“Should I See A Podiatrist?”

In the busy state of Texas, we are always on our feet: commuting to work, going to the gym, running around with the kids, walking the dog, and much more. There are 26 bones in our feet, each one bearing the brunt of our weight every day! For nearly 8 out of 10 people in the US, foot pain simply doesn’t go away. It can even prevent us from being as active as we would like to be! How do you know when a trip to see Dr. Scott McKinney at McKinney Podiatric Associates, P.A. is really necessary? Here are some helpful tips to know when it’s time to schedule your next appointment:

  1. Knowing how to perform self-care on aches and pains is a valuable skill. Giving yourself a foot rub is quick, easy, and free! Filling the tub with warm water takes just minutes, and soaking your feet in the water is blissful. This can increase blood flow to the feet to reduce swelling and discomfort. But when a nightly foot rub or a soak in warm water doesn’t really relieve your discomfort, it’s time to schedule an appointment with McKinney Podiatric Associates, P.A.
  2. Over the counter pain medication is an easy resource for minor foot pain. When taking over the counter pain medication at the suggested dose, it can offer us relief. However, relying on over the counter medication for long term relief isn’t ideal for everyone and it won’t always ease your discomfort entirely. If you find yourself frequently relying on over the counter pain medication to relieve your foot pain, it’s time to schedule an appointment with McKinney Podiatric Associates, P.A.
  3. Shoe inserts are a quick solution to manage minor foot pain. Found in grocery and convenience stores, shoe inserts target different painful areas of the foot. They can relieve minor fatigue from a long day on your feet. However, they cannot repair or treat underlying issues. If you find yourself with persistent pain and discomfort even after purchasing a pair of shoe inserts, it’s time to schedule an appointment with McKinney Podiatric Associates, P.A.
  4. When foot pain strikes, the body has a natural instinct to rest. Taking time off from any physical activity can relieve minor foot pain. When resting, elevating one or both feet above your heart not only feels good, but allows the blood to flow more easily, can reduce swelling, and ease discomfort. If you take time to rest and your foot pain persists, it’s time to schedule an appointment with McKinney Podiatric Associates, P.A.

Though there are many ways to relieve minor aches and pains in the feet that are easy and free, Dr. McKinney and associates offer specialized services that take foot pain management to the next level. If you’re like the 8 out 10 people in the U.S. whose foot pain does not go away with minor pain management, visiting our doctors is the next step in caring for your painful feet. Call us today at (713) 946-1500 and address your persistent foot pain at McKinney Podiatric Associates, P.A.

Veiny Feet: What Does Normal Look Like?

At McKinney Podiatric Associates we encourage our patients to visually explore their feet from all angles, at several different times throughout each day.

Take a note of various temperatures and how the heat and cold will change the size and shape of the veins on the top of your feet, and along both the inside and outside of your ankles.  Patients often express concern if their veins appear thicker, darker blue beneath the skin, and more pronounced in general.

Most of the time, a minor change in the appearance of the foot’s veins is no cause for alarm, however it is vitally important to report any sudden or alarming changes in the color of your skin, especially when combined with excessive or pillowy swelling on the tops of feet.  These symptoms might indicate a more complex problem affiliated with vasicular circulation health and must addressed with a care provider.

Many afflictions of the foot have common symptoms, and can be treated in different ways (often, incorrectly) with home remedies.  We urge you to call our main phone number (713) 946-1500 to schedule an appointment for routine check ups and for any of your footcare needs or visit us at our seven conveniently located Texas offices to have the veins of your feet examined, and to help you ease your mind.

Ahead of your appointment, grab a paper and pen to take note of a few important things. This way you can share the details with the podiatrist easily.

Take Notes If You Are Experiencing the Following:

  • Swelling of the veins especially if accompanied by pain or tingling sensation.
  • Abnormal Sensitivity to pressure such as a light touch on skin surface.
  • Redness and swelling of the fleshy part of the top of foot.
  • Softened nail beds or nails whose pink color turns pale.
  • Nail beds that appear white for more that a few seconds when manually depressed downward.
  • Trauma, or Injury.
  • Hard to resolve or persistent hygienic problems.
  • Poor nail hygiene (scrub with a clean nail brush daily and closely monitor the nail for changes).

Schedule with the best podiatrists in Texas by clicking here.

New Patients can save time by clicking here.

Read up about the Podiatrists at all our locations here. 

As always, Mckinney Podiatric Associates welcomes you for all of your foot health concerns.  Nobody should suffer when they don’t have to.

Thank you for your continued trust in Mckinney Podiatric Associates.

Your Toenail Took the Wrong Exit- Now What?

