How Dancing Impacts Your Feet

The underside of dance

We tend to think of dancing as art, fun, expressive, amazing, and while it certainly merits the description, defining dancing as an athletic event typically falls low on the list. The rhythmic pounding, toe tapping, leaping, and twirling levy just as much grind, if not more, on dancers’ feet as a professional athlete.

Eighty-five percent of professional dancers endure dance related injuries, and over 50 percent of injuries occur in the foot or ankle. On the ballroom dance scene, foot pain is simply a fact of life. Fortunately, there’s an entire arsenal of preventative measures to keep you light on your feet. Once your wheels feel a little flat, the first thing to do is attempt to identify the problem.

Four common dance injuries

1. Big toe pain. Hallux rigidus manifests as pain and stiffness, making the big toe difficult to bend. Hallux is the medical term for the big toe. The contortions dancers put their feet through can lead to precursor structural abnormalities for osteoarthritis in the hallux joint. Treatment can range from simply modifying footwear, to surgery.

2. Heel pain and flat feet. In dancers, discomfort in the bottom of the foot, close to the heel, is typically caused by plantar fasciitis, an irritation of the ligament connecting the heel to the toes. Since the plantar fascia ligament also supports the arch of the foot, this condition can also lead to flat feet. Treatment is typically therapeutic (rest, physical therapy, new shoes) and surgery is rarely necessary. Tender ball of the foot. The amount of time dancers spend on their pivot points can lead to metatarsalgia, or inflammation in the balls of the feet. Rest, doctor prescribed stretching, and orthotics are some of the ways podiatrists treat metatarsalgia.

3. Tender ball of the foot. The amount of time dancers spend on their pivot points can lead to metatarsalgia, or inflammation in the balls of the feet. Rest, doctor prescribed stretching, and orthotics are some of the ways podiatrists treat metatarsalgia.

4. Posterior-ankle impingement syndrome. Also known as “athlete’s ankle,” the repetitive flexing of a ballet dancer’s feet can makes them prone to soft tissues getting in the way of the foot’s bone movement. Surgery is usually only considered after more conservative treatments are attempted.

Tips from the dance world

Foot pain and dancing might be mutually inclusive, however, as you might imagine, professional dancers have come up with some ways to keep their toes tapping.

Too tight shoes. Cramped toes are a problem all on their own, but they can also hinder your dancing. One method of expanding your favorite dance shoes is to insert plastic bags containing water into the toes of your shoes, then freeze them. The expansion of the freezing H20 also stretches the shoe, giving you a little extra wiggle room.

Painful high heels. This one will make you feel like a real pro. If wearing heels causes pain in the balls of your feet, try taping the third and fourth toes together with medical tape.

Foot cramps. These painful muscle contractions caused by fatigue and dehydration can often be prevented by hydrating properly, and taking a magnesium supplement.

Your feet affect your entire body

Podiatrists understand that the conditions of your feet can rattle the knees, hips, spine, and core musculature. It’s important to understand exactly how your dancing and dance injuries translate to your overall mobility. Dr. Nina Coletta is an expert at determining the best course of treatment for your individual feet and skeletal structure. If you’re ready to get back out on that dance floor call Dr. Nina today!

Snap, Crackle, Pop: The Secret Language of Feet

Decoding the popping joints in your feet

The fact that it doesn’t sound like what it really is, only adds to the disturbance we feel when our feet do their impression of a crackling fire. The most common form of joint popping sounds like bone and cartilage snapping into pieces. Mercifully, it’s nothing of the sort, at least not most of the time.

The path to diagnosis forks at the pop. Was it painful? Or just a sound? The difference informs podiatrists of what kind of action to take if there’s an issue, or if everything is just as it should be.

When not to be concerned

In most cases, when there’s not any pain or instability, there’s no need for treatment. While it might sound unpleasant, a perfectly functioning joint can snap and pop from time to time without incurring any damage. Then what’s making all that noise?

Synovial fluid. This slippery bone and cartilage lubricant releases oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide when joints are stretched. That gruesome popping sound is the gas bubble bursting, and despite folklore, is completely harmless.

