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What You Need To Know About Cracked Heels

Why Do You Need To Know About Cracked Heels?

When there is a fissure or a break in the skin around the edges of the heels, cracking can occur. This is more likely to happen if the skin in that area of your foot is dry or thick, and these cracks can open and close, resulting in pain when standing or walking.

When we stand, walk or run, a lot of pressure is placed on our heels from our body weight, and this can cause the tissue under our heels to spread out, resulting in a pulling force on the skin around the heels. Standing for extended periods of time or wearing open back shoes can also cause cracked heels as they can place increased pressure and tension on the skin around this area. It is important to check on your heels regularly because if the skin in this area is dry or thickened, it may lose its ability to withstand such pressure and will break, so you need to monitor your feet and care for them properly.

Those who suffer from dermatitis, diabetes, psoriasis or hypothyroidism are more at risk for developing dry skin, so you would have to pay extra attention to this part of your body. If any cracks in your heels are left untreated, they may become infected, and you will experience increased redness and a lot of pain.

If you have cracked heels, there are certain steps you can take at home to help treat this condition. The first is to file the skin around your heels gently with either an emery board or pumice stone if it is not too painful. If your heels are causing you too much pain, soak them in warm water with salt for a maximum of ten minutes, as this will clear any bacteria in the cracks of your skin. Next, dry your feet thoroughly with a towel because water can dehydrate the skin and make matters worse. You will then have to apply an emollient that contains urea or salicylic acid to your heels, which can be purchased at pharmacies. They are designed to lock in moisture in your feet and will help soften your hardened skin. If the pain from the cracks is unbearable, cover them with a plaster or bandage to keep them dry for a couple of days and avoid open-back shoes. It is very important to wear the right footwear, so invest in the right shoes with the proper support.

If the situation is severe or you have a medical condition affecting your immune system or have diabetes, it is a must that you see a podiatrist before treating your cracked heels on your own because they will be able to suggest the best treatment for your needs and condition specifically.

If you require professional care, Elite Foot Care can help. Whether you require diabetic foot care or have other concerns related to your feet, we can help, so if you are in Edmonton, contact us today!

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Diabetic Foot Problems: Symptoms, Treatment, and Foot Care

Diabetic Foot Problems: Symptoms, Treatment, and Foot Care

People with diabetes are prone to foot problems because prolonged periods of high blood sugar levels can have serious complications on many parts of the body, including the feet. Diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease are the two main foot problems that can develop in people with poorly managed diabetes.

Diabetic neuropathy numbs the feet, which would reduce your awareness of wounds and infections. You would also fail to notice when your shoes are too tight or if they’re rubbing and this lack of sensation can result in cuts and blisters. The peripheral vascular disease causes fatty deposits to block vessels beyond the brain and heart and affects the blood vessels leading to and from the extremities like your hands and feet, causing reduced blood flow. This can lead to pain and infections and wounds that heal slowly. Both conditions can lead to an amputation, so those with diabetes need to pay close attention to their health so that they recognize symptoms and seek help.

Symptoms will vary from one person to another but can include numbness or tingling sensations, a loss of feeling, red streaks, blisters and other wounds without any pain, staining on socks, and skin discoloration. A person can also experience a fever, chills, redness, shock or uncontrollable blood sugar if an infection develops. If you have diabetes and experience symptoms related to an infection, you need to seek emergency treatment right away, especially if the infection is on your feet.

Treatments will be based on the severity of the condition, and there are both surgical and nonsurgical options available. A doctor will first attempt to treat diabetic foot problems without surgery but if these methods do not help, surgical treatments may be required. This may include the removal of decaying or dead tissue through surgery. This will be considered if nonsurgical options cannot heal your diabetic foot problems successfully.

It is very important that you try to prevent foot problems if you have diabetes, and the proper care will allow you to do this. Keeping your feet healthy is a must, and foot hygiene must be a priority. Checking your feet daily, washing them every day and wearing supportive shoes and socks can help. These steps will prevent foot problems from developing as will blood flow to the feet, which you can achieve by putting your feet up when sitting and wiggling your toes periodically. These will help promote healthy blood flow to your feet, so make sure you incorporate these steps into your daily routine.

Elite Foot Care can help you maintain healthy feet. Regular examinations are very important, so if you require diabetic foot care in the Edmonton area, give us a call today!