Ingrown nails are a common source of toe pain. Why didn’t the stubborn nail just stop and ask for directions before burrowing, painfully into the outskirts of your poor, throbbing toe?

Onychocryptosis is the fancy way of saying Ingrown Toenail.  An ingrown toenail is a treatable nail disease.  At McKinney Podiatric Associates we explore some simple and minimally painful ways to help you manage the annoyance of a rebellious toenail who decided to grow in the wrong direction.

The most common complaint from patients about ingrown nails is the aching, throbbing pain experienced throughout the day.  The pain occurs when the nail grows sideways or inward into one or both sides of a nail bed. Sometimes a patient thinks they have an ingrown toenail when they don’t.  In some cases, a thickened skin formation will feel similar to a toenail who took the wrong route.  Since each affliction can be treated in different ways (often, incorrectly) with home remedies, we urge you to call our main phone number (713) 946-1500 to schedule an appointment at the earliest sign of an ingrown nail.

We welcome you to come into one of our seven conveniently located Texas offices to help relieve your pain and to get your toenail back on the correct path.

The condition starts from a microbial inflammation, which means it began its miserable journey as a teeny- tiny bit of swelling under or near the edge of the nail on your innocent toe.

The swelling, no matter how small, can result in a nail that buries itself and grows in an unusual pattern going the opposite direction from the intended destination.

If left untreated, the misdirected nail will eventually penetrate the sensitive flesh of your toe and at this point becomes very painful.  The pain can range from a low ache that comes and goes to a severe and constant ache or sharp burning pain.

Symptoms of an Ingrown Toenail

  • Pain along the edges of the nail
  • More pronounced pain when wearing snug socks of tightly fitted shoes
  • Sensitivity to pressure- even the weight of a sheet or a garment of clothing will hurt
  • A toe-stub that normally would be a minor and momentary injury will cause excruciating pain for the affected toe.

Ingrown nails are likely to become infected so do not wait to get treatment.  Signs that your ingrown guest is already infected include:

  • Redness and swelling
  • Drainage of pus, and watery discharge tinged with blood
  • Advanced swelling that results in a visibly misshapen toe

The cause of these tricky toe troublemakers can vary widely. Some causes known are:

  • Footwear or stockings that pinch or squeeze the toes and foot
  • Damp, enclosed shoes
  • Softened nails from sweat
  • Trauma, or Injury
  • Improper Trimming (straight across is the ONLY proper way!)
  • Poor nail hygiene (scrub with a clean nail brush daily and closely monitor the nail for changes)

You will get better with our help, so stop losing sleep because of your pain.

Our Podiatrists are board certified experts.  Let us take away your worries about your foot health so you can move on to joyous things like your next vacation or day of relaxation. Schedule with the best podiatrists in Texas by clicking here.

New Patients can save time by starting some of the forms by clicking here.

As always, Mckinney Podiatric Associates welcomes you for all of your foot health concerns.  Nobody should suffer when they don’t have to.

Thank you for your continued trust in Mckinney Podiatric Associates.

Simple Diabetic Foot Care

At McKinney Podiatric Associates we offer the most expansive selection of services for all medical issues concerning your feet. Diabetic foot care can seem like a daunting routine, but don’t let your Diabetic foot concerns cause more concern than needed. Living in Texas means you need to know how to care for your feet according to the extreme seasonal changes. We have a few ideas to help you to manage your foot care regimen no matter what the season.

Try to follow these basic guidelines every day in order to ensure your feet are at optimal health.

    • Manage Your Condition – Work closely with your health care providers to monitor your blood and sugar levels.. Luckily for our patients, there are seven convenient locations to serve you.
    • Check Your Feet Every Day – Visually monitor the blemishes and bruising on your bare feet every day. Try doing it after breakfast, to make it into an easy daily routine. Use a mirror to see the bottoms of your feet too!
    • Get Moving – If you are not limited in mobility try adding a short distance walk to your daily routine. Getting active will help in many ways.
    • Wash Your Feet Every Day – Dry each foot thoroughly too.
    • Smooth on Some Moisturizer – Apply lotion to heels and tops of each foot, but avoid too much moisture between toes.
    • Keep Your Toenails Trimmed
    • Wear Socks and Shoes Always – Avoid walking barefoot whenever possible.
    • Protect Your Feet from Weather – In Valley Stream, New York we see extreme weather ranging from sizzling to freezing. Never step onto the icy floor, hot pavement or into hot water before testing it- you may burn your skin without noticing
    • Keep Your Blood Moving – Kick your feet up when sitting. Wiggle your toes and gently move your ankles for a couple minutes, a few times a day. Never cross your legs for long periods of time, and remember to shift your weight often while sitting.
    • Schedule an appointment with McKinney Podiatric Associates.