Arthritis. Cartilage in non-arthritic joints allows the connecting points to move smoothly and silently against each other. Without that cushion, the roughness of bone to bone contact can be audible.

Getting back on track. Sometimes during motion, a tendon or ligament will slip out of the groove in the bone that typically keeps it in place. When this happens, it’s akin to letting go of a rubber band — snap!

Warnings from your feet

Pain is like a warning light on the dashboard of your car, so when it pops and hurts it’s time to pay attention. Noisy and painful feet can be the result of prior injuries, or emerging conditions. Finding the source is vital to avoiding further injury, and a proper course of treatment.

Painful popping can be the result of a simple sprain, requiring nothing more than a dose of rest, or a much more serious injury necessitating surgery and rehabilitation. Below are a few common, but serious causes of foot noises.

Morton’s neuroma. Wearing high heels, shoes that fit too tightly, or participating in high impact sports — anything that puts abnormal pressure on the toes and balls of your feet — can lead to Morton’s neuroma, which is swelling around the nerves leading to the toes. Symptoms include stinging, burning, numbness, and joint popping.

Tendon subluxation and dislocation. This is the bad kind of snapping back into place. Subluxation occurs when the tendon abnormally falls out from the groove in the bone. If the tendon fails to snap back into place, it’s known as a dislocation. Along with the uncomfortable popping, joint instability is another sign of these tendon maladies.

Locked joint. If your ankle pops and locks into a position there might be bone fragment, or cartilage preventing a healthy range of motion, and causing a popping sound when the joint is moved.

Ruptured tendon. Your feet and ankles are full of tendons, such as the most famous tendon of all, the Achilles. Each tendon is like a string on a marionette — if one breaks, the appendage drops. Usually ruptured tendons are caused by sudden overstretching, such as missing a step, or rolling your ankle over a curb. Increasing ankle strength and flexibility is recommended by podiatrists as a preventative measure.

Find a translator

Dr. Nina Coletta speaks the crackling language of your feet. Thanks to a Rosetta Stone of diagnostic techniques, she’ll translate those snaps and pops into friendly, digestible verbiage. If you’re experiencing any of these painful symptoms, or simply want to keep your feet in good working order, her friendly staff is on hand to answer your questions right now.

That Extra 10 Pounds: Does it Matter to Your Feet?

It all lands on your feet

Your feet are amazing! You have 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, more than 100 muscles, and a superhighway of vessels and nerves!

The average 130-pound human being places as much as 1.5 million pounds of weight on their feet each day!! Now add ten pounds to each step — we’re talking millions of extra pounds per day on your feet just for being a little on the heavier side!

What those extra pounds mean

It’s not quantum physics. More weight equates to more stress on all those joints, ligaments, and muscles. One study suggested that even just five to ten extra pounds can lead to foot maladies. So, for a little added incentive to slim up, here are five painful effects that being overweight can have on your feet.

  1. 1. Flat Feet. More weight can strain and weaken the ligaments that keep your arches highly arched.
  2. 2. Gout. Typically, gout manifests as pain in the big toe, or foot and ankle joints. It’s caused by the accumulation of uric acid which, unfortunately, your body makes more of when you’re overweight.
  3. 3. Plantar fasciitis. Your plantar fascia is a long ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes. The greater the load, the more likely you are to experience a stabbing pain in your heels.
  4. 4. Tibial tendonitis. The long tendon extending down the back of your legs, to the inner ankles and feet is called the tibialis posterior tendon. As you’ve probably guessed, it also bears the burden of those extra pounds.
  5. 5. Changes in posture. Just like when you’re lugging a heavy bag of groceries, carrying extra body mass causes us to modify our gait. Not only can this make walking less efficient, it also leads to problems from your arches, on up to the hips and back.

Solving the Catch 22: how to lose weight when your feet hurt

Most exercising involves your feet, so what do you do when your feet are out of order and you need to lose weight? Fortunately, it’s not as desperate as it might seem. Podiatrists and nutritionists have a wide range of options to help get you moving.

