Column: Common fall foot problems


Commentary by Dr. David Sullivan

As fall arrives and the cooler autumn temperatures approach, I will see a shift in the foot conditions prevalent in our office. As our patients change from wearing open-toed shoes like flip-flops and sandals to closed-toed shoes and even boots, the likelihood of certain foot disorders becomes more common.

  • Bunions – Heredity plays some role in this condition, as your parents determine your foot shape. However, our shoes are the main factor that causes painful bunions to form. Women are more likely to get bunions than men. Experts point to high heels as part of the problem. Squeezing toes into pumps or shoes with narrow space for toes can cause bunions or make them more prevalent and painful.
  • Athlete’s foot – Closed shoes are warm, dark and often moist, which is bacteria and fungus’ favorite breeding ground. Infections like athlete’s foot are common in patients who do not change their shoes and socks or do not wash their feet daily with soap and water. Another contributing factor is that people often move their workouts indoors during the fall. If you are one of the many people who work out at a gym, always wear shower shoes in the locker room or shower areas. Keeping feet covered will reduce the risk of these infections that spread through direct contact.
  • Ingrown toenails – Tight or narrow shoes can compress your feet, putting lots of pressure on your toes. Being in this position for extended periods can cause your nail to cut back into the skin surrounding the nailbed. Keep your nails trimmed short (but not too short) and cut them straight across to help minimize the risk.

If you’re dealing with any of the above issues, don’t hesitate to contact our office for an appointment. The sooner we see the issue, the sooner we can ensure you have a comfortable fall foot season.


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