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Why You Should Get Pedicures From A Foot Care Nurse Rather Than A Day Spa

Why You Should Get Pedicures From A Foot Care Nurse Rather Than A Day Spa

One week, two weeks, or maybe four weeks is the time it takes for your feet to feel dry, your toenails to feel brittle, or maybe just until your feet aren’t looking as good as when you got your last pedicure at the spa. Once realizing this, your first thought is probably to book an appointment with your local salon to get a pedicure, but did you know that long-term, getting your pedicures at a day spa might not be worth it? Find out why foot care nurses how should an ectomorph approach body building can offer more than your local day spa the next time you are looking for a pedicure.

Hygiene

Not all day spas are created equally. Some go above and beyond to uphold a high standard of hygiene, some simply don’t. In addition to unclean water or unsanitized hands (at a time like this?!), a lot of spas reuse nail polish brushes on multiple clients. That means if one of those clients had foot fungus, you could be the next unsuspecting person to catch it. When you choose a foot care nurse like at Elite Foot Care, we use sterilized dishes and one-time use products in order to keep our clients safe and healthy.

A More Detailed Level Of Care

Of course, pedicures are a great way to take care of your feet, pamper yourself and make yourself feel more relaxed. They even boost your feet’s appearance and help your confidence. But they are only skin deep, and have superficial benefits that only apply to aesthetics. But they do not actually treat any underlying medical problems or conditions. From a foot care nurse, you will receive care from somebody who can analyze your feet and step in with long-term care solutions that can get you into better shape. They can use things like laser therapy in order to correct problems that are more than an aesthetician can handle.

Choosing The Right Products For You

The experts at Elite Foot Care are also able to recommend and tailor products for your feet so that they are able to become healthier with time. They are also educated on how to spot symptoms and problems early on of what could potentially be long-term podiatric issues and address them in advance before they cause more damage down the line.

Footwear

When you get a pedicure at the salon, once it is over, you will put your shoes back on and head out the door. But what if your shoes are causing you problems? When you choose a foot care nurse, they will be able to take a look at your footwear and determine the benefits or damages it has on your feet long-term. They are able to recommend orthopedic shoes or sandals that can help you alleviate pain in your feet and also the rest of your body. Problems in the rest of your body can originate in the feet, after all.   While going to day spas are okay in order to address aesthetic problems, foot care nurses can offer you a more professional, medical, hygienic, and long-term solution to one of the most important parts of your body: your feet. Contact Elite Foot Care today to book an appointment or speak with us over the phone if you have any questions.  
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Essential Tips For Diabetic Foot Care

Essential Tips For Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes is a chronic disease that is characterized by high blood sugar levels, which are brought on by the absence of insulin in the body due to the body’s inability to produce it. Insulin is what is responsible for controlling your blood sugar levels in your body. Being constantly thirsty, hungry and frequently needing to use the bathroom are early signs of diabetes. In the late stage, diabetes can cause kidney failure, blindness, or artery problems that lead to stroke. It may also cause poor wound healing, which can lead to limb amputation.

What Is Diabetic Foot?

Diabetic foot is a common issue that arises with diabetes. It is caused by different diabetes symptoms. Your calluses can break down – this is when you develop a crack in them, which can breakdown and develop into an ulcer with time. Infection is another reason because diabetics have poor blood circulation. Your body’s ability to combat infection will become impaired. Just a small bacterial infection in between your toes or nails can worsen with time and become uncontrollable and make the infection bigger and bigger. Nerve damage is also to blame for minor cuts and wounds that are accidental and caused by the lack of sensation in your foot. A diabetics’ nervous system gets damaged, especially in the foot, by the onset of the disease. This causes your body’s defense mechanism to dull and make pain, heat or pressure harder to notice or feel. This is why when a diabetic person steps on something sharp or hot, they can’t immediately sense this and this can cause the wound to be a lot worse.

How To Take Care Of Your Diabetic Foot

Make sure that you are wearing the correct shoes and slippers made especially for diabetics. Do not walk barefoot! Choosing the right footwear is important to your foot health, because poor fitting shoes are a common cause of foot injury, especially to diabetics. Pick shoes that are made out of breathable materials and have mesh vents in order to keep the feet dry and prevent bacteria from forming. The use of diabetic socks is also beneficial, as these are designed for diabetics and are designed to protect you from irritation. They do not have seams and fit just like a second skin. This prevents poor circulation and blisters caused by tightness on your seams. These are also usually made with smart moisture-wicking fibres, which prevent moisture build-up and keep the feet dry, thus preventing the growth of bacteria. Remember to always get regular foot inspections, make it a habit to check your feet for any blisters or cuts that might be developing. Washing your feet regularly is important every day. You should use some mild soap and water. Make sure the water is not too hot and that you don’t soak your feet for too long. If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, it doesn’t mean you have to live your life with pain every day. If you take care of yourself and know the right information and practice it, you can protect yourself from debilitation.
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How To Fix Cracked Heels

