Archive | April, 2013
24 Apr

Do you have big toe pain?

Pain near the big toe, particularly as you walk or run, can have a number of different causes, the most likely are hallux limitus and rigidus which are essentially the jamming of the big toe against the foot that leads to inflammation, swelling, and pain. Other next most likely cause is a bunion – it forms a big bump on the inside of the foot as well as decreasing motion within the join. Other suspect cause is gout  – foot pain near the big toe if the joint is extremely red hot and swollen without any injury or obvious cause. If the area underneath the toe is sore especially after a great deal of running, suspect a sesamoid fracture or sesamoiditis.

Most common causes of big toe pain are:

English: Gout presenting in the metatarsal-pha...

English: Gout presenting in the metatarsal-phalangeal joint of the big toe. Note the slight redness of the skin overlying the joint. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  1. Hallux limitus
  2. Hallux rigidus
  3. Bunion
  4.  Gout
  5.  Pseudogout
  6.  Sesamoid fractures
  7.  Sesamoiditis
  8.  Turf toe
  9.  Dislocated Toe
  10.  Broken Toe
  11.  Swollen Toe
  12.  Hallux Varus
  13.  Flexor Hallucis Tendinitis

See link to big toe pain to learn more about possible solutions and treatments.

I hope, that you do not have this unpleasant big toe pain, but if you do look for help.

23 Apr
 Itchy Foot Arch Rash Itchy Rash on the Arch or Heel of the Foot

Itchy Foot Arch Rash

Do you have itchy rash on the arch or heel of your foot?

Itchy foot rashes are very common and because the arch of your foot is very thin and delicate, it is a prime target for feeling the effects of the itching and irritation. The most common reasons of rashes are eczema, dehydration of the skin, dermatitis due to irritation by a material (sock, or shoe) and athlete’s foot (tinea pedis). These common causes are usually very easily treated since the offending agent can be removed or corrected and the fungus easily treated compared to the more difficult nail fungus.

What are symptoms of an itchy foot arch rash
Red or violet skin color
Inflamed skin
Blisters if very severe (Assume acute fungal infection or athlete’s foot)
Flaky dry skin (assume chronic fungal infection)
Peeling skin
Bleeding and scarring from scratching

Prevention and correctable causes of an itchy foot heel rash
The most common causes of itchy foot arch rashes usually are skin irritations, that should be removed such as the socks, shoes, or detergents that may directly irritate your feet. The second major cause is skin dehydration, which can be prevented by wearing thinner socks, moisturizing your feet after taking a bath or shower. The third common cause is hygiene – simply frequent washing, however moisturizing may take care of it. The fourth major cause of rashes if fungal infection which will need an athlete’s foot medication to get rid of the problem.
Other causes and explanations include:
– Allergies to a material
– Dehydration (low humidity and wet feet that need to be moisturized)
– Overly sweaty feet due to bacteria (pomphylox which may need medication and moisturizing)
– Overly sweaty feet due to heat (need better socks)
– Insect, tick or flea bites
– Sock material irritation
– Shoe material irritation
– Soap, laundry detergent or perfume irritation
– Pregnant women hormones
– Poor foot hygiene
– Lack of moisturizing after bathing or showering

Usually, you may treat itchy foot rashes at home with simple remedies – follow link for details!

Runners, it is easy to prevent  itchy foot rashes, so be proactive and prevent itchy rashes, so do it.

21 Apr
A painful wart under the 5th metatarsal

A painful wart under the 5th metatarsal

 

Do you have any painful foot warts (Verruca)?

A wart on you foot may case prolonged pain while under pressure. A plantar wart is no different than a wart on any other part of the body. These warts eventually go away by themselves, but they are potentially contagious and could stay around for a couple years. Treatment is usually recommended to decrease the length of pain, the duration of pain and to decrease the chance of transferring it to other parts of the body.