  1. 1. Swimming and water aerobics. Swimming laps is excellent low impact exercise. As with anything underwater, every move faces increased resistance. Water aerobics, or even just walking in a pool, allows you to get your heart rate up without putting too much pressure on your feet.
  2. 2. Cycling. Whether it be a spin class, or a cruise through your neighborhood, biking is low impact, and so enjoyable you’ll start to think differently about the word “exercise.”
  3. 3. Custom orthotics. A little extra support for those tendons can give them the rest they need to heal, without keeping you glued to the couch.
  4. 4. Stretches and exercises. Your podiatrist might offer treatment that improves flexibility and strengthens your feet to bring those stompers back into form.
  5. 5. Food. The word “diet” might have scared readers, however, changes to the way we eat alone can have a dramatic effect on weight loss.

Know your feet

Every foot is different, and each of us carry our weight according to our skeletal structure. Knowing how your feet handle it all, allows you to get the most out of your magnificent duo. If you’re experiencing weight related mobility issues, scheduling a consultation with Dr. Coletta might be the first step toward getting your life back.

Cover Your Feet: Here Comes Gargalesis the Tickle Monster!

What’s the point of ticklish feet?

If you’ve ever wondered why feet are so darn ticklish, it’s likely you deduced it has something to do with the amount of nerve endings located in the soles. But, still — why’s it a tickle?

Each of your feet house around 8,000 nerve endings, known as Meissner’s corpuscles. Like all nerves, they’re there to tell you when something’s not right (pain receptors) and to help you understand your environment (touch receptors). While scientists haven’t yet pinned down the reason we experience gentle stimulation of these receptors as a tickle, the combination does seem to explain the mixture of discomfort and pleasure associated with having your feet stimulated just the right way.

Gargalesis or Knismesis? Big names with simple explanations

While the nomenclature might come across as a little intense when considering their giggle-inducing definitions, the difference between gargalesis and knismesis is rather simple. Knismesis is the irritating kind of tickle, like when a fly buzzes across your leg, or a feather grazes your foot. Unlike knismesis, people typically can’t induce gargalesis tickling on themselves.

Gargalesis is the deep, giggly, uncontrollable laughter we experience when someone stimulates ticklish areas, such as the feet. One of the more mysterious elements of gargalesis is that the reaction is different when the tickle-monster victim knows they’re about to be tickled. For example, if you’ve ever had someone surprise you by playfully stroking the arch of your foot, chances are, you weren’t too happy about it. Conversely, if that same action is the result of a tickle-fight, you’re much more likely to wail in laughter.

What’s the point of gargalesis?

Humans, and other primates, are capable of experiencing gargalesis. Therefore, as you might imagine, evolutionary scientists have carefully examined this unusual trait. Charles Darwin hypothesized that the process of natural selection favored our ancestors who formed stronger parent-child bonds. If you have nieces or nephews, younger siblings, children of your own, or a good memory, you’re familiar with the connection made between the tickler and ticklee. The personal contact, shared smiles, and laughter trigger dopamine and oxytocin (pleasure and love neurotransmitters). This further promotes the relentless desire to nurture our young, and for our offspring to feel warm and safe with their parents — which, of course, makes survival to reproductive age more likely.

Is gargalesis healthy?

Maybe this is good news — maybe it’s not! It depends on which side of the fingertips you’re on, nonetheless — ticklish feet are a sign of good health. It means your nerves are up for the task of keeping you and your feet safe from injury, albeit at the cost of some intense giggle-vulnerability.

When it comes down to it, not having ticklish feet is more of a problem than gargalesis. Lack of foot sensitivity can be a sign of diabetes mellitus, arthritis, thyroid problems, neuropathy, or vitamin depletion. But, don’t jump to any conclusions. Dr. Nina Coletta is well versed in the intricacies of foot health, and what your symptoms may or may not mean. So, if you’re experiencing a decline in your ability to be tickled, it’s probably a good idea to schedule a visit with Dr. Coletta as soon as possible.

The Secret’s Out: Men are Discovering the Benefits of Pedicures

You don’t have to turn in your tough guy card to take care of your feet

Whether we realize it or not, many of our gender-associated behaviors are cultural, rather than biological. Somewhere along the path of modern western culture, having a pedicure slipped into the domain of feminine vanity and bonding rituals, leaving masculine-minded fellows feeling shy and uncomfortable about them. As it’s been said, “times are changing.”

