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.

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.

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. 

What It Mean When The Balls of Your Feet Hurt and What to Do!

Foot Pain On the Ball of the Foot (Metatarsalgia).

Covid 19 has lead to people walking around barefoot more often. Underlying foot injuries when walking barefooted can worsen the severity of the condition. 

Metatarsalgia 

What is it?  Now there are different types of of conditions categorized as metatarsalgia. 

The main sign and symptom pain at the end of one or more of the metatarsal bones. Those are the bones located near or on the balls of your feet!

  • The pain is typically worse  when you walk or run.
  • You may feel tingling or numbness in your toes. 
  • Athletes who take part in high-impact activities and also have an inflammatory condition like bursitis often have more widespread pain in the ball and middle of the foot.
  • The pain can be sharp, a dull ache, or a burning feeling.
  • You may feel like you’re stepping on a pebble.

Most often, the pain comes on gradually, opposed to all of the sudden. 

Metatarsalgia Causes

This is an overuse problem where, for some reason, there is a lot of load on one focal point on the forefoot. Such activities that pound the metatarsals  like, running, sprinting, plyometrics, jumping , skipping or dancing, result in impact forces leading to pain in the forefoot. Or you may have a predisposition to this injury due to your current anatomy such as:

  • Weak foot intrinsic (muscles)
  • Hammertoes
  • Hypermobile first foot bone
  • Tight calf muscles 
  • A short first metatarsal bone or a long second metatarsal bone 
  • Tight muscles that extend your toes, placing more downward pressure on the balls of the feet. 

Other things that can cause metatarsalgia include:

  • Pronation issues
  • Being overweight
  • Stress fractures in your toes or metatarsals
  • Bunions 
  • Torn ligaments in your feet
  • Tight calf muscles

Morton’s Neuroma is also a condition that is under the metatarsalgia term. This is when the nerve has extra tissue growth around it. It is usually located in the area between third and fourth toes, but can also happen in other web spaces of the feet. People with webbed toes also experience an increased likelihood of this issue. People may say it feels like they are stepping on a pebble or a stone. 

Medical Treatment

To relieve metatarsalgia pain, your downtown Toronto Foot Chiropodist or Foot Doctor may have you

  • Rest the foot. 
  • Orthotics with metatarsal support. Orthotics help control abnormal movement of the foot, as over pronation was mentioned as one the causes of the injury,  and also help with protecting those painful areas of the feet. 
  • Icing the foot 
  • Use compression bandaging
  • Wear cushioned pads, arch supports or other orthotics in your shoes.
  • Do gentle stretching and strengthening exercises.
  • Sometimes callusing can cause pain the foot, so having the callous removed, that can help
  • Sometimes surgery may be required or steroid injections to the area. 

Recovery 

I, Chiropodist Laura Desjardins, suggests If you are an athlete you may want to cross train or do activities that does not require pounding on the feet. 

Gradual return to activity is also recommended. One way to prevent this injury is to wear proper footwear, or orthotics if needed during high impact activity, stretch and strengthen your feet as well as keeping the hips strong. 

If you have any other questions or concerns with your foot pain, our Chiropodist, Laura Desjardins, would be happy to help you!

Causes of Foot Pain-Bruised and Thick Toe Nails

Causes of Foot Pain-Bruised and Thick Toe Nails 

 

 

How Do You Get A Bruised Toe Nail

One of the many reasons people seek a chiropodist or podiatrist for foot pain, include bruised toenails. Bruised toenails can happen from repetitive trauma to the nails. This injury is commonly found in runners or hikers. This toenail injury  can also happen to those who wear tight fitting shoes like high heels, to those who kick a ball like soccer or football or even rock climbers. 

 

This type of injury is a repetitive foot injury where the toenails hit the end of the shoe over and over. This causes a subungual hematoma, which is a blood blister under the nail. The nail also responds to trauma by thickening. When the nail thickens, that can become a perpetual issue.  A thick nail can dig into the sides of the skin around your nail, pinching and causing pain. If the nail continues to become injured, skin can become hard around the nail. That can stunt the growth and also contribute to the thickening of the nail. 

What to Do About A Bruised Toenail

Not only can footwear cause issues with toenails, but if socks that are too tight, that can also lead to microtrauma of the  nails. That is why I suggest slightly tugging the end of the sock, to make sure the sock does not pull back on the toes and toenails when you put your shoe on and while running. Some sport medicine textbooks advise a met pad to help prevent the toes from hyperextending. 

Buying footwear that properly fits, is also very important. Toe caps can help blunt the pain, but sometimes I find it takes up more room and can add more pressure onto the nail. 

