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Posts for: December, 2019

By Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates
December 12, 2019
Category: Foot Health
Tags: Foot Preparation  

Would you like to learn more about how to properly prepare and care for your feet during winter? The podiatrists at Idaho Foot & Ankle FootCareAssociates in Bosie, Nampa and Meridian, ID, know just what to do. Here are some crucial tips on general foot care during winter and orthotics made specifically for ski boots to keep feet safe and protected.

Foot Care During Winter

General foot care is vital but it's more important during winter months when certain diseases are more susceptible. Here are some tips to avoid diseases like skier’s toe and blisters:

1. Warming foot soak - soak your feet and exfoliate soles to soften and reduce calluses by combining sea salt, oils -- peppermint, olive and/or lavender -- and warm water, and moisturize using a lotion.

2. Choose the Right Shoes - Make sure to have shoes that fit properly as well as offer protection from the cold and the elements.

3. Dry Your Shoes - when entering your house after being outside, make sure to dry your shoes and take off wet socks. Make sure that you keep your feet clean and dry.

Foot Care While Playing Winter Sports

One of the best things about winter is the seasonal sports available-skiing and snowboarding. Our Bosie, Nampa and Meridian podiatrists want you to take certain precautions to ensure the safety of your feet:

  • Make sure you wear the right socks and no need to double up. A single pair will suffice since several layers may bunch up, make feet sweaty and cause irritability. Invest in knee-high ski-specific socks that are knee-high, breathable and moisture-wicking.
  • Make sure your ski boots fit properly and avoid over-tightening them. If boots don't fit properly, your feet might get cold quickly and if they're too tight, this may result in reduced blood circulation to your feet.
  • Replace old boot liners and think of investing in boot heaters. Podiatrists know just how much the cold can damage feet and keeping your feet warm and boot liners up-to-date will ensure healthier feet.
  • Don't clench your toes while skiing to prevent restricted blood flow and take a break to help warm blood recirculate.

If you would like to know more about orthotics made specifically for ski boots and just how to make sure your ski boots fit properly during cold months, call your Bosie, Nampa and Meridian, ID, podiatrist today.

By Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates
December 10, 2019
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Ingrown toenails  

An ingrown toenail is a common foot problem that occurs when the corner of a toenail, usually the big toe, grows into the skin. As you might imagine, this can cause pain and swelling in the affected area. If you are a healthy individual you can often treat the ingrown toenail with simple at-home care; however, patients with diabetes, nerve damage in the feet or signs of a foot infection should always see a podiatrist as soon as possible.

Causes of an Ingrown Toenail

There are several factors that could increase your risk for developing an ingrown toenail. These include:

  • Heredity: if your family has a history of ingrown toenails you may be more likely to develop them, too.
  • Poorly fitted shoes: shoes that are too tight and cramp up the toes can also cause painful ingrown toenails, particularly in teens whose feet are still growing rapidly
  • Improper nail trimming: if you cut your nails too short or if you cut them at an angle rather than cutting them straight across you could be leaving yourself prone to an ingrown toenail
  • Injury to the toe: jamming or stubbing the toe can also increase the risk of an ingrown toenail (this is most common in athletes)

Treating an Ingrown Toenail

If there are no signs of an infection (e.g. foul odor; skin that’s hot to the touch) and you are otherwise healthy then you can probably treat the ingrown toenail all by yourself from the comfort of your home. Take frequent Epsom salt soaks and apply an antibiotic cream to the area to prevent infection. Again, if there is no infection you can soak nails for several minutes so that they soften, and then gently clip away the affected area of the nail.

If you are experiencing signs of an infected ingrown toenail or if you have diabetes and develop an ingrown toenail it’s important that you seek a podiatrist’s care right away. A podiatrist can treat the infection while also removing part of or the entire nail so that it grows in properly.

Preventing Ingrown Toenails

While there are certain factors such as heredity that cannot be helped, there are certainly measures you can take to reduce your risk for ingrown toenails. For one, always make sure that you wear properly fitted shoes that do not put pressure on the toes.

Secondly and most importantly, you need to know how to properly trim your toenails. Nails should be level with the tips of your toes. If nails are cut too short or if you trim your nails so they are curved at the edges rather than straight then an ingrown toenail is more likely to develop as the nail grows out.

Athletes should also make sure that they are wearing appropriate footwear for their chosen sport. Not all tennis shoes are created equally so if you have any questions about the footwear that you should wear, don’t hesitate to speak with your foot doctor.