The Season for Socks

When it comes to your foot health socks are usually over shadowed by the search for the best exterior footwear. However, choosing the right socks is a highly important part of keeping your feet (and general health ) in the best condition.  When the seasons are changing and the weather is turning colder it’s well worth the effort to stock up on the appropriate socks.

Cotton socks – just say no

Like most people, your sock drawer is probably crowded full of a wide variety of styles and colors of cotton socks.

The reason cotton socks are absolutely terrible choices for cool weather is because they have little insulation value and because they absorb and hold moisture. Worse yet, once a cotton sock is wet, it loses all insulation value. The end result of wearing cotton socks during the winter is that as your foot perspires the sock absorbs the moisture and then holds it, thereby coating your foot with a slick film of water while losing all insulation value in the process.

Blended wools are best

For cold weather, a sock made of wool, IsoWool, shearling, fleece and similar type synthetic materials must be used. The reason these types socks are excellent for winter wear is because if the socks get wet (due to excessive perspiration from the foot), the socks themselves do not lose their insulating properties. Additionally, the various styles of synthetic socks are also generally far thicker than a standard thin cotton sock, allowing the sock to absorb far more moisture.  Moreover, and one of the neatest features of these types of socks, is that dry themselves out by simply being worn. The body heat of a person can actually dry out these types of socks.

Winter socks aren’t just for outdoor use, either. If you suffer from cold feet while just sitting at home, as many people do, take a look at the socks you wear. If they are made from cotton, regardless of how thick or stylish they might be, you might as well be sitting around barefoot as the sock is potentially doing more harm than good.

Remember, in cold weather, particularly if you engage in strenuous activities, avoid any socks that has any cotton content in it. Your foot will be thankful to you for it.

Reference: http://www.bigskyfishing.com/snow-boots/winter-sock.php

Treat & Prevent Dry, Cracked Heels

Heel fissures, also known as cracked heels can be a simple cosmetic problem and a nuisance, but can also lead to serious medical problems. Heel fissures occur when the skin on the bottom, outer edge of the heel becomes hard, dry and flaky, sometimes causing deep fissures that can be painful or bleed.

Heel fissures can affect anyone, but risk factors include: Living in a dry climate Obesity Consistently walking barefoot or wearing sandals or open-backed shoes Inactive sweat glands Like many foot conditions, heel fissures can become more dangerous if they go untreated and become deep or infected. This is especially dangerous for people with diabetes or compromised immune systems.

If you already have dry heels, what’s a girl to do? Here is my regimen that I find helpful for getting rid of those nasty white, dry heels when they creep in!

  1. Deep clean/soak your feet: Soaking your feet using the foot soak recipe below. Be sure to clean all the spaces on your feet with a washcloth, including the areas in between your toes.
  2. Exfoliate: Using a bristle brush, exfoliate your feet and ankles. Start at the ankle area and brush in a circular motion to the tips of your toes, working your way around the top and the bottom of the feet. Yo can also use a pumice stone. Be sure not to be aggressive when exfoliating, or you can do more harm than good.
  3. Moisturize: Using a thick, creamy lotion or mask, coat the feet and let the moisturizer sit for 10-15 minutes before wiping off with a warm washcloth. If possible do all of this before bed, then put on soft, cotton socks immediately after applying moisturizer.

Foot Soak Recipe

  • 1 cup of Dead Sea salts or Epsom salts
  • 2 drops lavender oil (Lavendula angustifolia)
  • 2 drops tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)
  • 2 drops eucalyptus oil (Eucalyptus globulus)
  • 2 drops camomile oil (Matricaria recutita)
  • Mix oils and store in a dark glass jar

To create the soak: pour boiling water into a large bowl, and let it cool down to a comfortable temperature. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the cleansing foot soak mixture, and soak feet for up to 15 minutes.