What causes a foot wart?
– HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) is the cause of warts.
– The virus can stay alive for many weeks without a host ,especially in the shower!
– The wart enters through microscopic cracks in the skin of the foot or the fingers.
– If a cluster of warts forms, it is called a Mosaic wart which can create extremely large surface areas.
– It is completely normal to get a wart – most warts occur in 12-16 year old children, but are very rare in older age.

Symptoms of a  foot wart:
Not usually painful although may be tender when pressed, especially from the sides.
The verruca may feel like a small stone under the foot.
It looks different from a callus because of little red pin like dots- a callus looks like normal but thicker skin.
There is usually a callus that forms around the wart.

How to diagnose a foot wart?
– Verrucas vary in size from a 1mm to over 1 cm and may vary in shape too.
– The surface of the verruca is usually covered with small black dots (blood vessels).
– They are usually surrounded by hard skin.
– There is usually nothing ever really tricky about diagnosing a wart.
– If the wart is really large then it is a more resistant mosaic wart that needs more attention.

How to prevent a foot wart?
– Warts and verrucas are very common and nothing to get worked up about (especially ages 12-16 years old), although they should be treated as they are mildly contagious.
– They are only passed on via direct skin to skin contact and can be passed to other people or to other areas of your body (although this is more common when warts appear on the fingers).
– There is a higher risk of passing a verruca  if the skin is damaged or wet.
– Swimming pools are common infection area for verrucas.
– To avoid passing on a verruca, make sure it is covered when you go swimming (either buy a waterproof plaster, duct tape or special verruca sock), wear flip flops when walking barefoot and in the shower and don’t share towels.

For information how to treat foot wart at home or when you should see a podiatrist see this link.

Wart free feet are necessity for all runners, so check you feet regularly!

20 Apr

Do you have broken big toe (fractured hallux)?

Broken 1st & 2nd ToeA broken big toe (fractured hallux) mostly occur as a result of severe impact and often have associated bruising. Sometimes, you don’t have much bruising at all. If after intensive activities, you think your toe may be broken from running or repetitive stress, then it is most likely just a sore bruised toe or a stress fracture, and not a broken toe. The only way to be sure is to have an X-ray, because without an obviously toe deformation it is impossible to know for sure. The danger of misdiagnose is that if the fracture is serious and not properly healed, than you may end up with permanent arthritis in big toe.

Home guide to test for a broken vs bruised big toe (hallux):
1. Feel for a deformity – if it is uneven it is a broken toe.
2. Wiggling your toe – if no severe pain or rubbing/popping sound, may not be a break.
3. If your toe is extremely swollen (about 2x the normal size) – it may be broken.
4. Compare that toe to your other foot, if it looks shorter or bent – it may be broken.
5. Check your temperature – after a break you may have the surrounding area inflammed.

Some suggestions and information about a bruised or fractured big toe (hallux):
– Pain: Instant if fracture or gradual if a stress fracture from running.
– Swelling and stiffness occur very quickly, the toe will not look normal.
– Blood under the nail called a subungual hematoma which needs be drained if swollen, or the nail could fall off and be abnormal for the rest of your life.
– An open fracture with a tear in the skin is extremely prone to infection and will need to be treated with antibiotics at the emergency room by a doctor.
– If the fracture is not properly reduced – you will have permanent arthritis, it is better to play it safe and get it X-rayed if it looks really bad!
– Often with fractures of the smaller toes, the people are not aware that they have a fracture.

When to call a podiatrist for a broken big toe (fractured hallux)?
– It is better to be safe than sorry and get an X-ray right off the bat, if in doubt. Probably, you will not need any surgery or the re-attachment of ligaments, but better to be sure. Most people will get arthritis and pain for the rest of their life if big toe is even slightly displaced.
– See doctor without delay if the pain is getting worse, especially after anti-inflammatory treatment and icing  to control inflammation.

When to go to the ER for a broken big toe (fractured hallux)?
– Toes turn white, blue or grey colored — arterial injury
– Numbness or tingling — nerve injury
– Play it safe and go get an X-ray right off the bat, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Follow this link to see information about home remedies and treatments of broken big toe.

