Category Archives: feet

Weird and wacky treatments for plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, marked by the inflammation in the plantar fascia. This is the band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the base of the toes. Heel pain can affect the way you carry out daily activities e.g. walking, standing, running and sporting activities. This is why some people will go to drastic measures and spend hundreds of dollars trying to resolve it.

Treatment options for plantar fasciitis include stretching, orthotic therapy, strapping, ultrasound and footwear changes. However, there is no one size fits all treatment. So, when traditional treatments don’t seem to work, people will go to extreme lengths to find solutions.

Below are some weird and wacky treatments that are sometimes used to treat this foot condition:

  1. Applying lavender essential oil

According to a study conducted in 2015 by Da Silva, lavender oil contains anti-inflammatory properties that make it suitable to treat the condition caused by inflammation. Try massaging the oil into the soles of your feet or perhaps adding a few drops to a warm foot bath.

  1. Applying aloe vera

Aloe vera contains antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Similarly to lavender oil, it is believed that applying it topically into the soles of the feet may help settle fascia inflammation.

  1. Covering your feet with cabbage

This one is no joke. Some people recommend this remedy to reduce heel pain. It is recommended to soften a few red cabbage leaves over a low flame to prevent the leaves from breaking when you apply them to the feet. It is best to secure them into place with gauze or a bandage and allow to sit overnight. It is believed that cabbage leaves contain a pigment known as anthocyanin, which may help reduce inflammation and joint pain.

  1. Soaking your feet in apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a widely used home remedy treatment that is also thought to contain beneficial properties to treat plantar fasciitis. The vinegar is rich in nutrients and minerals (such as magnesium) which can be absorbed through the skin. Try mixing one cup of apple cider vinegar and 6 cups of warm water in a tub and soak your feet for approximately 30 minutes.

  1. Using mustard oil

Some people claim that using warm mustard oil during the process can produce good healing results as it may help relax the muscles and increase circulation.

Will any of these weird and wacky treatments magically cure for your heel pain? Most likely not! But if you have struggled to find a solution, then they may be worth a shot!

If you suffer from heel or foot pain and would like some advice or relief for your feet, please do not hesitate to visit us at Medical Pedicure. Our friendly staff are waiting to take your call on (03) 8645 9888 or

Top 10 tips to get your feet ready for summer!

Summer is just around the corner and when it comes to getting ‘summer ready’, our feet are the last things on our mind. With less than a couple of months until summer, take down some notes on our top tips to ensure your feet receive the TLC they deserve!

 

  1. Indulge in one of our Medical Pedicures to set you up

Come in and receive an individually tailored luxurious foot treatment performed by one of our friendly and skilled podiatrists in a safe and sterile environment. It includes an exfoliation treatment, hot towel treatment, professionally trimmed nails and callus removal and a specialised moisturising treatment for feet and a foot massage.

  1. Apply moisturiser to your feet daily

Lather up your feet with a good foot cream, focusing on the heels and the balls of the feet.

  1. Try a foot mask

Leave a keratin or collagen foot mask on for about 45 minutes before washing off and notice the difference straight away!

  1. Soak your feet in warm soapy water once a week

Soak your feet in warm soapy water to soften the skin and get the circulation to your feet going. Rub your feet with a soft cloth and pay close attention to the spaces between your toes as dirt and dry skin can linger.

  1. Use a pumice stone weekly to get rid of dead skin

Getting rid of dry flaky skin after a long winter can take some time and some fair effort. Try and use it once a week to keep any hard skin at bay.

  1. Ensure you are wearing correct fitting shoes
  1. Avoid wearing thongs
  1. If you feel a blister is forming, get onto it immediately!

If you need to, apply some Betadine and a band aid to avoid the area from getting infected.

  1. Keep barefoot walking to a minimum
  2. Learn correct nail trimming techniques

It is always best to keep your nails on the shorter side and remember to cut them straight across to avoid any nasty ingrown toenails.