In very painful conditions, you may need to have the nail gently drilled from a foot specialist to alleviate the pressure from the blood under the nail. In cases where the toe nail injury has been there for a while, the blood will be dried and drilling is not needed. Thinning the nail out will help in this situation. 

 

What really helps to prevent this issue, is to keep  the nails neat and tidy! Another important factor is wearing footwear that has enough room in the toe box. That means keeping them trimmed and filed. If you have troubles cutting the nails, seeing a podiatrist or chiropodist will help you. Filing the nails as thin and best as best as you can will help. If you cannot cut the nails. Not only is the thickness the issue, but getting the corners and nail sulus neat and tidy is also important! 

 

Keeping regular appointments to keep the nails growing properly will help reduce pain and prevent thickening of the nails. From personal experience, as a runner, the regular upkeep of nails was the only thing that helped me!

Neuromas: Here’s What You Need to Know from Your Toronto Chiropodist and Podiatrist

Any type of running related injury is important to a Toronto chiropodist and Podiatrist. We’ve put together some information for runners on common types of foot issues. Running is a good way to stay in shape and get out of the house during the COVID-19 pandemic. Knowing what to look for when it comes to neuromas helps to keep you active.

A neuroma occurs when the tissue between the third and fourth toes hardens and thickens. The thickened tissue puts pressure on the nerve and causes pain.

At first, you might feel like there’s a little pebble on the inside of your shoe. You could also experience a tingling sensation between the third and fourth toe. A neuroma does not appear in an obvious way like a lump between your toes. The main symptom of this condition is pain.

Shooting Pains in The Ball of Your Foot

If the situation worsens, you might feel shooting pains in the ball of your foot or base of your toe. Female runners are at a higher risk for developing this problem. Women who enjoy running and have flat feet are also prone to developing these neuromas.

It’s time to call your Toronto chiropodist and book an appointment if the pain lasts longer than a few days. If you’re suffering, it’s a good idea to back off on running for other types of exercise. Swimming is a good way to stay active because it doesn’t put much pressure on your feet while you heal.

There are different treatment options available. They depend on how far the situation has progressed. Early on, icing can reduce the swelling and over-the-counter medications can take care of any discomfort.

Treating a Neuroma

There are a few things to avoid if you think you suffer from a neuroma. Some runners misinterpret the pain they’re feeling and treat this condition like a stress fracture. However, the treatment for a stress fracture is different from what’s best for treating a neuroma.

Ignoring the early symptoms is another mistake. Runners with this condition often complain of feeling like there’s a wrinkle in their sock. If you exhibit the early signs and symptoms of neuroma, book an appointment with your Toronto chiropodist. Our foot clinic in downtown Toronto stays up-to-date on the latest treatments so you can continue to exercise outside.

Stress Fractures and Toronto orthotics: Here’s What You Need to Know

Here’s a few words on Toronto orthotics and stress fractures.

Our foot clinic in downtown Toronto knows that your foot has many bones. We also understand that a stress fracture might take a while to become apparent. Now that people are out running in the summer months, they need to be aware of what to look for.

These are usually caused by ramping up your training or the intensity of your run. Some of our patients are unlucky enough to trip on a pothole or rock. You’re even more likely to experience a stress fracture if you suffer from arthritis or take certain medications.

Too Much Too Quickly

For most of our patients, these happen when they do too much too quickly. If you are a runner who hasn’t trained over the colder months, it’s not a good idea to pick up where you left off.
Watch out for tendinitis, bunions or blisters. These can increase the risk for one of these fractures.

If the problem with foot pain is an alignment issue, we have Toronto orthotics treatments that can help. Fitting the device so that it aligns properly with the foot and ankle is what this service is all about.

Older Runner

If you’re an older runner in the summer months, you’ll need to consider this alignment issue. A stress fracture can be the catalyst for your pain.

Checking for symptoms is the first step to getting the right kind of treatment. Here’s a few red flags that you should be looking for regardless of your age.

Pain that lessens when you stop running and take a rest. Putting pressure on a stress fracture can cause it to act up. That includes any discomfort during daily normal activities. Make sure to look for swelling on the outside of the ankle or the top of the foot.

Keep in mind, it’s not just athletes who suffer from these types of injuries. The routine demands of your work and commuting can add up to a lot of stress on your feet as well.

Downtime Involved

If you wind up fracturing a bone in your foot, you’ll need to take some time away from running. Usually there’s about six weeks of downtime involved so the bone can heal. X-rays are a good way to diagnose any issue that you have with the bones in your foot. These can find something as tiny as a small crack.

Toronto orthotics can help correct your stride to prevent these injuries. Orthotics also help with coming back from a stress fracture.