Runners, your healthy toes are a key to successful running.

19 Apr

Do you have a swollen painful toe?

There may be many medical reasons for a swollen toe. It could be due to a traumatic injury, overuse injury or even an underlying medical condition. The toes consist of three bones called the phalanges, with the exception of the big toe (or hallux) which contains only 2. These bones are held together by ligaments. Tendons also pass through the toes and connect to these bones to allow movement when the muscles within the foot and lower leg contract. You will also find nerves and blood vessels in the toes.

Gout in right big toe, with advanced swelling

Gout in right big toe, with advanced swelling (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Traumatic injuries
In case you have dropped something on your toe, or been involved in a traumatic incident such as a tackle or a car accident, then a swollen toe could indicate:
A broken toe
– Bruising of the bone or surrounding soft tissue
– A ligament injury if the toe was bent backwards or twisted e.g. turf toe
– Overuse injuries comes on gradually, rather than after a specific incident. Pain gradually increases.
Metatarsalgia
– Tendonitis – inflammation of one of the tendons in the toe.
– Bursitis – often secondary to a hammer toe and located on the top of the second toe.

Some medical conditions may result in swelling in the feet and toes:
Gout – other symptoms will include redness, heat and pain.
Arthritis
Infection
Venous thrombosis (blood clot)
Allergic reaction (to anything from medications, to food, to insect bites).

Treatment of a swollen painful toe
Specific treatment will depend on the cause of the swelling. Visit your doctor or a sports injury specialist for an assessment, particularly if you suspect it may be any of the medical conditions listed above. If the swelling is as a result of a traumatic injury, swelling can be reduced by resting, applying cold therapy and elevating the foot.

This link will help you to find treatments and solutions for swollen painful toe.

So, runners keep you feet healthy.

18 Apr

Do you have callus foot pain?

Itchy foot calluses are formations of thick skin on the foot. Many joggers, runners, or diabetics may experience even form a callus blister, this is when a blister forms underneath the callus and a blood pocket or an ulcer can form leading to more serious problems. Callus symptoms can be more painful when blister forms underneath it than expected for callus alone.
Painful Callus underneath the 2nd Metatarsal Phalangeal Joint
foot corn (aka heloma) vs callus

Calluses are a painful thickening of the skin underneath the pressure areas of the foot. Skin callus can be large and spread out, whereas a corn is more pinpoint, small and hard.

callus vs. wart

Skin lines go through a callus, whereas if you have a wart, the skin lines go around the wart. The plantar wart also displays little red “dots” that are blood vessel growth into the wart. The callus should not have any red “dots”.

What may cause formation of calluses?

Walking barefoot or without socks, poorly stitched or tight shoes.

Wearing loose shoes or sandals .

High heels that can cause pressure or friction. Accessories can prevent this.

High arched feet form calluses under the fifth toe and under the heel.

Flat foot is the primary cause of increased pressure in areas of the foot, especially everywhere in the forefoot and inside of the foot and heel.

What is the home treatment of skin calluses and when you should ask for help podiatrist you may find in this link!

Callus free feet are important for all active people like runners. So, take a good care of your feet.

17 Apr

Runners, do you have painful and sore blisters on foot or toes?

For all active runners, painful blisters on the foot or toe are a common problem caused by friction from new shoes or clothing, which rubs repeatedly on the same area of skin. In normal situation, small blisters usually do resolve and heal by themselves if you stop putting stress on them. However, if a blister is larger, and has some obvious fluid buildup, then it might just be best to drain it so that more pressure doesn’t spread the blister. In extreme situation, large area blister may require for proper healing professional treatment to prevent any infections.

blisters

Painful blisters (Photo credit: K·FREE)

The following link contains a complete guide for treatment of painful, itchy foot blisters, on blister prevention and foot accessory advice.

For all runners, blister free happy feet are very important to fully enjoy and relax while being active.