Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Moisturize Those Winter Feet

Brrrrrrrrrr. It’s winter time in the Southeastern Pennsylvania area. The harshness of the cold temperatures and gusty winds that occur during December, January, February, and even part of March wreck havoc on the body. The hands and feet are particularly vulnerable as the extremities are the farthest parts of the body from the heart. We protect our body from the cold by wearing warmer and layered clothing. Gloves, hats, and scarves protect the most exposed parts and are important elements for protection, especially as we get older. Something we commonly overlook is moisturizing our hands and feet, especially our fingertips and heels. The back of the heel is especially vulnerable to scaling and cracking. A crack through the skin is called a fissure and can result in a foot infection as there now is a portal of entry for bacteria to enter the body and grow. Diabetics and vascular compromised people are most at risk.
Treatment-Prevention and maintenance of the integrity of the skin surface is done through regular use of skin moisturizing agents. There are many products on the market as many of them do an adequate job. Some leave a greasy film and some are tacky, so choose one that you are comfortable with. I prefer to recommend ones that leave a smooth finish and will penetrate easily without a large amount used. It doesn’t matter which one you choose as long as it is applied at least once and preferably twice per day, especially in the winter. A pumice stone or callus scraper can be utilized prior to moisturizing, but never use any sharp instruments like scissors or razor blades. Free edges of skin should not be pulled. If there are many layers that need to be treated, seek a podiatrist’s help and not a pedicure salon. This is a serious condition and should only be performed by a well-trained professional.


By Bradford J. Jacobs, DPM

Monday, January 18, 2010

Barefoot Running Part 2

We briefly mentioned last week about the potential hazards and dangers of barefoot running. I thought that I would just add a few more interesting things about it. A study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness said that barefoot runners had less impact than runners in shoes. On the flip side to this, there has been no documented studies that show running with sneakers can cause foot problems or lead you to an injury. But if you can think about some of the stuff that I had posted last wee I will not recommmend doing it.  This is because it can lead to stepping on something, lacerations, increase in pain, and blisters just to mention a few.

Happy Running/Walking, but of course with sneakers on :)
Chad J. Friedman, DPM

Monday, January 11, 2010

Barefoot Running

There has been a lot of talk in the literature recently on barefoot running. In fact there was even a book written on the topic (Born to Run). Its going to be something that many people will begin to try or continue to do. For me, I will not be recommending it. Some of the reasons for this is the risk of stepping on something, contusions, sprains, strains, and possible fractures. Depending on your foot type, the foot should be constantly supported through all phases of gait. If not, it can cause other muscles to compensate for other muscles and lead to tendon problems or other stresses in the feet. The feet need good support to support the rest of the body. Think about this as well; could you imagine running on a track, concrete, or gravel barefoot? Imagine this even on a hot sunny day. Your feet would burn and increase your chance of developing blisters. And of course this would never be good in a diabetic or someone who has developed neuropathy of their feet(loss of sensation). We will continue to update you on more information that will come out with the topic, but for the time being it is something that I will not recommend.

Happy Running/Walking, but of course with sneakers on :)
Chad J Friedman, DPM