Many patients deal with extremely dry skin, especially in colder months. When the skin on the feet becomes very dry, cracked heels, also known as heel fissures, can occur. Heel cracks are embarrassing and unsightly. Even worse, a tiny crack can cause a great deal of pain.
Many factors can cause cracked heels, including:
- Circulation issues, including diabetes.
- Hormonal imbalances.
- Poor hygiene.
- Deficiency of vitamins and minerals.
- Low humidity: As humidity goes down in winter months, heel cracks go up.
- Long periods of time standing at work or at home, especially on hard wooden or tiled floors.
- Spending long periods of time barefoot or in open shoes while indoors.
- Poorly fitted shoes that don’t offer good support to the heel.
- Excess weight, which can cause the heel to expand and the skin to split.
If the skin on your feet gets very dry and a small crack develops, try taking a bath or shower, or soaking your feet in a tub of warm water. Then dry your feet well, apply a thin layer of heavy cream or petroleum jelly and wear a pair of cotton socks overnight.
Preventing heel cracks is often easier than healing them. Here are some suggestions from Dr. Jason Grossman:
- Moisturize your heels twice daily. Use an exfoliating lotion.
- Use a pumice stone to reduce and remove the buildup of calluses. Some patients prefer to do this on wet feet; others prefer to use the pumice when their feet are dry. Try it both ways to see what works best for you.
- Drink plenty of water. Keep yourself well hydrated inside and out.
- Eat a balanced, healthy diet rich in essential fatty acids such as Omega 3 acids.
Are you worried about heel cracks or anything else about your foot health? Jason Grossman, DPM and the staff at Advanced Feet and Ankle Care are here to help! Call us at (732) 679-4330 or click here to make a convenient appointment today. Our Old Bridge and Sayreville offices are equipped with state of the art equipment Dr. Grossman has years of training and experience. He can remove calluses, heal those cracks, and get your feet feeling better right away.
Are you headed away for a beach vacation this winter? Jason Grossman, DPM knows that you’ll want your feet to be sandal-ready. You’ll probably want to schedule a pedicure at your favorite salon before you go. Modern salons are typically clean and safe, but there is always the risk of infection. Bacteria, plantar warts, or nail fungus can all be transmitted through poor public hygiene.
Picking up an infection can but a real damper on your trip, but you can minimize your risk. Here are some recommended steps to follow:
- Don’t shave your legs before a pedicure. Tiny nicks can be open invitations to germs.
- Look around the salon. You should see current licenses posted on the wall. The salon itself should look clean and tidy. Employees without customers should be cleaning foot baths and sweeping the floor clean of debris.
- Are nail technicians using disposable items such as surgical gloves and footbath liners to keep customers safe?
- If possible, bring your own tools. It’s the best way to make sure that nothing that has touched someone else’s feet touches yours.
- If you don’t have your own tools, make sure that you observe proper sterilization techniques. Each station should have a glass jar filled with a turquoise-colored combination of water and tuberculoidal disinfectant. This is preferred to UV sterilizers, which don’t kill bacteria as effectively. Each station should have its own container of solution.
- Don’t let the nail tech use sharp blades around your feet! No nippers for cutting cuticles and definitely no razors or graters for removing calluses. The implements can create small cuts, allowing infections to enter your body.
- Allow time for your nails to dry naturally. UV light saves time, but it’s dangerous to the skin.
The infections that are transmitted through unsafe nail salon practices are more than just unattractive. When left unaddressed, they can lead to greater foot health problems. Dr. Jason Grossman is board certified in the treatment and surgery of the foot and ankle. Using state of the art equipment, he treats patients with these infections every day. Are you worried that you may have gotten an infection because of a recent pedicure? Call Advanced Feet and Ankle Care at (732) 679-4330 or click here to contact us today. We’ll schedule an appointment for you to see Jason Grossman, DPM in our Old Bridge or Sayreville office at your convenience. Your feet will thank you!
Warts are common, but do you know what causes them? They don’t come from frogs or toads, as was once believed. Rather, warts result from contact with the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). The virus gets in through the top layer of skin, often through a scratch or other opening too small to see, then causes a rapid growth of skin cells in the layer below, resulting in a small bump: a wart.
HPV is everywhere. We come into contact with it at home and in public spaces. We encounter various strains of HPV when we touch things, when we walk barefoot, and through skin-to-skin contact such as shaking hands. Most of the time, this exposure goes unnoticed. Occasionally, warts occur, but there are simple steps you can take to minimize your exposure to the virus that causes them:
- Wash your hands often.
- Never touch warts, even your own!
- Don’t share things that touch legs and feet, especially socks and shoes.