Pedicures aren’t simply about having nice-looking toes. The health benefits of foot grooming are well known to podiatrists. So guys — even the big, burly variety — are warming up to the idea of a relaxing foot soak and some extra special attention to often neglected, yet relentlessly relied upon, appendages.

Now to twist your arm…your hulky, manly arm

Is it worth the time to get a pedicure? If you’re so inclined, it’s perfectly acceptable to type away on your laptop or phone while your feet are tended to, however, contemplative relaxation is one of the benefits of the procedure. Nonetheless, that’s probably not enough to pull most men to the foot-tub, so, without further ado, here are four reasons your feet are healthier after a pedicure.

1. Your feet are dirty, clean ‘em up! Even if you let your feet breathe in barefooted liberation, your feet make more contact with infectious surfaces than any other part of the body. For the sock and shoe wearers among us, the dark, tropical environment of the inner boot is a perfect home for fungi and bacteria. You probably know where this is leading: pedicures clean up feet and toenails, preventing nasty ailments like toenail fungus and athlete’s foot from establishing a noxious occupation on your body.

2. Ingrown toenails aren’t any fun. Believe it or not, there is a right and a wrong way to trim your toenails, and failing to do so can deliver painfully debilitating consequences. Manicurists know the healthiest length, and curvature, keeping you in action, and your big toe ingrown nail free.

3. Your feet will be extra soft. Who cares…? Probably that pretty lady in your life, or that you’d like to be in it. The exfoliation step washes away dead skin cells, for healthy looking, velvety feet so soft, she’ll never forget them!

4. They get the blood flowing. After your heart, the muscles in your feet are some of the most used in the body. Every step you take increases tension in the feet. Foot massages alleviate muscle soreness, at the same time improving circulation.

What to know before you go

As you might imagine, hygienic practices are essential to a good pedicure, so you’re going to want to do a little research before booking an appointment. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask to see how a salon sterilizes their equipment, and while you’re scoping things out, make sure they use tub liners in their foot baths. Other things to avoid are: foot razors, excessively abrasive callous removal, and the famous, but illegal, exfoliating fish in a foot-bath.

It’s also never a bad idea to consult your podiatrist before a pedicure. For more information on healthy toenails, and how to spot a quality nail salon, schedule an appointment with Dr. Nina Coletta today!

Breaking News: Shoe Sizes Aren’t Getting Smaller

The incredible (mythological) shrinking shoe

It seems impossible. We’ve been taught since grade school that human growth typically halts shortly after puberty, so why did your shoes stop fitting?

It seems impossible. We’ve been taught since grade school that human growth typically halts shortly after puberty, so why did your shoes stop fitting?

Your fifth-grade science teacher didn’t lead you astray. Unlike the nose and ears, which are cartilage based and do continue growing throughout the lifecycle, feet don’t necessarily get bigger as much as they simply take up more space. The daily pressure of walking, running, jumping, waiting in line, etc., gradually stretches the tendons that forms your arch (the plantar fascia), causing the arch to drop, and the foot to lengthen.

Your expanding feet can mean more than just a wardrobe adjustment. As the arch flattens, the big toe tends to rise, causing discomfort all on its own, especially when wearing tighter footwear. A lower arch can also lead to bunions, a painful, boney protuberance that sometimes requires surgical treatment. The good news is: you can adjust before those ailments manifest!

Cinderella’s nightmare

Throughout history, and across cultures, there seems to be a somewhat silly gravitation toward smaller footwear simply for the sake of aesthetics. Despite what Disney might have you think, there’s no reward for jamming your toes into your time-withstanding favorite pumps, or into a size seven when you’re a nine. The fact of the matter is, properly fitted shoes can allow your feet, along with your posture and gait, to age gracefully.

Still not ready to up your shoe size? You’re in luck. While medical science hasn’t resolved foot expansion, there are ways to slow it down, while contributing to overall foot health and mobility.