As with any condition, prevention is always easier than treatment, so be sure to regularly care for your feet to avoid any extreme issues that come from neglect over time.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Wearing shoes without socks leads to rise in cases of athlete’s foot, Royal College of Podiatry warns

The trend of wearing shoes without socks is leading to a rise in cases of problems such as athlete’s foot, the College of Podiatry has warned.

The “bare ankle” look has filtered down from the catwalk to the most avid followers of fashion, with designers of menswear showcasing their formal attire with sockless models in suits.

Some of Hollywood’s biggest stars have experimented with the style, including Bradley Cooper, Ryan Gosling, Orlando Bloom and Jude Law – and online guides on how to go “sockless with style” are littered with advice on how to adopt the look, with helpful pointers such as only doing it with slim tailored trousers.

Yet beyond the inevitable concern of suffering from smelly shoes brought about by a lack of cotton, it appears men are failing to realise some of the more serious repercussions and are seeking out help from podiatrists and chiropodists.

“As a whole, we are seeing more and more men coming to us with issues caused by poorly fitting footwear, and not just ones choosing to go sockless,” said podiatrist Emma Stevenson, from the College of Podiatry.

Because the phenomenon is still in its early stages, the college is yet to carry out any formal studies to shed light on the number of people affected – but is keen to make sure people are aware of the health problems that might arise.

Feet, for example, typically produce half a pint of sweat a day and any moisture, if not soaked up by socks, is maintained in synthetic and non-breathable material – leaving people open to fungal infections.

One way Mrs Stevenson recommends solving this issue is by placing dry tea bags in shoes overnight to absorb any leftover sweat, while also suggesting men spray their feet with underarm antiperspirant.

She said: “Depending on the level of sweatiness of the foot, there may be issues with too much moisture in the feet, which can leave you vulnerable to fungal infections such as athlete’s foot.

“On average your feet will sweat half a pint a day; that’s a lot to be pouring out straight into your shoe without it being absorbed by a sock.

“Many shoes that are available on the high street today may have leather uppers but are lined in synthetic material, which is not breathable. If the lining is not breathable then moisture, heat and bacteria will all be trapped inside the shoe.”

Her advice is to give shoes 48 hours to dry out to prevent bacteria breeding. However Mrs Stevenson, who sits on the council of the College of Podiatry, also points out that ill-fitting footwear and a lack of socks can lead to issues like blisters and the formation of painful corns, calluses and ingrown toenails.

Tips for avoiding problems caused by wearing shoes without socks

According to Emma Stevenson, College of Podiatry

  • Spray feet with underarm antiperspirant prior to putting your shoes on
  • Don’t wear the same shoes everyday
  • Give shoes 48 hours to dry off
  • Use dry tea bags to absorb excess moisture in shoes
  • Wash and dry feet correctly after going sockless
  • Don’t do it if your shoes begin to give you pain

“Another of the biggest issues is also the new trend for narrow, pointed men’s shoes, and slip-on shoes. Going sockless is common with both of these styles,” she said.

“Pointy shoes are not shaped appropriately for the foot, resulting in ill-fitting shoes. This in turn causes friction over bony prominences in the feet such as the toes and heels.

“In addition to increasing the risk of ingrown toenails, other bony defect issues such as bunions can be exacerbated by pointy shoes. Likewise, slip-on shoes cause the toes to claw in order to keep the shoe on the foot and can also result in increased friction on the back of the foot where the foot slips in and out of the shoe.”

Source: Telegraph | Not Affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

Managing Ingrown Toenails At Home

When you have an ingrown toenail, you don’t usually want people looking at your toes. They can be swollen, infected and less than sexy! So I put together this post about ingrown toenails and how to prevent and treat them, so you can show off your sexy toes.

Known to physicians as onychocryptosis, ingrown toe nails are a common, painful condition that occur when skin on one or both sides of a nail grows over the edges of the nail, or when the nail itself grows into the skin. This condition is usually very painful and can be associated with infection of the toe. Some ingrown toenails are chronic, with repeated episodes of pain and infection. Irritation, redness, an uncomfortable sensation of warmth, as well as swelling can result from an ingrown toenail.

