Causes and Effective Treatments for Cracked Heels

Cracked heels, a common foot ailment, can be both unsightly and uncomfortable. These painful fissures occur when the skin on the heels becomes dry and thick, and loses its natural elasticity. While cracked heels may seem like a cosmetic concern, ignoring them can lead to infection or more severe issues if left untreated. Several factors contribute to the development of cracked heels. The primary cause is inadequate moisture, often made worse by dry weather, excessive foot soaking, or harsh soaps that strip the skin of its natural oils. Overweight individuals and those who stand for prolonged periods may also be more susceptible due to increased pressure on the heels. Treating cracked heels involves a multifaceted approach. Hydration is key, so moisturize your feet regularly with a thick, emollient foot cream. Exfoliate gently using a pumice stone to remove dead skin. Wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes with proper arch support to alleviate pressure. If you have developed cracked heels, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who may recommend prescription creams or therapies to address underlying issues. 

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Dean Kim, DPM from Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How Do You Get Them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Frisco, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels

The Complex Anatomy of Your Feet and Ankles

Our feet and ankles are marvels of engineering, combining intricate structures to support our weight and facilitate movement. The remarkable anatomy of the foot consists of 26 bones, comprising the tarsal, metatarsal, and phalangeal bones, forming arches that provide stability and flexibility. Ligaments connect these bones, acting like tough rubber bands to hold the structure together. Meanwhile, muscles and tendons play a crucial role in moving the foot and toes. The ankle joint forms where the lower leg meets the foot, connecting the tibia and fibula to the talus bone. Ligaments here ensure stability, while the Achilles tendon at the back enables powerful movements, such as running and jumping. Understanding the intricate web of bones, ligaments, muscles, and tendons in your feet and ankles can help you appreciate their importance. If you would like additional knowledge about the biomechanics of the feet and ankles, it is suggested that you speak with a podiatrist.

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dean Kim, DPM from Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Frisco, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about The Importance of Biomechanics in Podiatry

It's Time for Beautiful Feet

You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails. Step outside without worrying about the appearance of your feet.

A Guide to Treating Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis, a common and often debilitating foot condition, can bring your daily life to a halt due to severe heel pain. Fortunately, various treatment options are available to help you regain your comfort and mobility. Conservative measures like rest and taking anti-inflammatory medications can help to alleviate discomfort. Wearing supportive footwear with proper arch support and cushioning can significantly reduce strain on the plantar fascia. Stretching exercises that target the calf muscles and Achilles tendon can also provide relief by loosening tight structures around the foot. Custom orthotics may be recommended to support the arch and distribute pressure evenly. In rare cases, when conservative treatments are not sufficient, medical interventions such as cortico-steroid injections or surgery may be considered. Plantar fasciitis can be challenging, but with the right approach and patience, you can overcome it and return to a pain-free, active lifestyle. If you have heel pain, it is suggested that you contact a podiatrist who can effectively diagnose and treat plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Dean Kim, DPM  from Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Frisco, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis

Causes and Risk Factors of Foot Stress Fractures

Stress fractures are microscopic cracks in bones, and can significantly impact foot health and mobility. These fractures are often the result of repetitive strain and overuse, which can gradually weaken the bones. Athletes, especially runners and dancers, are susceptible to developing a foot stress fracture, as a result of the constant impact on their feet. Sudden increases in activity intensity or duration can also trigger stress fractures. Factors such as wearing improper footwear, inadequate rest between activities, and poor foot structure can lead to a heightened risk of incurring a stress fracture. Additionally, medical conditions such as osteoporosis can reduce bone density, and increase vulnerability. Individuals with certain nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, or a history of stress fractures can face an elevated risk. Preventative measures include proper training progression, adequate nutrition, and wearing supportive shoes. If you have a foot stress fracture, it is suggested that you confer with a podiatrist who can effectively treat this condition. 

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact Dean Kim, DPM from Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain free and on your feet.

How Are They Caused?

Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon.  Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
  • Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
  • Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures

Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Frisco, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Dealing With Overlapping Toes

An overlapping toe, whether in adults or newborns, is a common condition with varying causes. In adults, overlapping toes can result from heredity, ill fitting shoes, and different forms of arthritis, including rheumatoid. Biomechanics, such as overpronation or tight calf muscles are other possible causes. Foot conditions, such as bunions, flat feet, hammer toes, and high arches, may cause overlapping toes to develop. Factors such as age and foot injuries can worsen this condition. Overlapping toes can also affect newborns, typically involving the pinky toe overlapping the fourth toe. Genetics and fetal position in the womb can contribute to this condition too. Complications of overlapping toes include pain, corns, calluses, bursitis, and metatarsalgia. Prompt treatment is essential to prevent these complications and to ensure proper alignment of the toes. Non surgical measures include proper shoe fitting, toe separators, and maintaining a healthy body weight. In some cases, surgery may be an option. If you are experiencing overlapping toes, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.

Toe pain can disrupt your daily activities. If you have any concerns, contact Dean Kim, DPM of Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Causes Toe Pain?

Most severe toe pain is caused due to a sports injury, trauma from dropping something heavy on the toe, or bumping into something rigid. Other problems can develop over time for various reasons.

