Thursday, 23 January 2020

Key Things You Should Know About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are warts that develop on the soles of a person’s feet. They are not only quite annoying initially but may even cause pain when they grow big. However, most of the plantar warts are quite harmless and go away on their own.

Plantar Warts


The Cause

Plantar warts are caused by HPV or Human Papilloma Virus which is also the most common infection transmitted through sex. However, it’s important to note that plantar warts are different from genital warts. The HPV has over 100 strains and the type primarily responsible for plantar warts is HPV-1. When HPV infects skin cells, they grow quicker compared to cells in the surrounding areas thus triggering a wart. HPV is a contagious virus, which means it can spread easily among people, especially in wet, warm environments.

Key Symptoms

Plantar warts may appear similar to corns but are distinguished by their structure and location. They tend to form on weight-bearing parts of the sole or heel while corns are mostly found on the smaller toes’ top surface. Here are the common symptoms of plantar warts:
  • Thick, hard skin over a particular area on the skin. It sometimes feels like a callus.
  • A small, grainy, rough growth on the bottom of the feet, generally at the heel or at the base of the forefoot and toes.
  • Black pinpoints that are commonly known as wart seeds but are clotted, small blood vessels in reality.
  • Pain in the area where the plantar wart is formed when walking or standing.
Larger plantar warts may split sometimes, exposing sensitive tissue and causing bleeding and pain.

Who Are at Risk?

While anyone can develop these warts, they are most commonly found in people who regularly go barefoot in communal areas. For instance, athletes like gymnasts or dancers have been observed to bear higher rates of warts. Additionally, those who perform and practice barefoot on surfaces that are also used by others barefoot are at a higher risk of developing plantar warts. Sharing pieces of equipment may also augment the risk of HPV infection and hence, plantar warts.

Prevention

You can lower your risk of getting plantar warts by practicing the following measures:
  • Keeping your feet dry and clean
  • Wearing sandals or shoes in swimming pool areas, locker rooms, communal showers, etc.
  • Refraining from using the same pumice stone, emery board, nail clipper, etc. on warts as well as on healthy nails and skin
  • Avoiding contact with other people’s warts
  • Wearing dry, clean socks when you wear shoes
Conclusion

Though the HPV strains that trigger plantar warts aren’t heavily contagious, it’s important to know that each person’s immune system responds to it differently. Hence, you should see a podiatrist if the wart recurs or multiplies despite your efforts at treating it, if it interferes with your regular activities or if the lesion becomes painful or changes in color or appearance. Seeking quick medical help is also important if you are diabetic, have poor sensation in the feet, have a weakened immune system or a circulatory health issue that affects the feet.

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Feet Pain or Ankle Discomfort? Get Relief Today!

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Monday, 23 December 2019

5 Holiday Foot Care Tips

With the holiday season in full swing, you are sure to be busy. From buying the ingredients for those delicious cakes and getting the shopping done to meeting your loved ones and sending out party invites to friends and family, there’re a lot of tasks to complete. Despite the festive cheer, the holiday season has its fair share of stress too. Though you may not be giving a lot of thought to your feet these days, the fact is they could be under a lot of stress for taking the brunt of your outdoor and indoor activities. If they start hurting, your celebratory mood could soon go out of the window.

However, with a little care and consideration for your feet, you could keep them healthy and comfortably mobile through the coming weeks. Here are five tips to ensure this:



⦁ Wear Shoes with the Right Fit: Though you may not ditch high heels for that special soiree, pick shoes that are comfortable and give you the right fit and support when visiting shopping malls or when hitting the dance floor this holiday season. Overly high-heeled or narrow shoes or dress shoes that you don't wear often could compromise your comfort and safety, irritate your feet and even cause calluses, blisters and swelling; the worst-case scenario being severe ankle injuries.

