Sunburn Feet – Be Careful

June 27, 2006 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 

Last weekend we had two days of temperatures over 104 degrees. Like most people, I wear sandals most of the day. Whether working in the garden or out and about, sandals are comfortable. It doesn’t take long and I have my typical tan lines on my feet.
Images_10     It is easy to forget to pay attention to out feet when out in the sun. Applying sunscreen, we rub it on all the usual places, face, shoulders, arms, and legs—but can easily overlook the tops of out feet. After the first time you end the day with badly sunburned feet you’ll swear to never forget to lather them with sunscreen too—until the next summer you do the same thing.
     My recommendation is a waterproof sunscreen. Whatever you use on the rest of your exposed areas should be fine. Rub it on well, down between your toes, around the sides of your feet, and over the tops. Reapply it as per the directions. Getting sunburned on your toes and the tops of your feet can be painful—especially when Monday comes and you go back to shoes.
     A few minutes of attention to protecting your feet from sunburn will make them Happy Feet. By the way, the feet pictured are not mine.

FIXING YOUR FEET E-zine: When Blisters Go Bad, Smelly Feet, and more

June 22, 2006 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Foot Care, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 


Volume 6, Issue 6, June 2006
John Vonhof, Footwork Publications
Copyright, June 2006, All rights reserved


My editorial talks about how When Blisters Go Bad, an important article
as we spend more time on out feet during the summer. An article by
Twyla Carolan talks about smelly feet. There is one photo in the Bad
Feet section, one items in Non-feet Good Stuff, and reader feedback.


The Fixing Your Feet E-zine is published monthly to inform and educate
athletes and non-athletes about proper foot care skills and techniques,
provide tips on foot care, review foot care products, and highlight
problems people have with their feet.

Read more

Keep Your Feet Dry

June 22, 2006 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 

Summer is officially here—and many involved in walking, running, hiking, adventure racing, doing a triathlon, or any other sport where shoes and socks are worn, will have damp or wet feet.

     I am urging you to go to your sock drawer and throw out any socks that are not moisture wicking—or at least put them aside for the summer. Usually these are cotton. Visit your friendly Images_9 outdoor store, running store, or camping store, and get a few pairs of synthetic blend or wool socks which will take the moisture away from your skin and move it to the outside of your socks. Wet feet, from perspiration or water (from any source), will make your feet more prone to blisters. Dry feet, on the other hand, have less friction, and therefore, are less prone to blisters.

     If you find your feet are getting hot spots or blisters, this is the first thing I would check. Of course, humidity can also contribute to dampness. Socks will only help so much. Your feet will be somewhat clammy, but, you want to avoid overly damp and wet feet. Damp and wet socks that hold moisture against the skin will lead to skin problems and blisters – so do yourself a favor and wear moisture wicking socks. Almost every quality store carries several brands of these socks now days. You should have no trouble finding them.

When Blisters Go Bad

June 15, 2006 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Footcare 

Blister on the feet are very common, whether on children, teens, or adults. They can occur from all types of footwear in all types of situations, from everyday activities to extreme sports. Occasionally, blister go bad.

2591234_cwank1web      Several years ago Hillary Swank was filming Million Dollar Baby and while training, developed a blister on one of her feet. She ignored it and it festered into a raging infection. Hillary ended up in the hospital for treatment. Ignoring the simple blister could have resulted in the loss of her foot from infection.

    Then last week, the British Medical Journal published evidence of two cases of children suffering toxic shock syndrome from blisters on their football boots. They describe two cases of toxic shock syndrome (TSS) in children after playing football in new boots. Both developed friction blisters over their Achilles tendons. The blisters contained Staphylococcus aureus, which in one case was found to express the toxic shock syndrome gene (TSS1).

     In the first case, a 13-year-old girl developed friction blisters over both heels after playing a competitive game of football in new boots. She was admitted to her local hospital after developing a range of symptoms including fever, rash, abnormally low blood pressure (hypotension), vomiting and diarrhea. Further examination revealed a blister, 2cm in diameter, over each of her Achilles tendons containing the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus with the toxic shock syndrome gene (TSS1). A diagnosis of toxic shock syndrome was made and she was treated with antibiotics.

     In the second case, a healthy 11-year-old boy played football in a new pair of boots, causing a blister on his right heel. Over the next two days he developed fever, vomiting and diarrhea, and a rash. Within hours of admission to hospital, his condition deteriorated and his blood pressure fell. Again, pus from the blister on his heel contained Staphylococcus aureus. He also developed a secondary rash during convalescence.