Please call us on (03) 8645 9800 or book in online with one of our friendly podiatrists today if you need any help with getting your feet ready for summer!

Are Your Toenails Yellow, Thick and Crumbly?

Have you noticed that your toenails have started to turn yellow, brittle, crumbly or thick recently?

These are the most common and visible signs of a toenail fungal infection.

Who is most at risk?

You are most likely to develop a fungal nail infection if you:

  • Wear artificial nails
  • Have spa pedicures or shellac nails done at a nail salon
  • Swim in a swimming pool
  • Trauma to the toenail
  • Wear tight, narrow, enclosed footwear on a daily basis
  • Have diabetes or a condition that causes poor circulation

 

What does it look like?

The infection may affect part of the nail, the entire nail and can often spread to other nails also. Signs may include:

  • Discolouring of the nail
  • Yellow or white streaks on the nail
  • Brittleness or crumbling of the tip of the nail
  • Thickening of the nail
  • A distorted nail
  • Nail lifting from the nail bed

                   

 

How do I know if I have a fungal infection?

As the appearance of a fungal nail infection can often be mistaken for other conditions, the best way to confirm the diagnosis is with a podiatrist. They will often take scrapings and a nail sample and send it off to a lab for it to be examined under a microscope for signs of any fungi.

 

 

How is it treated?

There are many different treatment options for this condition ranging from topical anti fungal treatments to PACT treatments to oral tablets. To determine the most suitable treatment option for you, please be sure to discuss this with your podiatrist.

If you are concerned about the appearance of your toenails or worried you may have a fungal nail infection, please call us on (03) 8645 9800 or book in online with one of our friendly podiatrists today!

A Podiatrist’s Perspective On Slippers And Ugg Boots

When we jump out of bed in the morning we often don’t want to feel the cold timber floors or tiles so we put our slippers on.

Or,

At the end of the day after you’ve been walking around in those hard, uncomfortable work shoes we just want to take our shoes off and put on something more comfortable like our ugg boots and slippers!

While your slippers and ugg boots might be soft, cushioned and keep your feet warm, what happens if they are doing more damage to your feet then you may think?

When looking at slippers you will notice that they often have soft flexible soles, the material that makes up the shoe is also soft and flexible and the soles of the shoes have little to no grip. So why is this an issue?

Firstly any shoe that does not provide you with adequate support will result in your foot being able to move in any direction which over time can cause your muscles and tendons to lengthen.

As a result of your muscles and tendons lengthening, your feet can start to roll inwards, which may not appear to be a big deal but it can result in pain occurring and over time affect other structures of your body including increased pressure on your ankles, legs, knees, hip and lower back.

Another reason that slippers should be avoided, especially in elderly patients, is that there is an increased risk of falls occurring. Nearly all slippers have very little grip on the bottom of them, which over time becomes a hazard on floors such as vinyl, tiles and floor boards. Slippers worn by elderly people also increase the risk of tripping as the slippers are not fixed to their feet with Velcro, laces or buckles and instead you are able to just slip them on and off.

To avoid risk of pain and falls occurring it is important that you don’t wear your slippers on a daily basis for activities such as walking, shopping and even running. Always make sure that even when at home you either walk barefoot or with a more structured shoe to avoid these things occurring.

This article was written by Lauren, one of our skilled Podiatrists. To book in with Lauren either give us a call or book online and select ‘Lauren’ as your practitioner.

You can call us on 8645 9888 or,

What Is The Best Exercise To Benefit Your Foot Health?

Our feet carry us all day and it is important to look after our feet. This is easily done on a daily basis and your feet will thank you for it!

 

  1. Roll foot on golf ball while watching tv at night, to help relax your foot muscles.

 

  1. Foot stretching before getting out of bed, move your feet up and down and around in circles. This will help warm up the feet and stretch them out before putting your heel straight on the ground when getting out of bed.

