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Specialized Foot Care For Upcoming Summer Season

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Posted 19th June 2009 at 04:45 AM by lafootdoc

Your feet, like other specialized structures, require specialized care. A doctor of podiatric medicine can make an important contribution to your total health, whether it is regular preventive care or surgery to correct a deformity.


In order to keep your feet healthy, you should be familiar with the most common ills that affect them. Remember, though, that self treatment can often turn a minor problem into a major one, and is generally not advisable. You should see a foot doctor when any of the following conditions occur or persist.

Athlete´s foot is a skin disease, usually starting between the toes or on the bottom of the feet, which can spread to other parts of the body. It is caused by a fungus that commonly attacks the feet, because the wearing of shoes and hosiery fosters fungus growth. The signs of athlete´s foot are dry scaly skin, itching, inflammation, and blisters. You can help prevent infection by washing your feet daily with soap and warm water; drying carefully, especially between the toes; and changing shoes and hose regularly to decrease moisture. Athlete´s foot is not the only infection, fungal and otherwise, which afflicts the foot, and other dry skin/dermatitis conditions can be good reasons to see a doctor of podiatric medicine at Cedars Sinai Foot and Ankle Center if a suspicious condition persists.

Blisters are caused by skin friction. Don´t pop them. Apply moleskin or an adhesive bandage over a blister, and leave it on until it falls off naturally in the bath or shower. Keep your feet dry and always wear socks as a cushion between your feet and shoes. If a blister breaks on its own, wash the area, apply an antiseptic, and cover with a sterile bandage.


Bunions are misaligned big toe joints which can become swollen and tender. The deformity causes the first joint of the big toe to slant outward, and the big toe to angle toward the other toes. Bunions tend to run in families, but the tendency can be aggravated by shoes that are too narrow in the forefoot and toe.

There are conservative and preventive steps that can minimize the discomfort of a bunion, but top Cedars Sinai podiatrists frequently recommend surgery to correct the problem.

Corns and calluses are protective layers of compacted, dead skin cells. They are caused by repeated friction and pressure from skin rubbing against bony areas or against an irregularity in a shoe. Corns ordinarily form on the toes and calluses on the soles of the feet. The friction and pressure can burn or otherwise be painful and may be relieved by moleskin or padding on the affected areas. Never cut corns or calluses with any instrument, and never apply home remedies, except under your Cedars Sinai foot doctor´s instructions. Foot odor results from excessive perspiration from the more than 250,000 sweat glands in the foot. Daily hygiene is essential. Change your shoes daily to let each pair air out, and change your socks, perhaps even more frequently than daily. Foot powders and antiperspirants, and soaking in vinegar and water, can help lessen odor.


This information comes from a series of publications produced by APMA that discusses several foot health conditions and concerns, including foot health, diabetes, high blood pressure, athlete´s foot, occupational foot health, warts, foot orthoses, aging, children´s feet, surgery, Medicare coverage, injuries, heel pain, nail problems, walking, women´s feet, footwear, and others. These publications are available from many podiatrist members of APMA.
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