Why Splinters Need to be Removed
Regardless of whether the splinter is wood, glass, or even a plant thorn, you must remove it from the foot as soon as possible. Why? Because these foreign objects also contain germs, which can lead to an infection if the splinter isn’t promptly and fully removed.
How to Remove a Splinter Yourself
You probably have all the tools you need at home to remove a splinter safely. Of course, it’s important to go over the basics of safe splinter removal. Here are tips for safely removing the splinter:
- Soak the foot in warm water for a few minutes to soften the skin
- Wash your hands thoroughly before removing the splinter
- Once the skin has softened in the water, see if you can squeeze the splinter out by simply applying pressure to both sides (like you would a pimple)
- If squeezing doesn’t work, you can use tweezers or a sewing needle to remove the foreign object (just make sure to disinfect these tools first with rubbing alcohol)
- If the splinter cannot be grabbed with tweezers, use the needle to create a small opening around the splinter to make it easier to grab
- Be gentle and careful when removing the splinter to avoid breaking it
While a splinter often isn’t a big deal there will be situations in which turning to a podiatric physician will be the best option. You should turn to one if:
- You aren’t able to remove the splinter or foreign object yourself
- The area becomes red, tender, swollen, or contains pus (signs of infection)
- You feel like there’s a splinter but you can’t see it
- You have diabetes or nerve damage in your feet (do not try to remove a splinter yourself)
- The splinter is too deep or too painful
- Your child is too squeamish or won’t sit still so you can remove the splinter
Non-Surgical Care for Bone Spurs
Most podiatrists attempt non-surgical care before turning to any operating on a bone spur. These simple steps help to minimize pain and relieve suffering. Typically, they'll start by suggesting over-the-counter pain medication or prescribing high-dose medicines of this type. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium can all help to cut back on this kind of bone spur pain.
However, they may also suggest icing the area, prescribe regular massage visits, or even provide specialized shoes or footwear that support the bone spur and minimize your pain. The extra padding helps to keep the spur from rubbing up against the shoe and worsening. Sometimes, they may also prescribe a weight-loss routine, including a specialized diet and controlled exercise routines to help decrease foot pressure.
Most of the time, these treatments help to minimize pain and keeps you on your feet. Typically, they rarely cause any serious complications and can be worked around in your day-to-day life. But, unfortunately, there are instances in which a bone spur could be more than a minor nuisance. In these situations, surgery is necessary to ensure that you recover fully from this problem.
Does your bone spur press on your nerves and limit your range of motion? If so, you're not alone. Many people experience this kind of struggle and need surgery to recovery. Surgeons start by checking the extent of your bone spur and seeing how it impacts your foot and leg and your mobility.
Then, they'll carefully come up with a surgical plan that removes the spur and keeps your body safe. This procedure requires carefully opening up the skin around the spur and surgically cutting it away from the foot. A short recovery period will follow, one that helps to ensure your foot fully recovers before you put excess weight on it.
Find Help Today
If you think you have a bone spur and want to get help, reach out to a local podiatrist today to learn more. They'll work with you to find a treatment plan that makes sense. Catching it early enough should minimize your need for surgery. With this type of help, you can regain a pain-free life and transition back to the everyday experiences that your bone spur has robbed from you.
Dealing with pain from a bunion is less than ideal, but it shouldn't keep you from the activities you love. Symptoms you may be experiencing from bunion pain are often from a protruding bump located by the base of your big toe. Luckily, managing and preventing future bunion pain is possible with our team of experts at Idaho Foot and Ankle Associates in Boise, Nampa, and Meridian, ID.
Avoiding Bunion Pain
Bunions are more common than you may think, and there are a few reasons why you are prone to developing bunions; it can be genetic or based on your lifestyle that potentially prohibited proper growth. However, it's entirely possible to reduce your chances of bunions in your future with the following tips:
- By wearing appropriate footwear, you're relieving any pressure that can cause your feet to swell or that's stressing the joint of your big toe. You'll know you're wearing the best-fitted shoes when there's good arch support, a wide toe box, and the fit is slightly looser. Though slip-on shoes are more convenient, your foot slides forward with each step, so, we suggest wearing shoes with laces.
- When wearing new shoes, they shouldn't require a break-in period. Instead, new shoes should be comfortable from the get-go, which can be achieved by walking around the store for a bit to ensure proper fit.
