Too Embarrassed to Ask: 5 Questions About Your Feet

We’ve all had questions we’ve been too embarrassed to ask. Whether it’s about our health, a personal issue, or just a general question, we’ve all been there.  The podiatrists at Triad Foot Center have heard it all and there’s never a question that’s “too embarrassing,” especially when it concerns your health. To help break the ice, our podiatrists are revealing the answers to questions some of our patients were totally embarrassed to ask.

  • My feet stink! I shower regularly and have good hygiene. Why can’t I beat the stench? Bacteria on your feet is the likely culprit for the less-than-pleasant odor. When sweat and bacteria combine, it creates the nose-curling scent. If you suffer from hyperhidrosis ( the medical term for excessive sweating) your podiatrist can give you a prescription for a foot antiperspirant, or administer Botox injections, to keep the smell at bay. You can also try using foot powder to help soak up excess perspiration or soaking your feet for 10 minutes daily in black tea. The black tea will help to shrink the sweat glands in your feet.

  • The bone at the base of my big toe is protruding. Not only is it unsightly, it’s painful in many of my shoes, especially my high heels. Does this mean I need to give up my beloved high heels?  The bony protrusion is a bunion, and your high heels aren’t going to make it any better.  If you want to avoid the pain and prevent the bunion from worsening, try choosing shoes with wider toe boxes and lower heels (think flats, kitten heels, or platforms). If your bunion is painful, you should see your podiatrist. There are several different methods to help alleviate the pain and correct the bunion.

 

  • My feet seem to be getting bigger! What gives?  If you’re in your 30s, you can thank “getting older” for the increase in your foot size. The tendons and ligaments in your foot begin to lose their elasticity in your 30s, which will cause your arch to fall and your feet to subsequently spread. If you’re pregnant or have recently been pregnant, you can also blame your little bundle of joy. Pregnancy can cause your feet to enlarge as much as a half to a full size. For many people, their feet will remain that size postpartum. A pregnancy hormone called hormone relaxin causes the ligaments in your body to lengthen, which causes your feet to spread.

 

  • My feet tingle and go numb sometimes. Should I be worried?  Tingling and numbness is a common occurrence for those with diabetes but it doesn’t mean you necessarily have that medical condition. If you experience numbness when taking off your shoes, it could simply mean that your shoes are too tight and the shoes are pushing against the nerves located at the top of your feet. Your diet could also be to blame. Inflammatory foods or gluten allergies can cause tingling as it affects your peripheral nerves, and certain vitamin B deficiencies can also cause the tingles.

 

  • I heard a strain of the HPV virus can be lurking in the gym showers, along with athlete’s foot. Is that true?  It’s true! The gym locker room is teeming with germs, so make sure you always wear your shower shoes! Plantar warts are caused by a strain of HPV (no, not the kind that causes cervical cancer) and the virus can thrive on the damp floor of the gym locker room. Also, be sure to routinely clean your shower shoes with a disinfectant or soap and water and let them air-dry at home to prevent an accidental infection.

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