  

 

  1. 1 legged stand – hold for 15 seconds, swap legs and try this 3 times, this will help strengthen all the little muscles around the ankles and in the foot, in addition will help with balance. (If you find this difficult, hold onto a chair or a door frame)

 

In addition, it is important to stretch and warm up before participating in physical activity. If you are getting any pain or discomfort in your lower legs or feet during exercise, one of our friendly podiatrists will help you get to the root of the issue.

 

Call us on 8645 9888 or,

 

Reference:

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What Shoes Do We Wear On Our Feet During Summer?

Without a doubt come summer time I always get asked “what shoes do you wear during summer?” Often the answer is… you guessed it, THONGS!

As we all want to avoid wearing closed in shoes that make our feet sweaty, hot and uncomfortable it’s an easy choice to want to throw on a pair of our trusty thongs.

So why don’t we like you wearing thongs?

Typically, when wearing thongs, you may notice that as your feet are exposed they will often dry out causing calluses and cracks to develop especially on the heels as a result of the harsh temperatures and dry heat. Over time if left untreated, this could lead to deep fissures causing pain and potential infection to occur.

With all open toed shoes, you are more at risk of stubbing your toes or tripping over as your feet will try to grip onto the shoes to enable you to balance. In doing this it can also lead to the toes clawing with over time causes the muscles within your feet to become restricted.

The majority of thongs are made out of flexible materials that often provide no support, with a thin strap that attempts to hold your feet in.

So what is the solution if thongs are so bad for your feet!

Shoes such as Birkinstocks or Archies could be the perfect option for you! They are a more sensible, comfortable and podiatrist approved shoe that provides you with comfort and support for your arches!

It should be advised that it is recommended that you speak to your podiatrist prior to buying any of these shoes to ensure that they are suitable to your foot type and needs.

This article was written by Lauren, one of our skilled Podiatrists. To book in with Lauren either give us a call or book online and select ‘Lauren’ as your practitioner.

Call us on 8645 9888 or,

Why Do Women Commonly Have More Foot Problems Than Men?

 Women more commonly present to the Podiatry clinic with foot concerns than men. Some factors that can predispose women to this are footwear and attending nail salons for pedicures.

 

Footwear:
Women’s fashion footwear in the current market provides little to no support for foot function. They are often ill fitting and place a higher level of stress through the foot. While men’s shoes typically have a wider toe box, fastenings and greater ground contact surface area, the opposite is noted in most women’s shoes. High heels and ballet flats are two of the most commons women’s fashion shoes. These two types of shoes in particular demonstrate problematic characteristics for good foot health.

 

High heels:
The smaller contact surface area, elevated heel height and narrow toe box of this shoe type place greater stress on the forefoot and alter the natural gait cycle significantly. The smaller surface contact area and forward shift in the bodies centre of gravity place most of the bodies weight onto the ball of the foot. Common pathologies linked to long term use of high heels include: bunions, corns, callus, toe deformities, Achilles tendonitis and plantar plate tears.

 

Ballet flats:
Ballet flats may seem like the lesser of two evils when it comes to women’s footwear, but this is not the case. Soft soled shoes with no fastenings and little structure to the shoe also cause harm. This type of shoe is often harder to keep on your foot and allows for excessive foot motion in those with pronated foot types. Often digital deformities, heel pain, calluses and pathology due to poor foot posture are associated with this type of shoe.

 

Nail salons:
Attending nail salons is often something women do to pamper themselves but there is a risk associated. Fungal nail infections and ingrown toe nails are common in those frequenting nail salons. Booking a medical pedicure with a Podiatrist is one way to avoid such risk while still enjoying the benefits of a pampering treatment.​

If you have any issues that you need to discuss with one of our skilled podiatrists, please call us on 8645 9888 or,

Why Podiatrists Tell You to Dry Between Your Toes?