Routine visits to see a podiatrist will ensure that you address any foot problems you may experience, from aesthetic concerns to vital health issues. These visits give you an opportunity to share your thoughts  about your foot health with Texas’s  best group of board certified podiatrists.

Never Ignore Severe Pain of Sudden Changes in Skin Coloration

Make an appointment  online with our downloadable patient forms, or call our main office at (713) 946-1500.  Our main location is at 3692 East Sam Houston Pkwy S #100 Pasadena, TX 77505.

Summer Toes Can Be Show Stoppers

Summer Toes should be stylish and sassy, but if you want to make your feet a “Total 10” then all 10 toes need a decent, easy to repeat regimen.  Here are the 5 ways to get more gorgeous feet.

Modest toes are happy Toes

When you are able, keep your toes protected from the extreme weather changes we often experience in the Houston Texas area. Luckily for our patients, there are seven convenient locations to serve you. Make sure your toes are not squeezed too hard, and adjust straps shoes to allow plenty of circulation. If your toes are exposed, don’t let the shoe fabric cut into your skin.

If the shoe fits…

Cinderella was an unfair foot comparison because let’s be real, glass slippers would be THE WORST slippers ever.  Even though the story is told as if Cinderella lost a shoe, there is a good chance the poor thing probably just kicked off the glass slippers in hopes to revive her tootsies from the torture she endured while wearing them. Wear shoes that fit to avoid many unsightly problems, like blisters, hammer toes, calluses and discoloration from badly distributed pressure.

Moisturize

Keep a high quality cream specially formulated for dry, cracked heels, and rough skin.  Moisture is beauty.

Pedicure for the boys and the girls

Everyone deserves a treat and a pedicure is a worthy boost to your overall social life, and it stimulates healthy circulation, which adds color and life to your feet.

Schedule with a board certified podiatrist, such as Scott McKinney. Routine visits to see a podiatrist will ensure that you address any foot problems you may experience, from aesthetic concerns to vital health issues. These visits give you an opportunity to share your thoughts about your foot health with the Houston Texas area’s best group of board certified podiatrists.

Make an appointment  online with our downloadable patient forms, or call our main office at  (713) 946-1500.  Our main location is at 3692 East Sam Houston Pkwy S #100 Pasadena, TX 77505. Never ignore severe pain, extreme discoloration or sudden changes in the appearance of feet.  When in doubt, go to the emergency room.

Follow these guidelines and your toes will be gorgeous to step onto the seasonal spotlight.  See you at the foot salon!

 

Ouch a Foot Cramp!

While it may be tempting to blame the cramping of your foot muscles on your long work shift, or the bad support from an ill-fitting shoe, your feet may be cramping your style for an entirely different reason.  Check out these commons cramp causes.

Dehydration

It may seem unlikely that a few gulps of water can heal the debilitating pain of a cramping foot, but this is the most overlooked cause of these aches.  Increasing your liquids substantially will nourish the muscles from within, all the way to your toes.  This is essential for your overall health.  At McKinney Podiatric Associates, P.A., we strive to bring you value and wellness all at once.  Dr. Scott McKinney reminds his patients to consume plenty of water because it could be the difference between suffering and comfort.  Drink up!

Fatigue

Your feet withstand an immense amount of pressure, and in the buzz of a busy day, it’s easy to forget that your aches are sometimes your body’s way of making a simple request for a break.  Put your feet up in short intervals and wiggle your toes gently.  Consciously make an effort to engage your various muscles by slowly pointing and flexing your toes. Then ease your muscles from this engaged, tense state into a relaxed, unwinding state.  If possible, rotate your foot and ankle slowly and feel the blood coursing into your heels and ankles.

Junk Food

It is hard to resist a pepperoni pizza, and we certainly don’t want you to feel deprived, but if you must eat junk foods, then at McKinney Podiatric Associates P.A.  we advise our patients to balance their nutrition with care.  Consume green veggies, lean proteins such as chicken and fish, and add healthy fats found in avocados, nuts, and flax seed oil to your routine. If you follow these simple steps routinely, your feet will thank you.

At McKinney Podiatric Associates, P.A., we believe that nobody should suffer from foot pain. If your aches do not ease up with our suggestions, come see us right away.   To schedule a foot pain consultation, call us at our main office (713) 946-1500. The main office is located 3692 East Sam Houston Pkwy S #100 Pasadena, TX 77505 and we have 8 offices, conveniently located throughout the state of Texas.

