as lupus, kidney disease, venous insufficiency to name a few, can be prone to ingrown toenails. The soft tissue around the nail can become swollen, making trimming the nail more difficult to accurately see, thus resulting in an ingrown. 

Why Ingrown Toenails Become Painful 

Ingrown toenails hurt due to the nail creating a wound in the skin. Once there is a wound that becomes a portal of entry for bacteria and infection. Your feet have exposure to bacteria and can become easily infected, especially in immunocompromised people.  The pain is due to the nail but also compounded by the soft tissue infection. 

Treatment 

It is best to seek a foot specialist to take care of your ingrown toenail . While you wait for your appointment here are some tips. Soak your feet in Epsom salts for 10 -15 min one to two times a day. Apply antibiotic ointment around the area. I also suggest Betadine prior to the antibiotic ointment. Some literature advised cotton under the nail to lift the nail. That may be tricky and I just advise seeing a medical professional if it is that bad. Use a Band-Aid to adhere on the affected side to pull the skin away from the nail. Toe spacers can help avoid pressure if the nail is close to a digit. Use Tylenol or Advil for pain relief.