  • Lose weight. Easier said than done, right? Obviously, the less you weigh, the less pressure there is on the plantar fascia, thereby preserving the arch. Of course, losing those extra pounds can be tricky. Fortunately, with a few manageable tweaks to your diet, and discovering an activity that you enjoy beyond the workout it provides, losing weight isn’t as tough as you might think.
  • Wear supportive shoes. Shoes with firm arch support share the load with the tendons in your feet, preventing some of the stretching, and can help keep you fresh for a relaxing stroll through the park.
  • Custom orthotics. If standard support is good, a shoe insert precisely contoured to the unique shape of your foot can only be better. The hug-tight fit prevents additional impact created from poorly fitted arch support, and the firmness can be customized for your gait and desired functionality.
  • Step into some house-shoes. While it’s nice going barefoot, if you’re concerned about foot growth, you might consider replacing normally shoe-less time by wearing arch-supportive sandals or slippers.
  • Good old fashioned arch supports. If fitted shoes or customized orthotics aren’t in your budget, arch support inserts are an inexpensive way of giving your feet a helping hand!

Don’t neglect a change in foot size

Aging isn’t the only cause of enlarged feet. Swelling in the feet and ankles can be a sign of poor circulation and other cardiovascular problems. So, if you’re noticing a change in your feet, contact your physician right away.

Even if it’s simply a case of age-associated growth, keeping tabs on your foot health is key to preventing long term problems associated with expanding feet. If you have questions about orthotics, footwear, or are ready for your annual visit, contact our friendly staff to schedule an appointment with Dr. Nina Coletta today!

Heart and Sole: What Your Feet Can Tell You About Cardiac Health

Don’t overlook these tell-tale signs of a heart condition

If your feet could talk, what would they say about you? More specifically, what would they say about your health?

Imagine the cycle of blood flowing through your body — your heart pushing nutrients, oxygen, and all life’s vital ingredients to even the most remote, deepest appendages, then back up, against the force of gravity to repeat the trip over and over again — for a lifetime. What would happen if your heart began to struggle with that important work?

Like any pump-driven system, when the mechanism weakens, the most burdensome areas in the cycle are affected more visibly than others. Feet, being the lowest point in the body, are, thanks to gravity, a canary in the coal mine for cardiovascular health.

The language of your toes

Like the rest of your body, your feet communicate with you through pain and pleasure, as well as swelling. Puffiness in your feet is a symptom with various causes, from the relatively harmless like pregnancy, varicose veins or traveling, to the deathly serious.

A struggling heart can’t produce the power necessary for proper circulation, leading to a buildup of fluids in the feet. Shortness of breath and fatigue accompanied by swollen feet tends to suggest poor heart health. However, these additional symptoms can go unnoticed due to a lack of physical activity caused by the swelling and discomfort.

What is atherosclerosis?

Cholesterol — the bad kind — has the unfortunate habit of building up in the vascular system, sometimes blocking arteries from your heart. Coronary artery disease (CAD), or peripheral artery disease (PAD), is a buildup of cholesterol in the arteries feeding your extremities. Both CAD and PAD are versions of the disease known as “atherosclerosis”.

Some people are at higher risk of developing atherosclerosis than others. Screenings for these build ups are highly recommended for anyone who’s:

  • Diabetic
  • A smoker
  • Over age 50
  • Suffering from high blood pressure
  • Received a high cholesterol blood report
  • Family history of atherosclerosis

These screenings save lives. The early stages of PAD and CAD are often asymptomatic, and by the time symptoms manifest, the blockage is already severe. The screenings are as easy as having your blood pressure checked.

Other symptoms of PAD

While it might be welcome, if you notice a loss of hair on your feet or ankles, it’s probably a smart idea to request a screening. Cold, and/or discolored feet are additional red flags you’ll be grateful for not ignoring.

See an expert

Podiatrists know exactly what to look for. They are knowledgeable of which skin reactions are signs of heart disease, how to tell if the swelling is cardio-related, and what to tell you to keep an eye out for. Dr. Nina Coletta and her dedicated staff hold education in just as high of regard as treatment. If you have questions or concerns about pain or swelling in your feet, please don’t hesitate to schedule a screening, it could save your life.