Never ignore severe pain!  If your pain is severe you should go to the nearest emergency room.  Schedule regular exams in our office to keep your feet healthy and pain-free.

Bunions

Hallux Abducto Valgus or HAV, is the Latin medical term for a bump on the base of the big toe, commonly known in English as a bunion. Although very common, bunions should not be taken lightly as they are a progressive disorder. A bunion begins with the formation of a bump on the outside base of the big toe, but on the inside, it is actually changing the entire bony framework of the hallux. An x-ray of a bunion shows the deviation of the big toe towards the second toe, throwing the bones out of alignment. If ignored, the foot may become severely deformed. A bunion can also form along the base of the little toe and is known as a ‘bunionette’.

Causes

It was commonly believed that bunions were formed when tight narrow shoes were worn over a long period of time. However, podiatrists are of the opinion that bunions develop due to:

  • faulty foot development
  • an inherited structural defect
  • a medical condition causing stress on the foot
  • arthritis
  • foot injuries
  • wearing high-heeled, pointed shoes which exacerbate the problem
  • standing for long periods of time

Symptoms

  • the development of a bump on the base of the big toe
  • irritated skin on the bump
  • corns caused by overlap of toes
  • pain or soreness when walking
  • inflammation and redness in the joint
  • a burning sensation around the site of the bunion
  • possible numbness
  • difficulty while wearing shoes
  • if left untreated, the foot can hurt in different places

Treatment for Mild to Severe Bunions

Home Remedy Tips:

  • application of a non-medicated pad around the bony prominence
  • application of ice packs to reduce swelling if inflamed and painful
  • wearing shoes with a wide toe box
  • avoiding high-heeled shoes over two inches high

When pain persists, podiatrists recommend:

  • ultrasound therapy, a popular technique to provide relief from the pain
  • acute pain be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone injections
  • padding the bunion and taping the foot to help reduce stress and pain
  • shoe inserts which help reduce symptoms and prevent worsening of the deformity
  • a surgical procedure called a simple bunionectomy, in which the bony prominence is removed
  • the cutting of the bone and realignment of the joint

Dr. Scott McKinney, Dr. Jorge Cuza, Dr. Mark Moss, Dr. Francisco Cuza, Dr. Edna Reyes- Guerrero and Dr. Hina Hissan will take into consideration the extent of the deformity by studying the x-ray results, the lifestyle, health and age of the patient. To help you with your painful bunions make an appointment with our board certified podiatrists at McKinney Podiatric Associates, P.A. We have 8 convenient locations with 3 in Houston, 2 in Pasadena, Baytown, Pearland and Alvin Texas. Contact us today and don’t let bunions slow you down.

 

Why are Kids’ Feet Bigger Now?

So, I don’t know about you, but I have noticed that kids’ feet seem to be bigger these days than in past years.  In fact, when I see children/adolescents, their average shoe sizes are higher than some adults!  Why is this?  Is there something in the milk/food/air/water?  Just for fun, I did a little research to see what the scientific findings out there are pertaining to this subject.

Apparently, our feet ARE bigger now than in past generations.  The nation’s feet have grown significantly, and apparently are bigger and taller these days!  And this may not be a good thing…

In the world of shoes, things are changing, and not always for the better.  Size six is the new four (for women), and size 10 the new eight (for men).  According to The College of Podiatry, our feet are definitely getting bigger, increasing by an average of two sizes in the past forty years.  In the past, a size 14 shoe marked a man out as a giant amongst men.  Not anymore!  Now retailers who used to stop stocking their shelves at a size 12, stock sizes 13 &14 as standard.  Men typically request shoes in sizes 9,10,11, &12 these days, whereas in the past sizes 6 and 7 were common for men.

So, besides messing with the stock of shoes within stores, what does this mean for foot health, and health in general?  One downside of larger feet is that people often try to squeeze their feet into shoes that are too small for them.  Women are especially guilty of this, vanity being the fueling factor much of the time.  The consequences of this are: pain, bunions, foot deformities and joint problems.

The other side of this phenomenon is that our bodies are getting bigger, as well, not just our feet.  Rising obesity is a major health problem in America these days.  With all the extra weight that so many people are carrying, it’s not surprising that feet are spreading to support it!  People that are obese experience many foot problems… the list is long, and they are often uncomfortable.

So, perhaps the answer is better food choices being made during childhood.  Lack of hormone-laden foods is a smart idea both for our feet and our bodies!  If you are having a foot or ankle problem, Dr. Scott McKinney and his team of board certified podiatrists can help.  At McKinney Podiatric Associates they have eight Houston locations available to visit.  You can rest assured that their team has the expertise to diagnose and treat whatever lower extremity problem you may be facing.  Call them today!