- Regularly spray shoes with disinfectant such as Lysol. It kills the virus. Make sure to pay extra attention to shoes that you wear without socks, such as sandals.
- Avoid walking barefoot in the warm places where the virus thrives, such as public showers and swimming pool decks. It’s easy to tuck a pair of flip-flops in your gym bag.
- Keep your feet dry. HPV loves a moist environment.
- Make sure your feet are healthy and well maintained. The virus gets in through nicks and cuts.
If you have a wart, don’t rub it or pick at it. Keep the wart covered with a bandage to prevent it from spreading. Unfortunately, your wart isn’t going to go away without intervention. Over the counter remedies are rarely effective and the at-home solutions that you find on the internet can do more harm than good. You’ll need to see a doctor to get rid of that wart once and for all.
Do you have a wart that needs treatment? Jason Grossman, DPM and the friendly staff at Advanced Feet and Ankle Care are here to help with state of the art technology that maximizes effectiveness and minimizes discomfort. Call our Old Bridge office at (732) 679-4330 or our Sayreville office at (732) 679-4330 today. Do you prefer online communication? Click here to contact us through our website. No matter how you reach out, we’ll be happy to schedule a convenient appointment and help your feet feel great.
An ingrown toenail is a common cause of foot pain. For most of us, an ingrown toenail is just a nuisance. For people with diabetes or other circulatory issues, an ingrown toenail can lead to bigger problems.
An ingrown toenail occurs when the sharp side of the nail grows unchecked, digging into the skin. The big toe is the most common location of an ingrown toenail, although they can occur on any toe, even the pinkie. Ingrown toenails typically result from improperly trimmed toenails. Tight shoes can also be a factor, as can genetic predisposition.
If you develop an ingrown toenail, you’ll know it! The area will feel irritated and you might experience discomfort or swelling. The toe may redden and pus may be obvious.
There are several simple steps you can take to prevent ingrown toenails:
- Check in with your feet often. Become aware of potential problems as they arise.
- Don’t let your toenails get too long. Trim toenails so that they’re even with the tips of your toes.
- Trim toenails straight across. Never round the corners, as you might on your fingers.
- If the corners of your toenails feel sharp after trimming, simply use an emery board to soften them.
- Use a toenail clipper to trim your toenails. This is typically wider than a fingernail clipper and can handle wide, tough toenails easily.
- If you prefer scissors to trim your toenails, use a few short movements rather than a single sweeping cut.
- Never cut or pick at your cuticles.
- Make sure your shoes are not squeezing your toes.
- Clean your toes and toenails often.
If you suspect that you have an ingrown toenail, don’t try to deal with it on your own. This can often lead to greater problems, including infection. A member of the American Board of Podiatric Surgery, Dr. Jason Grossman is a specialist in the diagnosis, treatment, and surgery of the feet and ankles. Come into Advanced Feet and Ankle Care’s conveniently located Old Bridge or Sayreville offices for help. Call us at (732) 679-4330 (Old Bridge) or (732) 679-4330 (Sayreville) for an appointment today.
Valentine’s Day has come and gone but you can still pamper someone you love from head to toe with a foot rub. How do you give a good foot rub? It can seem intimidating if you’ve never tried before, but it’s easy! You can even practice on yourself before you give one to someone else.
- Create a relaxing environment: Turn the lights down low. Put on some quiet music. Light a scented candle. Sit in a comfy chair.
- Wash, rinse, and dry the feet well in a basin of warm water.
- Rub a natural massage oil (available at most health food stores) or moisturizing lotion into the skin and nails of the entire foot. Use a small amount. A dollop the size of a dime is enough to start.
- Pull the toes apart, perhaps interlacing them with your fingers. Wiggle them toward the sole and the top of the foot. Gently tug them away from the foot.
- Massage the entire foot, including the toes, arch and heel. Use both hands. Apply gentle pressure with the thumbs. Try using your knuckles.
- Repeat on the other foot.
- Remember to put socks on feet after massage – that oil can be slippery!
- Massaging the feet helps us feel good in body, mind, and spirit. Foot massage provides relaxation and stress relief. It can even help us sleep better! It can help improve circulation. This is especially important for people with diabetes and Reynaud’s Disease. Headaches, migraines, and symptoms of PMS can decrease with regular massage. Feelings of depression and anxiety can improve.
Are you or someone you love experiencing pain in your foot or ankle? Jason Grossman, DPM is a board certified foot surgeon with years of experience. He can diagnose and treat the source of your discomfort. Call our Old Bridge office at (732) 679-4330 or our Sayreville office at (732) 679-4330 or just click here to make a convenient appointment. The friendly staff of Advanced Feet and Ankle Care will help you feel your best in no time!