Varicose Veins: Causing More Than Cosmetic Concern

Varicose vein treatment symptoms and treatment options

Varicose veins – the blue, web-like veins on your legs that seemingly come out of nowhere. Your initial thought is to figure out how to hide them. You’re not sure where they came from or what to make of them. You might think they’ll go away. Unfortunately, if not properly addressed, varicose veins have the potential of causing long-term discomfort and health problems that go far beyond just your appearance. So, what are varicose veins and what can you do about them? We break it down here.

Causes of varicose veins

Your veins contain valves that are responsible for keeping your blood flowing and preventing blood from backing up or pooling in a certain area. If these valves fail, the blood pools and the blood vessels swell and become distorted.

Varicose veins can be a result of a genetic predisposition. Otherwise, you increase your risk of developing varicose veins with the following:

– Being overweight

– Standing for several hours at a time

– As a side effect of pregnancy

Symptoms of varicose veins

How do you know if you have varicose veins? The symptoms are not solely cosmetic. In addition to dark purple or blue veins on your legs, you can experience other symptoms as well. This may include:

– Permanent skin discoloration

– Throbbing

– Swelling

– Cramping

– Chronic pain

– Fatigue

– Burning

– Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

– Blood clots

How serious can varicose veins become?

Cosmetic concerns are the least of your worries when it comes to varicose veins. If left untreated, varicose veins have the potential to become rather serious. Not only can they result in blood clots, but also are associated with the following:

– Spontaneous bleeding – which can occur as the skin on the top of the varicose vein becomes thin. The veins can become so fragile that even clothing can injure them.

– Venous leg ulcers – which can occur when the enlarged vein doesn’t provide enough drainage of fluid from the skin.

– Superficial phlebitis (ST) – can be caused by decreased blood flow through the vein, damage to the vein, or blood clotting.

– Skin breakdown and wound issues (in rare cases)

Treatment options for varicose veins

For at-home remedies, wearing compression-type socks or stockings can help avoid pain and prevent you from injuring the veins. Additionally, leg elevation, exercise, and pumping your feet can all aid in protecting the veins and preventing the symptoms from exacerbating.

In all cases, it is safest to seek consultation for further treatment. The treatment options a doctor will advise will depend widely based on the underlying issue, ranging from minimally invasive incisions to surgery. All cases should be treated on an individual basis.

Selecting the right specialist for treating varicose veins

You’ll want to find a doctor that is familiar with the wide range of treatment options available and are experienced in podiatric and vascular care. It’s important to find a doctor you can trust and who will outline all your options, recommending the best one for your individual case.

Vein problems are not just a cosmetic concern, and early treatment of varicose veins is essential for preventing further symptoms. Thanks to modern technology, today’s virtually pain-free laser procedures offer non-invasive options for patients suffering from varicose veins.

Dr. Nina Coletta’s podiatric practice offers cutting-edge laser technology for vein treatment that can help relieve your pain and prevent more serious symptoms from taking effect. If you think you may have varicose veins, learn about Dr. Nina Coletta’s laser technology options and consider booking a consultation.

Calluses or Corns Causing Concern?

Learn about some easy ways to get rid of them

Of all the parts of the body, the feet may be the worst place for an ache or ailment. This is because it’s virtually impossible to avoid the pain. Every step taken is an uncomfortable reminder that something isn’t right.

Corns and calluses are common foot conditions that can make walking unbearable at times. And if you’ve noticed these rough, lumpy areas of skin on either the tops (corns) or soles (calluses) of your feet, you know about this firsthand. So, how can you get rid of them? Here are some simple methods to try:

Soak your feet

Soaking can be a great way to eliminate both corn and calluses, and you have a few different choices that may work well for you. Start by trying Epsom salt and warm water; the water will make your skin soft and the salt will act as a scrub. Another good option is to substitute two tablespoons of baking soda in place of the Epsom salt and soak your feet for about a half hour. Finally, submerging your feet in chamomile tea for around 20 minutes will soften hard skin.

Start scrubbing

Now that you’ve soaked, it’s time to scrub. A file or pumice stone will work nicely for this. Rub your feet in a circular motion rather forcefully; don’t worry, your feet can take it. You may want to alternately dip your feet back into the water to keep the skin soft and pliable.