How To Fix Cracked Heels

Cracked Heels can be the bane of one’s existence. They’re painful, sore, and sometimes they bleed. Let’s be honest…any sort of foot pain will have you second-guessing everything you’ve done in your life up till this point. I usually find, with my clients, that one heel is worse than the other. Since we all have less than optimal gait, this is “normal” for humans in North America. How do cracked heels develop? Firstly, neglect and poor foot care. Second, calluses build-up, and walking adds pressure to the heels. Thirdly, compromised skin integrity can compound
cracked heels—Edema, excess weight, diabetes and foot ulcers can all contribute to this problem. So…how can you fix it?

Firstly, prepare to be consistent. For these cracks to go away, you need to be in it for the long haul. Set a weekly alarm in your phone so you don’t miss out on fixing your problem.

Secondly, file your feet DRY. That’s right… don’t soak your feet. Calluses are harder to remove if they are wet.

Next, get a decent foot file. A medium to coarse emery board works wonderfully, or a Pedi roller. Avoid pumice stones and metal files that will “grate” your heels, as these can go too deep, cause pain and numbness, and possibly exacerbate your problem.
Fourthly, get filing. I recommend removing a little at a time. Depending on your calluses, complications, and foot care conditions, start with filing down 10-15% of the callus on and/or
around the cracks. Do not get too aggressive…if you file away too much too soon, you risk having some burning, shooting pain in the heels. Always err on the conservative side.
Lastly, hydration! Drink enough water to keep your skin hydrated. Apply the lotion once or twice per day, depending on your ability and consistency. Do not use a petroleum-based product. I
recommend PodoExpert Cracked or Dry Skin Foam.

If your cracked heels are more severe than you can handle, or you have further complications that necessitate deferring to a professional, please reach out to us and make an appointment
for one of our highly trained foot care nurses.

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Corns and Calluses-Is There A Cure?

Corns and Calluses-Is There A Cure?

Throughout my practice as a foot care nurse, I have seen many clients, most between the ages of 35-50, book appointments for corn and callus removal. Many have been suffering foot pain for a very long time. Some have had their corns misdiagnosed as warts!

Today we will discuss what corns and calluses are, what causes them, and we will discuss treatment solutions.

Calluses

Calluses are areas of thickened skin cells, designed to protect the body from harm. A callus is the body’s response to protect the skin from breakdown, cuts, or abrasions. For instance, powerlifters and bodybuilders always develop calluses on their hands. These are caused by lifting a variety of weight, usually very heavy Olympic bars or dumbbells, on a regular basis. Likewise, calluses form on our feet as a result of how we walk, friction in our shoes, or over bony prominences to protect our feet. Calluses can also add cushion to body areas.

Over time, as your feet are under constant stress, calluses can build up to an unhealthy thickness which may cause your shoes to fit improperly, alter your gait, or cause you pain or discomfort. Fortunately, calluses can be easily managed once they are brought under control.

Corns

Corns are simply localized calluses. They are round, hard areas on your foot that have been under focal pressure for a prolonged period of time. Corn is incredibly painful because the pressure shoots right up the nerve endings in the foot. Ouch! Some people have corns with minimal issues, while others are unable to walk under the crippling pain. If you are experiencing such pain and discomfort, contact your foot care nurse immediately. (link to book appointment form). A professional and qualified foot care nurse will likely be able to remove your corns in one visit.

Treatment

Corns and calluses should not be removed on your own. Do not be tempted to dig into your feet with implements like scissors or kitchen knives. It’s vital that these conditions are properly assessed and brought under control by a trained professional. If you have troublesome corn and cannot see your foot care nurse for several days, you can purchase corn pads from your local pharmacy. These are small, oval-shaped pads with a small hole in the center. They have an adhesive on one side, and a soft foam cushion on the other. You can apply these corn pads to the affected area, with the corn in the center. This will relieve the pressure on the area, giving you a much-needed reprieve until your appointment. Once removed, you will be more comfortable and pain-free. Calluses will always return but are simple to manage once your foot care nurse gives you the go-ahead. Corns may or may not reappear, depending on a number of factors. Keep your feet clean, dry, and moisturized and make sure to notify your foot care nurse if they return.