Have you grown up with your parents telling you to dry between your toes or has your podiatrist advised you to make sure you dry between your toes after showering?

Have you wondered why?

The reason is this. It is important to dry between your toes or not apply cream between your toes due to the moisture staying between the toes and not being able to soak in or evaporate.

This can cause the skin to become macerated, white and breakdown. Which can be uncomfortable, cause a nasty smell and in some cases is an entry portal for infection – this can either be bacterial or fungal. In most cases fungal infections are more common to get, and can become itchy and uncomfortable.

Therefore, it is important to make sure you dry between your toes after showering or going to the pool, if you are unable to reach your feet, try standing on a dry towel for a longer period of time. In addition, it is important to apply a cream to the feet daily but don’t apply the cream between the toes.

If you are suffering from an issue between your toes or any other foot and lower leg issue or would just like some advice on how to best take care of your feet, don’t hesitate to give us a call. One of our friendly podiatrists will help you sort out your feet.

 

This article was written by Alex, one of our skilled Podiatrists. To book in with Alex either give us a call or book online and select ‘Alexandra’ as your practitioner.

Call us on 8645 9888 or,

Psoriasis of the Nails

Psoriasis of the nails can affect the fingernails and also the toe nails, in most cases it is mild and doesn’t cause much of a problem for the person affected, but in some cases can be a bigger issue for people.

Psoriasis of nails can affect each individual to a different degree but can cause:

Pitting of nails – the surface of the nail can get pits, making the surface of the nail look un-even and rough.
Onycholysis can occur – the nail can become detached
Subungual hyperkeratosis – a chalky property can accumulate under the nail
Discolouration – the nail can change in colour due to the psoriasis, it can be more white in some cases and in some cases can look yellow
Brittle – the nails can become more brittle and fragile – in some cases can cause the nail to break
Onychauxic – the nail can become thicker, making it harder to cut and in some cases more uncomfortable in the shoe

Psoriasis of nails can be often confused as a fungal nail infection as many characteristics are the same, but in addition nails affected by psoriasis have an increased risk of developing a fungal nail infection (onychomycosis). This is due to the nature of the nail having less of a barrier.

If your nails are looking a bit different or have never looked normal, come in for an appointment with one of our friendly podiatrists who will assess the nails and advise on the best treatment plan for you and see what is causing your nails to look the way they do.

 

Call us on 8645 9888 if you have any concerns or,

Reference:
http://www.papaa.org/further-information/nail-psoriasis

Toe Nail Health and What to Look Out For

 

Changes to toe nail health may affect the colour, thickness and shape of our nails. These changes can occur for many reasons and commonly include fungal infections, ingrown toe nails, repetitive trauma and melanomas.
Knowing what to lookout for and how to successfully treat the underlying causes are key to having successful outcomes.

 

Fungal Nail Infections
Fungal nail infections are very common and difficult issues to treat in toe nail health. Signs to look out for include white, yellow and brown tone discolouration, thickening of the nail and lifting from the nail bed, odour and friability.

 

Ingrown Toenails
Ingrown toe nails are painful and often when left untreated become infected. Things to look out for include excessive curving of the nail, red tender skin along the nail boarder, pus/fluid, pain, heat and sensitivity.

 

Trauma
Repetitive trauma to toe nails often results in bruising of the nail and surrounding tissues, thickening, complete loss of the nail and permanent changes to shape. Often ill fitting shoes and long distance running are the main causes of these such changes.

 

Melanoma
Changes to nail colour, particularly if rapid and affecting the surrounding skin can indicate possible melanoma. It is important to note that not all changes in nail colour have this cause and some changes are harmless being linked to darker skin types. If any change occurs quickly however, effects the surrounding skin, causes bleeding and has no history of trauma these are possible indicators for subungual melanoma.

 

If you have any concerns regarding your nail health, book an appointment with your Podiatrist to discuss aetiology and begin treatment.

 

Call us on 8645 9888 or,

 

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