Items filtered by date: June 2016

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 18:19

Healing Your Cracked Heels

With flip-flops covering most Americans’ feet this June, how can we avoid drying out our feet? Dry skin can come from sun exposure, weather changes, dry air, and exposure to chemicals such as soaps and chlorine found in swimming pools. Salt from the ocean can dry your skin as well! For some, your skin may just be naturally drier and more prone to fissuring and cracking. The danger of dry skin is that these cracks can be a portal for harmful bacteria to cause infection. This is especially dangerous for persons with diabetes.

So how can we protect our feet from the harsh elements?

  • Apply a thick layer of cream or lotion before bed each day and use an occlusive layer, such as socks to maintain a moist environment
  • Remember to avoid applying cream or lotion between toes
  • Ask your doctor if you need urea, lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, dimethicone, glycerin, lanolin, mineral oil and petrolateum based creams or fluocinolone acetonide
  • Avoid hot showers
  • Wear closed toe shoes at least part of the time
  • The American Academy of Dermatology also recommends
    • Use gentle chemicals to cleanse in the shower
    • Limit your showers to 5-10 minutes
    • Blot your skin with a towel
    • Apply moisturizer immediately after bathing
    • Ointments and oils are more effective than lotions (olive or jojoba oil are simple choices)
    • Avoid products with alcohol, retinoids, fragrances, or alpha hydroxyl acide (AHA)
    • Use gloves or closed toed shoes for outdoor functions that might put you in contact with water, sun, chemicals, or damaging work
    • Choose a non-irritating laundry detergent
    • Use a humidifier

Skin care is easy once the habit is created. Remember to place your moisturizer in an easily visible spot near your bath or shower and soon you will be keeping your feet fissure-free with 5 quick minutes each day!

Please contact us online or call 614-885-3338 (FEET) to schedule an appointment with us at our Columbus or Gahanna office

June brings the first waves of summer with higher temperatures and longer days. Despite the widespread availability of sunscreen, the Center for Disease Control reports that only 37% of women and 15% of men apply sunscreen to prevent sunburns. As a result, half of Americans have been sunburned in the last 12 months. It is well known that sunburns cause some of the most common cancers including melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma. What is not well known is that melanoma can form on the feet—as much as 15% of cutaneous melanoma occurs on the foot and ankle.

How can you protect your feet and ankles and prevent skin cancer?

  • Apply a thick layer of at least SPF 15 sunscreen to your feet and ankles before going out in the sun, even on a cloudy day
  • Reapply at least every 2 hours
  • Wear protective shoes until you have to remove them—water shoes are an excellent choice
  • Find shade as often as possible
  • Avoid indoor or outdoor tanning
  • Check your feet—look for dark spots called nevi and monitor them for changes in size, shape, color or new symptoms such as itching or pain at the site of the lesion and visit a medical professional if you note changes
  • Monitor for any dark spots or lines on the toenails or skin overgrowth at the nail borders
  • Talk to your podiatrist about any changes to the skin on your feet and ankles

Up to 9,000 Americans die each year from melanoma. These deaths can be reduced or even prevented by sun protection, foot monitoring and open dialogue with health care providers. If you have any concerns, see your podiatrist or regular health care provider for treatment. People with diabetes should see their podiatrist regularly. Fun in the sun can be safe and healthy by following these easy steps. Enjoy your summer!

Please visit our website for more information or call 614-885-3338 (FEET) to schedule an appointment with us at our Columbus or Gahanna office

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