Toe pain can be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Trauma
  • Sports injury
  • Wearing shoes that are too tight
  • Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Corns and calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Blisters
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Sprains
  • Fractures (broken bones)
  • Dislocations

When to See a Podiatrist

  • Severe pain
  • Persistent pain that lasts more than a week
  • Signs of infection
  • Continued swelling
  • Pain that prevents walking

Diagnosis

In many cases the cause of toe pain is obvious, but in others, a podiatrist may want to use more advanced methods to determine the problem. These can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatments for toe pain and injuries vary and may include shoe inserts, padding, taping, medicines, injections, and in some cases, surgery. If you believe that you have broken a toe, please see a podiatrist as soon as possible.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Frisco, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Toe Pain

Fall Causes for Seniors and Prevention Strategies

For seniors, falls can pose serious risks to both physical health and independence. Understanding the underlying causes is pivotal in designing effective prevention strategies. Factors consisting of muscle weakness, poor balance, and reduced vision can play a significant role. Medication side effects, particularly dizziness or drowsiness, can also contribute to falling. Additionally, hazardous home environments, clutter, and uneven surfaces also heighten the risk. There are methods that can be implemented to prevent falling. Engaging in a regular exercise routine can help to enhance strength and balance. Vision checks and reviewing medications with a healthcare provider can be beneficial in reducing risks. Modifying the home environment by installing handrails, improving lighting, and reducing clutter fosters safety. By addressing these causes and adopting preventive measures, seniors can confidently navigate life while minimizing the risk of falls. If you would like more information about effective fall prevention techniques, it is suggested that you confer with a podiatrist.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with Dean Kim, DPM from Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Frisco, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Falls Prevention

Do Your Child's Feet Hurt?

Have your child's feet been examined lately? Healthy feet are happy feet. If your child is complaining of foot pain, it may be a sign of underlying problems.

Sesamoiditis and Big Toe Pain

Sesamoiditis is a condition that affects the sesamoid bones, which are located under the base of the big toe. These bones, enclosed within tendons, can become inflamed due to an acute injury or chronic overuse. Other possible causes of this affliction include stress fractures, infection, or autoimmune disorders. Symptoms often include pain during walking, or when forcefully pulling the big toe upwards, causing pressure on the sesamoid bones. Relief may come from wearing shoes with adequate cushioning, using shoe inserts or orthotics, rest, and taking anti-inflammatory medication. If more conservative treatments are not successful, surgery may be an option. If you have pain in your big toe, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Sesamoiditis is an unpleasant foot condition characterized by pain in the balls of the feet. If you think you’re struggling with sesamoiditis, contact Dean Kim, DPM of Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. Our doctor will treat your condition thoroughly and effectively.

Sesamoiditis

Sesamoiditis is a condition of the foot that affects the ball of the foot. It is more common in younger people than it is in older people. It can also occur with people who have begun a new exercise program, since their bodies are adjusting to the new physical regimen. Pain may also be caused by the inflammation of tendons surrounding the bones. It is important to seek treatment in its early stages because if you ignore the pain, this condition can lead to more serious problems such as severe irritation and bone fractures.

Causes of Sesamoiditis

  • Sudden increase in activity
  • Increase in physically strenuous movement without a proper warm up or build up
  • Foot structure: those who have smaller, bonier feet or those with a high arch may be more susceptible

Treatment for sesamoiditis is non-invasive and simple. Doctors may recommend a strict rest period where the patient forgoes most physical activity. This will help give the patient time to heal their feet through limited activity. For serious cases, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine a treatment option that will help your specific needs.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Frisco, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Sesamoiditis

Minor Ankle Injuries in Children

An ankle sprain occurs in a child when the ligaments surrounding the ankle joint get stretched or torn, often due to a fall with the foot twisted onto its outer edge. When the fibula is affected, it may lead to a minor ankle fracture, which can be a break in the growth plate or a chip from the tip of the fibula. The symptoms of a minor ankle injury include difficulty walking, mild to severe pain, reduced ankle movement, swelling, bruising, and tenderness around the affected areas. Treatment for minor ankle injuries involves rest, compression, and elevation, and ankle braces or crutches may be used for support during the healing process. Pain management can be achieved with over-the-counter pain medications. A return to the child’s activities and sports is dependent on pain levels and the ability to perform without discomfort. If your child has a sprained ankle, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for a detailed examination, diagnosis, and treatment.

Although ankle sprains are common, they aren’t always minor injuries. If you need your ankle injury looked at, contact Dean Kim, DPM from Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains are the result of a tear in the ligaments within the ankle. These injuries may happen when you make a rapid shifting movement while your foot is planted. A less common way to sprain your ankle is when your ankle rolls inward while your foot turns outward.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Pain at the sight of the tear
  • Bruising/Swelling
  • Ankle area is tender to touch
  • In severe cases, may hear/feel something tear
  • Skin discoloration

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

In many cases, the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate) is used to treat ankle sprains. However, you should see a podiatrist to see which treatment option would work best with your injury. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

It is important to ask your doctor about rehab options after you receive treatment for your injury. Stretching, strength training, and balance exercises may help the ankle heal while also preventing further injury.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Frisco, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Ankle Sprains

Connect With Us