     Toxic shock syndrome has become less common since the link with tampon use was recognised in the 1980s, write the authors. And in children, for whom this association does not apply, the syndrome is rare. But these cases show that the syndrome may follow relatively trivial skin trauma.

Images_8      The lesson here is that blisters are an injury and must be watched for signs of infection. I’d wager that 99.9999% of all blisters heal fine. But if that .0001% is on your foot, or on the foot of someone you know or love, you’d be more careful. Remember, happy feet are blister free feet.

Are Your Feet Pretty?

June 10, 2006 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 

Ok, let’s get right to the point. Summer is here and many of us will be wearing sandals, flip-flops (mentioned in the last post), or going barefoot. You will see your feet—but so will many others. So Feet_188bthe question is, Are your feet pretty?
     Some of you may say, I don’t care, while others while answer with either a Yes or No. Let’s spend a few minutes talking about our answers.
     If you answered, I don’t care, I really can’t argue with you. But… In some cultures, your feet are seen as the window to the soul. I’d point out that good foot care is a health issue that everyone should pay attention to. If you toenails are dirty, untrimmed, picked at, cracked, dry and scaly, yellow or other colors, simple toenail care can go a long ways to getting pretty feet. If you have let your skin go, it may be dry, callused, callused with yellowed or brown coloring, or cracked. Good skin care with lotions or creams, and a callus file or pumice stone, can help. A twice a week self-massage of your feet with lotion can also help restore tone and make them feel better.
     If you answered No, the above steps can also help you. I understand that many of us have feet that won’t win any prizes in a pretty feet contest. We may have inherited long or short toes, irregular shaped toes, or have toes that have lost their toenails due to black toenails from our shoes and sports involvement. We may have bunions, hammertoes, long thin and boney feet, or short and fat feet. Whatever the foot gods have handed us as feet, we still need to take care of them. The tips above about toenail and skin care can help. So can a pedicure.
     If you answered, Yes – good for you. Pretty feet are a nice thing to have.
     If you think your feet are worthy, whether pretty or not, send me a photo and in a future blog, I’ll post some of the pictures. In the mean time, keep your feet happy.

Flip-Flops or Sandals?

June 3, 2006 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 

Warm weather is here and with it comes flip-flops and sandals. These range from the inexpensive throw-away-after-one-year flip flops to more expensive sandals. Given a choice, which are better for your feet?
     Flip-flops, sometimes called thongs (not to be confused with underwear), are typically a piece of foam the shape of a foot and about ½ inch thick, with a rubber piece that come up between the big Images_6and first toe and extends to the sides. They are a simple design. As your foot moves through a footstrike, the heel often comes up and slaps your heel, making the tell-tale flip-flop noise. They offer no support, little cushioning, and no degree of control over the motion of the foot and ankle. Depending on the wearer, their toes may curl against the foam to keep the flip-flops in place. They may also be worn tight on the foot to keep them from coming off.
     Variations on the flip-flop included designs with a strap over the top of the foot, a loop to hold one or two toes in place, nubs on the top of the foam to massage the feet, and various types of foam for durability.
     Flip-flops are fine for around the house and at the beach. Too many people wear them out in public when they should have tossed them a long time ago. The foam is compressed down to nothing and the foot seems to roll off the top. As you step down from a curb or over a rock on a trail, there is nothing to control where your foot goes.
Images1_3     Sandals, on the other hand, with their variety of straps and strapping methods, offer more support and control. Usually, the sole is stronger and thicker, offering cushioning, can be safely worn on trails. Many sandals have a strap around the heel that locks the sandal on the foot. With well made sandals that have a good strapping system, stepping down from a curb or over a rock on a trail will provide a small degree of support and control. Strapping variations include toe loops, quick-release buckles, and straps over the forefoot and around the heel, or just over the forefoot.
Images3     Sandals also offer a classier look in public. Many people wear sandals everywhere and with all types of clothes.
     Given a choice, I’d choose sandals over flip-flops any day.
     Of course, if you are going to wear flip-flops or sandals, make sure your skin and nails are well cared for. Nothing says “poor foot care” more than unclipped toenails, toenails with fungus, heels full of calluses, or an obvious case of athlete’s foot. Previous blogs have discussed Dry and Cracked Feet?, Filing Toenails, and Trimming Toenails – It’s Not That Hard!.    

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