OC Feet News

Posts for: August, 2014

Buying children's shoesWith kids back in school after a summer of bare feet and sandals, parents are shopping for shoes for feet that seem to have grown longer in just a few months. To help busy parents with shoe choices, Orange County Foot & Ankle Group recommends some simple guidelines to prevent or minimize possible foot problems from inappropriate shoes, such as painful ingrown toenails, blisters, heel pain and flat feet.

When choosing kids’ shoes, size and shock absorption are the key considerations, especially if your child has flat feet that can worsen from improper fitting or worn-out shoes. Also, a child’s foot can grow a size or two within six months, so it’s critical to allow room for growth in the toe box—about a finger’s width from the longest toe.

Avoid too-snug shoes

Snug shoes can pressure on the toes, causing ingrown nails. The nail can compress and grow down into the skin. According to FootHealthFacts.org, the ACFAS consumer website, infection can occur when an ingrown nail breaks through the skin.

If there’s pain, redness and fluid draining from the area, it’s probably infected. The ingrown nail can be removed in a simple, in-office procedure. Don’t try to remove a child’s ingrown nail at home; this can cause the condition to worsen.

Tight-fitting shoes also cause blisters, corns and calluses on the toes and blisters on the back of the heels.

We suggest to avoid buying shoes that feel tight and uncomfortable in the store, and not assume they will stretch or break in over time. On the other hand, shoes that are too loose can cause problems, too.

Avoid too-loose shoes

If a shoe is too loose, the foot slides forward and puts excessive pressure on the toes.

Inspect Old Shoes for Wear

We also recommend parents carefully inspect both new and old shoes to check for proper cushioning and arch support.

Shoes lose their shock absorption over time, and wear and tear around the edges of the sole usually indicates it’s worn out and should be replaced. If a child keeps wearing worn-out or non-supportive dress or athletic shoes, it elevates the risk for developing heel pain, Achilles tendonitis and even ankle sprains and stress fractures.   

Tips for Buying New Shoes

  • The toe box should flex easily and the shoe shouldn’t bend in the middle of the sole.
  • For children with flat feet, we suggest parents should buy oxford, lace-up shoes that have enough depth for an orthotic insert, if necessary.
  • Unfortunately, there isn’t much choice for kids with flat, wide feet. They need shoes with a wide toe box and maximum arch support and shock absorption. Slip-on loafers aren’t right for them.

For more information about childhood foot care, contact Orange County Foot & Ankle Group at one of our Our Locations in the OC area, or  learn more about feet issues in our Patient Education libary.

Sandy summer feetSummer in sunny Orange County just wouldn't be the same without kicking off your shoes or sandals. Parents and families can prevent cuts, puncture wounds and other injuries from going barefoot by following some simple tips from OC Feet.

1. See a foot and ankle surgeon within 24 hours for a puncture wound.

These injuries can embed unsterile foreign objects deep inside the foot. A puncture wound must be cleaned properly and monitored throughout the healing process. This will help to avoid complications, such as tissue and bone infections or damage to tendons and muscles in the foot. Foot and ankle surgeons are trained to properly care for these injuries.

2. Make sure you've been vaccinated against tetanus. Experts recommend teens and adults get a booster shot every 10 years.

Cuts and puncture wounds from sharp objects can lead to infections and illnesses such as tetanus.

3. Apply sunscreen to the tops and bottoms of your feet.

Feet get sunburn too. Rare but deadly skin cancers can develop on the feet.

4. Inspect your feet and your children's feet on a routine basis for skin problems such as warts, calluses, ingrown toenails and suspicious moles, spots or freckles.

The earlier a skin condition is detected, the easier it is for your foot and ankle surgeon to treat it.

5. Wear flip-flops or sandals around swimming pools, locker rooms and beaches.

To avoid cuts and abrasions from rough anti-slip surfaces and sharp objects hidden beneath sandy beaches, and to prevent contact with bacteria and viruses that can cause athlete's foot, plantar warts, and other problems.

6. Use common sense.

Every year, people lose toes while mowing the lawn barefoot. Others suffer serious burns from accidentally stepping on stray campfire coals or fireworks. Murky rivers, lakes and ponds can conceal sharp objects underwater. People with diabetes should never go barefoot, even indoors, because their nervous system may not "feel" an injury and their circulatory system will struggle to heal breaks in the skin.

For more info about puncture wounds, plantar warts, diabetic foot care and other topics can be found in our Patient Education section.

Making an appointment is easy, just go to our appointment page on line.