Monthly Archives: June 2011

Pedicures, Preventing Infection and Your Podiatrist

Skincare of a beauty female feet with camomile's flower

Skincare of a beauty female feet with camomile’s flower

With things heating up in Jacksonville, FL, from wildfires to the summer heat, many of us will be sliding into our favorite flip-flops and showing off our toes.  The American Podiatric Medical Association has released a set of Do’s and Don’ts for pedicures. Dr. Vimal Reddy has found that the common theme in all of these tips is to watch out for infectious germs, from bacteria or fungi. Here are the highlights Dr. Reddy at the First Coast Foot & Ankle Clinic picked out:

1.     Trim your toenails straight across, not tapered: Nails want to grow straight out. If your toenails are rounded, they can start to grow sideways into your skin, which hurts! This is also an open invitation for a bacterial infection and the pain level will only increase from there.

2.     Use clean tools: If the salon is not properly sterilizing their tools, bring your own. Also, never share emery boards, because they are porous and can trap germs. Finally, don’t use the same tools for a manicure as for a pedicure, because that can transfer germs from your feet to your hands….Yuck!

3.     Not too dry, not too wet: Moisturizing creams will help dry feet.  Just be careful not to keep your feet confined in a damp environment (especially between the toes!) since this creates an ideal breeding ground for fungi.

4.     Thick discolored nails?: You might have a fungus. If this sounds like you, check in with Dr. Reddy to come up with a treatment regimen to eradicate the unwelcome guest living in your toenail!

Pigeon Toed?…. Not Forever!

046 pigeontoesHave you noticed your child’s toes point inward?  Is your son or daughter pigeon toed? Dr. Vimal Reddy will be able to identify one of the three reasons your child’s feet are doing this.

As children’s legs develop from infancy into adolescence, the bones undergo various twists and turns. Inward pointing toes, or intoeing, may be due to one or more of the following:

  • Inward twisting of the thigh bone (the femur)
  • Inward twisting of the shin bone (the tibia)
  • Inward pointing of the front bones of the foot (the metatarsals)

Will my child grow out of this? In the majority of cases, yes. The bones of the feet will likely straighten out before age 2, while the bones of the shin and thigh might take a bit longer—age 6. The thigh is especially tricky since it twists in such a way that intoeing may not become obvious until age 5. Your First Coast pediatrician will be a valuable resource in helping you decide if you need to watch and wait, or if you need to seek the help of a podiatrist.

While intoeing will usually not cause pain or arthritis, it may lead to children stumbling as they catch their toes on their heels. In each of these cases, treatment generally consists of casting with or without bars. The purpose of these treatment schemes is to gradually guide the bones into a more functional position. It’s important not to wait, since, by age 7 or 8, the bones a child has will be the bones he or she takes into adulthood. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary. Dr. Reddy at the First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic will be able to help you decide what treatment is best, if any is needed at all.

The Importance of Checking your Blood Sugar

045 Blood Sugar-1With diabetes on the rise, it is important more then ever for diabetics to manage their health by keeping their blood sugar (or bloodglucose) under control. To do this, patients need to check their blood glucose regularly. Here at the First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic, we take the same position as the American Diabetes Association:

  1. Check your blood glucose daily
  2. Keep a log to monitor how it changes from day to day

By keeping a close watch over your blood glucose, you are doing something of vital importance for your over-all health, including your feet.  Unfortunately, many people in Jacksonville, FL have trouble maintaining the daily regimen recommended due to:

  • Checking your glucose can be painful: To minimize the pain, try to draw blood from different sites each day.
  • Glucose test strips are not cheap: If you have difficulty paying for test strips, at the very least try to check your blood glucose three times a week.

People who do not control their blood glucose are at risk for losing sensation in their feet—a disease called peripheral neuropathy. Without the ability to sense pain, touch, or pressure in your feet, you won’t be able to know if you are doing something that is hurting your foot. At this point, foot care becomes extremely important because of the heightened possibility of injuries and infection.

Being diagnosed with diabetes can seem like a life-altering event, but does not mean you cannot continue living a healthy, active, life.          Dr. Reddy can work with your primary care provider to help you manage your diabetes while still getting the most out of your life.