So, The Bugs Have Bitten-Now What?!

In my last article, I talked about ways to avoid bug bites and offered up a homemade bug spray recipe I had found online.  Yet, sometimes bug bites are unavoidable especially on the feet.   Let’s say you forgot your bug spray, or were sleeping and a pesky mosquito made it into your house and had a feast on you!  These things happen.  Although, when they do, the bites can be numerous and itchy and very bothersome!!

What can you do when this happens to you?  Here are some quick fixes for the “itchies” if you find yourself in this situation…

  • ICE! I never really thought of ice in the past when it comes to dealing with bug bites, but when you apply an ice pack to a bug bite, it really helps!  After about ten minutes of having the ice on the bite you’ll find yourself in a wonderful itch-free happy place.
  • ALCOHOL! No, you don’t need to seek out the closest bar or liquor store, silly! (although it may help you forget how much you itch-haha)- I meant rubbing alcohol!  Although, anything that contains a high content of alcohol will do the trick-like mouthwash, or yes, vodka!  So maybe a trip to liquor store isn’t the worse idea, after all…
  • ASPIRIN! Aspirin is a great anti-inflammatory, and works excellently when applied topically.  So, grind up those pills, add a drop of water or two and make it into a paste to put on those itchy bites!
  • TOOTHPASTE! Toothpaste also has anti-inflammatory qualities, and can help provide relief for the itchiness.
  • HYDROCORTISONE CREAM! Always great in this situation, it relieves the itch and the redness, and works wonders on all kinds of skin irritations.
  • BENADRYL or SUDAFED! Either of these pills can provide some major relief, as they are antihistamines-which inhibit the body’s reaction to the bite- basically blocking the feeling of itching.
  • SALT! Basic salt and water when mixed into a paste can also provide relief for bug bite irritation.

Hope this helps if you have been some lucky bugs’ dinner!  Not so lucky for you, but at least there are some tricks to help get the “itchies” away.  If you have an irritation that doesn’t go away, worsens, or creates an allergic reaction- see you doctor immediately.  Dr. Scott McKinney and his team of board certified podiatrists are available to see you at any of their eight convenient Houston locations.  Don’t hesitate- call  if you have any foot issue that’s not going away!

‘Tis the Season for Bug Bites

With the warmer weather here, unfortunately that means the bugs are, too.  This is an unfortunate side effect of the warmth, as far as I’m concerned. Pesky mosquitoes and other little critters are lurking all about already.  Rumor has it that this is going to be a bad year for bugs.  Seems like they say this every year. So, it is very important to try and protect yourself when you are encountering nature’s beauty.

So, what to do- besides stay inside and avoid the outdoors?  Well, the obvious is bug spray- although, it seems like the ones that contain “DEEP” work better than their safer less-toxic versions.  Because of the fear of toxic chemicals, a lot of people don’t feel great about putting these bug repellent sprays on their bodies or their kids’ bodies.

Another idea is to wear clothes and shoes that cover your skin.  However, as it gets hotter out, this isn’t a very comfortable option.  So, I have heard of home-made concoctions that repel bugs… what are some good ones?  Let’s see…Here is an option I found after searching online, thanks to “wellnessmama.com”:

  • Homemade bug spray made of: 1)Essential oils: choose from Citronella, Clove, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Cajeput, Eucalyptus, Cedar, Catnip, Lavendar, Mint.  2) Natural Witch Hazel. 3) Distilled or boiled water. 4) Vegetable glycerin (optional)
  • Homemade Bug Spray Instructions: 1) Fill spray bottle (8 ounces works well) ½ full with distilled or boiled water  2)  Add witch hazel to fill almost to the top  3) Add ½ tsp vegetable glycerin if using 4) Add 30-50 drops of essential oils to desired scent.  The more oils you use, the stronger the spray will be.  According the “wellness mama”, her favorite mix is:  Rosemary, Clove, Cajeput, Lavender, Cinnamon and Eucalyptus.  It works great and smells good, too, she says!

I’m sure there are other options out there, as well, but this surely seems like a good start.   Anything that helps to avoid annoying bug bites that end up getting scratched and sometimes infected is a-okay in my book!

If you have an irritating wound on your foot or ankle, you should definitely have it seen by   Dr. Scott McKinney and his dedicated team of podiatrists. Infected wounds are nothing to mess around with.  Make sure you make an appointment at one of our eight convenient Houston area offices. We are always happy to help all patients and talk about options!