⦁ Avoid Overindulging in Purine-Heavy Foods: You may not know it but excessive holiday cheer could adversely affect your feet. Intake of certain high-purine beverages and foods like red wine, beer, red meat, shellfish, etc. can encourage uric acid build-up and crystallization in and around the joints which can cause very painful gout attacks. Since the big toe is the body’s coolest part and uric acid is temperature-sensitive, you will often find your big toe getting affected first.

⦁ Remember to Moisturize: The dry winter weather hurts your feet a lot. While rough feet may not bother you much, cracked heels could be painful. This makes it important to moisturize your feet daily to ensure that they stay comfortable and supple. You could use a moisturizing lotion or cream just before bed, after you shower or at any other time of the day that you find suitable. However, don’t use a lot of lotion/cream between your toes as moisture getting trapped there could end up causing more harm than good. In case you enjoy hot showers, consider having them a bit cooler as hot water strips away the moisture from your feet, thus drying them out.

⦁ Exercise Your Feet: To avoid muscle cramps, you can opt for stretching. Raising your toes as well as pointing and curling them a couple of times can help you steer clear of toe cramps. To help your feet relax, rotate your ankles. If you want to loosen ankle joints, cup your heel and turn each ankle slowly five times. The basic idea is to exercise your feet and ankle to ensure proper blood circulation which would help them stay healthy and ready for the grind of the festive season.

⦁ End Your Day with a Foot Massage: Foot massage can boost circulation, help release tension and refresh your skin after you have spent a long day on your feet. At the end of a busy day of shopping and celebrations, try to set aside a couple of minutes to massage your feet using a moisturizing lotion to release stress and tension. Your feet will surely thank you for this!

Use these tips to make sure your feet stay healthy all through the seasonal chores and celebrations.

Friday, 22 November 2019

5 Foot Care Tips for the Elderly

Our feet help us with the crucial functions of walking, running, jogging, dancing, swimming and of course transporting ourselves. With age, the elderly may start suffering from various foot ailments. From wearing shoes with an improper fit that could either cut off circulation or cause damage to the toes to ingrown toenails and uncontrolled diabetes, aging feet could suffer from a wide range of problems. If left untreated, many of them can worsen and trigger more serious issues like infections, falls, etc. This makes it important to take proper care of aging feet. Here are five tips to do it right:  




1. Use the Right Footwear with the Right Fit: Make sure you get the right footwear that fits your feet comfortably and doesn’t rub or slide around on your heel as you walk. Ideally, you should shop for your footwear in the afternoon when your feet are a bit swollen as a result of daily activities. You should try on your chosen shoes to ensure that they give you the proper fit before buying them. By wearing the right footwear, you’ll not only maintain your balance but you will also reduce the risk of blisters (that can transform into bitter sores and infections) and prevent falls. Podiatrists advise the elderly to avoid shoes that have pointy or high heels, are too tight or have a slick bottom that fail to provide adequate grip while walking.

2. Trim Toenails Properly: To prevent ingrown toenails, you should trim your toenails correctly (straight across the toenail and not shorter than the tip of your toe). If you have flexibility issues that make it difficult for you to reach your toes, you can ask a family member or caregiver to trim the toenails. If you suffer from diabetes triggered neuropathy, you should ideally see a podiatrist for regular nail trimming and medical pedicures.

3. Prevent Fungal Infections: Wearing sweaty or wet socks and shoes for long will lead to the consistent presence of moisture around your feet which can possibly trigger fungal infections. So, ensure your feet, socks, stockings and shoes are dry. If they’re not, change them as frequently as needed to prevent this. You may even use a good foot powder to help your feet stay dry. In case you experience a persistent itching or burning sensation in your feet, make sure you consult your podiatrist to have your feet checked out before something serious develops.

4. Promote Good Circulation: Not crossing your legs for long while sitting, stretching your legs and feet, rotating your ankles around and wiggling your toes are some ways to encourage good circulation in your feet. Keeping your feet raised on a footstool or on the couch when you’re relaxing would reduce the chances of swelling. You could even try swimming or yoga to encourage further blood flow in your feet.