Causes

In some cases ingrown toenails are congenital, such as toenails that simply are too large. People whose toes curl, either congenitally or from diseases like arthritis, are prone to ingrown toenails. Often trauma, like stubbing a toe or having a toe stepped on, can cause a piece of the nail to be jammed into the skin. Repeated trauma, such as the pounding to which runners typically subject their feet, also can cause ingrown nails.

The most common cause is cutting your toenails incorrectly, causing them to re-grow into the skin. Tight hosiery or shoes with narrow toe boxes only make matters worse. If the skin is red, painful or swollen on the sides of the nail, an infection may be present. This occurs because the ingrown nail is often in a warm, moist and bacteria-rich environment. When the nail penetrates the skin, it provides a convenient entry for germs that can cause infection. Untreated, the nail can go under the skin, causing a more severe infection. In either case, the infection needs to be cured with sterile instruments and antibiotics.

Treatment & Prevention

Ingrown toenails should be treated as soon as they are recognized. In many cases, people with uninfected ingrown toenails can obtain relief with the following simple regimen:

  • Soak the feet in warm salt water
  • Dry them thoroughly with a clean towel
  • Apply a mild antiseptic solution to the area
  • Bandage the toe

infection

If excessive inflammation, swelling, pain or discharge is present as in the above photo, the toenail probably is infected and should be treated by a physician. A podiatrist can trim or remove the infected nail with a minor in-office surgical procedure. He or she can remove the offending portion of the nail or overgrown skin with a scalpel and treat the infection. Unless, the problem is congenital, the best way to prevent ingrown toenails is to protect the feet from trauma and wear shoes with adequate room for the toes.

trim

Cutting toe nails properly goes a long way toward the prevention of ingrown toenails. Using a safety nail clipper, cut the nails straight across, so that the nail corner is visible. If you cut the nail too short, you are inviting the nail corner to grow into the skin. It is the natural tendency, when the edge of the nail starts to grow in, to cut down at an angle at the nail edge, to relieve the pain. This does relieve the pain temporarily, but it also can start a downward spiral, training the nail to become more and more ingrown.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

How To Avoid Getting Lice Naturally

With kids returning to school, I am starting to see posts popping up about lice letters coming home with their children. YIKES! Lice is one of my biggest fears because my daughter has thick, very curly hair and I feel like we would never get rid of them! I have done tons of research on how to naturally avoid getting lice without exposing my daughters to toxic chemical treatments.

  1. Don’t wash hair too often: In my research, I found that lice are more likely to be attracted to freshly washed/clean hair. While washing your hair daily may seem like a great way to keep lice at bay, the opposite is actually true. Try to keep hair washing to a minimum: 2-3 a week, max!
  2. Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil is a natural lice deterrent. Simply fill a spray bottle with water and add 2-3 drops of tea tree oil (per ounce of liquid). Shake well and spray on hair and rub/comb through before styling.
  3. Natural Lice Deterrent Spray: Lice Shield uses natural essential oils known to repel lice so you can react easy. There’s no need to spray your hair with toxic chemicals to keep lice at bay.
  4. Use Natural Hair Products: As mentioned above, lice prefer clean hair. Hair that is covered in product like gel or hair spray is less desirable for these critters. Most hair sprays and gels you buy at the pharmacy are filled with nasty, toxic ingredients, but there are a few more natural options out there.
  5. Keep hair up in a tight bun or braid: Hair that is loosely flowing is more likely to come into contact with something contaminated with lice. Keeping hair up and away from the shoulders will help prevent lice from getting to your hair.
  6. Use plastic backpacks: Lice can come home on your child’s fabric backpack. Using a plastic backpack makes it less likely for lice to lay eggs in your backpack fibers, because there aren’t any fabric fibers for them to get into.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

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