- It's best to look for new shoes later in the day since you've likely been on your feet for most of the day. Shopping for shoes in the evening is ideal since your feet often swell throughout the day and even more so depending on the duration.
- Wearing high heels is still an option, however, it's best to avoid wearing stilettos since they put more pressure on the balls of your feet. Heels that balance weight relatively evenly are wedges, platforms, or any chunky heeled shoe.
- For those who are flat-footed, you may consider investing in inserts for your shoes, which can be provided over-the-counter. If store-bought shoe inserts don't seem to be working, our team of podiatrists in Boise, Nampa, and Meridian, ID, with Idaho Foot and Ankle Associates, can help you prevent bunions and find the best inserts for your condition.
- Maintaining a healthy weight may help alleviate any pressure put on the joint of your big toe, which will also reduce inflammation or soreness.
- We encourage considerable care of your feet, especially when feeling extra worn or achy. On harder days, soaking your feet in warm water with Epsom salt, followed by a moisturizing cream, will provide great relief. Elevating your feet and providing proper rest will lead to a better condition of your feet and reduce the likeliness of experiencing bunions.
Don't let bunions keep you from enjoying activities you love the most and visit with our professionals at Idaho Foot and Ankle Associates in Boise, Nampa, and Meridian, ID. Book an appointment today by calling one of our three convenient locations:
- Boise—(208) 327-0627
- Nampa—(208) 463-1660
- Meridian—(208) 888-9876
Are You Able to Put Weight on Your Foot?
One method that you can use to determine whether or not you have actually broken a toe is checking if you can put weight on your foot. If you can walk on your foot without limping or pain, your toe is likely not broken. Icing the toe and using some non-prescription anti-inflammatory medication will probably be enough. In the event that you continue to experience swelling or severe pain, you should see a doctor about your toe.
Does Your Toe Have a Deep Wound?
You should take a close look at your injured toe. If your toe has a deep wound or cut, the bone in your toe might get exposed to the air and a doctor should check out your injured toe. Another sign that you have a broken toe is bruising. Additionally, one more sign that you have actually broken your toe is some discoloration on or near your toe. An obvious sign of a broken toe is if it is at a different angle than the toe on your other foot.
What Else Should I Know About Broken Toes?
Taping is a common solution for a broken toe. This works just fine if the break in the toe is simple and the bones are still in alignment. Taping your broken toe will not help it heal properly, though. That is why you should keep the following information in mind:
- Consult a doctor about your broken toe so it heals correctly.
- Taping your toe could worsen the situation if you have a bad break in your toe.
- Taping your toe is only a viable solution in some circumstances.
Usually, foot pain results from blisters, hammertoes, or other ailments, but toenails can also cause intense discomfort. When toenails become ingrown, they can leave you feeling so sore you dread putting on shoes. And if left unattended, ingrown toenails can lead to infection.
The experts at Idaho Foot and Ankle Associates in Boise, Nampa, and Meridian, ID, can help you prevent and treat ingrown toenails so you can put your best foot forward.
What can cause an ingrown toenail?
- Foot injury
- Fungal infection
- Nails trimmed too short or unevenly
- Wearing too small or narrow shoes or high heels
What are the signs of an ingrown toenail?
In addition to being painful, an ingrown toenail will likely be red, inflamed, and sore. You may see the nail has become partially hidden under the skin on the toe, or notice pus around the toenail.
How can I treat an ingrown toenail?
At-home remedies such as soaking the toe in warm water several times a day can offer relief by softening the skin and allowing the nail to better heal. Visit our office in Boise, Nampa, and Meridian, ID, if your ingrown toenail is extremely painful or appears infected. We may prescribe an antibiotic to speed up the healing process. In severe cases, we might advise surgery to remove the ingrown part of the nail. Do not attempt any home remedies if you are diabetic and visit your podiatrists for help.
What can I do to prevent ingrown toenails?
- Wear properly fitting shoes with adequate cushioning
- Clip toenails straight across, including at the corners
- Do not cut toenails below the white tip
- Keep feet clean and dry
- Do not file toenails to angle
- Wear protective footwear during exercise, sports, or other activities in which your feet could become hurt
If ingrown toenails are causing you pain in Boise, Nampa, and Meridian, ID, Idaho Foot and Ankle Associates can help. Call us at (208) 327-0627, (208) 463-1660, or (208) 888-9876 to schedule an appointment.
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