5. Opt for Regular Podiatrist Visits: You should see your podiatrist at least once a year or more frequently depending on what your doctor recommends. By being cautious you would be able to ensure that nothing which could trigger serious foot problems develops. By diagnosing and treating early-stage foot issues such as blisters, warts, bunions, corns, bone spurs, neuromas and hammertoes on time, the chance of these issues turning into major problems are eliminated.

Use these tips to take good care of your feet so that foot problems and diseases don’t end up adversely affecting your flexibility and mobility, thus diminishing the quality of life severely.

Friday, 15 November 2019

Bringing Back the Balance!


Tired of that heel pain? Worried about your foot odour? Stressing over that diabetic wound? Well not anymore!! Give us a call!

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Friday, 8 November 2019

The imprint of a healthy life!

At SJ Feet, we treat various foot and ankle ailments in people of all ages. Be it bunions, hammertoes, arch disorders, heel spurs, trauma, heel pain or any other foot ailment, we provide relief from it all.

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Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Top 5 Winter Foot Care Tips

Every season brings unique challenges for your foot health. Since your foot health is an essential part of your overall health, you need to protect your feet all year long and winter is no exception. Whether you’re facing extreme cold and dampness or slogging through deep snow, your feet need to be properly cared for. Here are five winter foot care tips that will keep your feet healthy all winter long and ensure that they are ready for action when spring arrives.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

1. Stick to a Regular Foot Care Regime: Having a regular foot care regime is the easiest way to ensure foot health and prevent problems. To begin with, give your feet a relaxing bath after a tiring day. Keep your feet clean and dry and your nails neatly cut and filed. You may use a pumice stone from time to time to avoid buildup of hard skin. However, it’s advisable to soften the stone at first with water and then use it on your heels. Since your skin tends to get dry in winter, make sure you apply a good moisturizer on your feet.

2. Plan to Combat Dry and Cracked Heels: Dry and cracked heels are a common problem in winter. A simple solution is to rub Vaseline on your heels after bathing or showering as it works as a seal locking the moisture in. For utmost effectiveness, you could wear socks or use plastic wrap to cover your feet overnight.

3. Opt for a Nail Polish Vacation: You may be tempted to use nail polish to make your nails look pretty but give it a miss from time to time this winter. Since nail polish can trap bacteria inside your nails, it can trigger discoloration, cause infection, weaken your nails, etc. As winter season means your feet will be spending more time in closed shoes and socks than they do in the summer, your toenails will have lesser access to air this season. By not using nail-related beauty products, you can let your nails counteract this, thus ensuring that they stay healthy.

4. Make Sure Your Shoes Are Dry and Fit Well: Spending a lot of time outdoors in the damp weather or snow could make your shoes wet. Wearing wet shoes will not only make your feet feel colder but will also give bacteria an ideal place to thrive. So, you should remove your wet shoes as soon as you get home and put them somewhere warm (say, by the radiator) to ensure that they get dry. It would be wise to have more than one pair of shoes so that you can rotate them daily. It’s also important to use footwear that offers you a snug fit. Wearing properly fitted skates and boots would help prevent chafing, blisters, and foot or ankle injuries.

5. Choose Your Socks Wisely: Since your feet are likely to stay in closed shoes for a long time this season, invest in socks with moisture-wicking properties (such as breathable bamboo socks). Though you may be tempted to use cotton socks, you should remember that despite cotton being a natural fiber, it absorbs sweat in socks rather than wicking the moisture away. You should ensure that you change your socks daily and wash them regularly so as to prevent the spread of bacteria. If you prefer wearing two pairs of socks to offer your feet more protection and double the effects, remember to avoid tight socks as they would adversely affect the blood circulation in your feet.

This winter, keep these foot care tips in mind to ensure healthy and active feet.