Head to the kitchen

Believe it or not, but you probably have an assortment of items in your kitchen right now that can help you with your foot troubles. For example, if you put olive or coconut oil on your feet and then wear cotton socks to bed, your skin will absorb the oil, which will soften the skin and reduce appearance of corns and calluses.

You know that pineapple you recently bought? Once it’s peeled, put that peel on your feet and secure it with gauze or tape and those corns and calluses will start fading away.

If you have some wheat germ and sesame oil lying around, mix them together, and heat up the mixture. Once cooled to room temperature, just apply it to your calluses daily, and before you know it, they’ll be gone.

Grab some aspirin

If your feet are causing you pain, you may already be taking aspirin, but instead of swallowing pills, you can try something else. If you crush a few tablets and then add a little bit of water and lemon juice to make a paste, you now have your own corn and callus remover. Just apply it to the area, cover with plastic wrap, and then put your feet up. After about 15 minutes, rinse it off and then scrub those nuisances away.

While all of the above are good tactics, they may not get rid of your corns or calluses permanently. If they just keep coming back, it’s probably time to see a podiatrist to find out the cause and to learn about better treatment options. To make an appointment now to see Dr. Nina Coletta, call 954-452-4590. You can also reach our office by sending an email to info@ninacolettadpm.com.

How to Protect Your Feet in Locker Room Showers

Dangers of public showers and how to prevent athlete’s foot

Public showers are not something to mess with. The risk of contracting tineau pedis, also known as athlete’s foot, is significant if you don’t take proper precautions and protect yourself when using locker room showers. This infection can be transferred from one person’s foot to the shower floor and then from the floor onto your foot, regardless of if you have any open wounds. Though contracting athlete’s foot is not life threatening, the symptoms can make you aggravated and itchy. The next time you shower in a public place, be sure to take the following precautions.

Wear shower shoes

It’s an absolute must. Walking barefoot in a public shower or even on the locker room floor can expose your feet to fungus, or sometimes even worse. While you’re walking around the showers barefoot, others are walking into the shower in sneakers or shoes that they wear throughout their days. Do you want what they’ve been carrying around on the bottom of their shoes on your feet? Wearing flip-flops or shower shoes is necessary if you want to keep your feet clean and protected.

Wash your feet daily

It seems obvious, but people often forget to rub and scrub the bottom of their feet and in between their toes on a daily basis. Especially if you’re someone who frequents a public shower, it might be irritating to remove your foot from the shoe for a scrub down; but remember, it’s not as irritating as athlete’s foot could be. Washing your feet each and every day is the most essential task to wash away potentially harmful bacteria.

Protect open injuries

Any cuts, wounds or breaks in skin can provide easy access for bacteria to enter the body and cause an infection. To avoid this, make sure any open wounds are securely covered. If you shower in public facilities often, you should inspect your feet regularly and replace bandages on a daily basis.

Dry your feet after showering

After showering in a public space, dry your feet thoroughly with a clean towel, including between the toes. Keeping your feet dry will help prevent any infection or trapped moisture. As an extra precaution, you should aim to alternate the shoes you wear each day to ensure the shoes are completely dry when you put them on.

Prep your feet

Especially if you have had athlete’s foot in the past, you should consider applying anti-fungal powders or sprays on your feet and shoes regularly to kill any bacteria you might have picked up. You should apply this powder or spray at least twice a day, and especially before you put your shoes on after a shower.

While we all would prefer to shower in our own homes, certain scenarios and schedules can make using public showers unavoidable. If using a locker room shower is not something you can prevent, it is important that you take the necessary precautions to keep your feet and yourself healthy and happy.

If you think you have athlete’s foot or another infection on your feet, consult a professional immediately. If you’re living in the South Florida area, visit Dr. Nina L. Coletta’s podiatry practice for all of your podiatry needs. Always on the cutting edge of advancement in podiatric medicine, Dr. Nina Coletta can offer the best treatment options for you whether it’s treating athlete’s foot, the need for custom orthotics, or even weight loss services. Learn more about what Dr. Nina Coletta can do for you.