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Change Up How You Lace Up

Did you know that there are different ways you should be tying your shoelaces depending on what kind of feet you have? It doesn’t seem like something that’s all so important, but when you think about it, it makes so much sense! If you have wide feet, why would you string your laces on your shoes the same way that someone with narrow feet would? Here are a few tips and techniques to help you figure out the best way to lace up your shoes!

Lacing Techniques for Narrow Feet

Studies have shown that narrow feet benefit more from a lacing technique utilizing the eyelets that are farthest from the tongue of their shoes. This allows for the sides of the shoe to be brought up towards your arch and hug the narrow shape of your feet. Though it’s important to find shoes that fit and support your feet from the start, this trick can come in handy if and when your shoes start to stretch and wear out. Don’t lace up too tightly, however! This can cause calluses, foot odor, or even bunions, from too much tightness and friction.

Lacing Techniques for Wide Feet

The opposite of a narrow foot is a wide foot. Fittingly, a wide foot calls for lacing up using the innermost eyelets closest to the shoe’s tongue. Instead of bringing up the sides of the shoe, it actually drops it down a bit and allows more room to accommodate wider feet. It will come in handy when you’re getting active! This technique can also be used when you have orthotics and need to create more space. Careful not to make it too loose, which can lead to slipping and sliding around in ill-fitting shoes – undoubtedly an uncomfortable experience!

If you’re not the best at lacing up your shoes and need some help, try visiting your nearest shoe store. The employees at a shoe store should be more than happy to help out! Don’t forget, Dr. McKinney is always here to help too. Get your shoes laced up the right way for you at your next appointment! Call us today at (713) 946-1500 to schedule your next appointment at one of our eight convenient locations in Houston, Texas.

3 Most Common Myths About Feet

Here at McKinney’s Podiatric Associates, P.A., we’ve decided to start off April the right way by celebrating “Foot Health Awareness Month” with the American Podiatric Medical Association! Though your foot health is always important to us, April is a great time of the year to talk about dispelling some of the myths of foot health. Here are three myths about foot health that have been myth-busted by our podiatrists:

Myth #1 – “Feet get worse with age.”

The first myth to be busted is that our feet get worse as we age! Though aging is an unavoidable process of life, word has it that it’s “natural” or “normal” for our feet to worsen with age. Well, you can consider this myth busted: it’s not true! Our muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones do age along with us, but many of the symptoms and conditions we associate with “old age” are preventable. Establishing a relationship with your podiatrist as soon as you experience problems is the best way to avoid your feet worsening as you grow older.

Myth #2 – “Walking barefoot is good for our feet.”

Many people believe that walking barefoot is good for the health of their feet – they feel that it can strengthen their muscles and toughen them up. The strange part about this is that the only thing “toughening up” when we walk barefoot is the skin of our feet. When we walk barefoot, it leaves our sensitive skin and muscles exposed to harsh terrain. This can lead to developing callused feet, or extremely thickened skin, to protect your skin from the terrain. Calluses can be uncomfortable and unsightly, and our feet are simply not equipped to walk barefoot anymore, so do them a favor – wear protection in the form of supportive shoes!

Myth #3 – “Our feet don’t need sunscreen.”

Our third myth to be busted is perhaps the farthest from the truth – no matter what part of your body is exposed to the sun, it needs to be protected from harmful UV rays that can cause sunburn and potentially even skin cancer. Since our feet are covered up the majority of the time, the skin on the top of our feet is especially sensitive to the sun’s harsh rays. If you’re wearing sandals, be proactive and apply sunscreen at least 15-20 minutes before putting them on to head outside. Your feet will thank you later!

We may have only gone over 3 of the most common myths about feet but trust us, there is a whole lot more where that came from! Take this opportunity to celebrate foot health awareness month by calling in today at (713) 946-1500 to schedule an appointment with your trusted podiatrist.

How Are Tiger Claws Similar To My Toenails?

With summer just around the corner, it’s time to talk about toenails. What is there to talk about? You may be surprised at some interesting facts about our toenails. Our toenails often get trapped in sweaty shoes, stubbed up against curbs or stairs, or cut too short during a trip to the nail salon. They may seem like more of a burden, but it turns out that the nails on our toes do a lot more than we give them credit for!

Hundreds of thousands of years ago, our nails served a much different purpose than they do today. When humans were hunters and gatherers, we didn’t use shoes! As horrifying as that sounds, our feet, and toenails adapted to our needs by toughening up the skin on our feet into calluses, as well as the thickness and length of our toenails. This came in handy when we spent long periods of time walking and foraging in all kinds of different terrain.

As you may have thought, this means our toenails serve a similar purpose to the claws of other animals! Our toenails certainly don’t look like the claws of a tiger, but when it comes to function, they are similar in nature. Our toenails are made from a type of protein called “alpha-keratin” that also makes up the claws, hooves, and horns of other animals. This means that your toenails are made of the same stuff that a billy goats horns are made of!

At McKinney Podiatric Associates, P.A., we are here to help you protect your feet from painful, inconvenient ingrown toenails. Podiatrists like Dr. McKinney are passionate about helping you feel better! Visit us online to learn more and to easily schedule an appointment at one of our 8 convenient locations in the Houston area and surrounding towns, or by calling us today at (713) 946-1500.

DIY: Is It Worth It?

If you’ve been on the internet recently, it’s hard not to notice how common videos and articles about corns and calluses have become. They’re among the top podiatric issues that plague many people just like you! While corns and calluses generally do not cause discomfort, they can be unsightly and displeasing. Along with many of the articles and videos about corns and calluses comes an array of advice on how to treat them yourself at home.

While some folks get it right, others sometimes give advice that can be downright hazardous. For example: using an unsterilized razor blade to shave off calluses! This is a recipe for disaster — there is nothing to protect you from your grip slipping, and unsterilized equipment can cause infection if you were to go too deep.

If you want to go the DIY route, be sure to get tools that are meant for your safety. Many products marketed as “pedicure” tools are safe to use. For example, a round “egg” like tool with a bottom that looks like a cheese grater can be great to work away at corns and calluses. They’re best used after soaking your feet in warm water and can provide some aesthetic relief to the appearance of your feet.

As with any DIY treatments, proceed with caution–if you are working away at a corn or callus and it hurts you, listen to your body and stop. If this happens or if you ever find yourself unsure of a pedicure tools safety, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at McKinney’s Podiatric Associates, P.A.! It’s better safe than sorry when it comes to the health of your feet, especially if you are prone to infection.

Doing it yourself can be relaxing and easy, but only when done with your safety in mind. Never second guess yourself if you’re unsure, we are always here to help! At your next appointment with our doctors at McKinney Podiatric Associates, ask about the doctor’s recommendation for at home corn and callus treatments. To learn more, message us or call us today at (713) 946-1500 to schedule your next appointment with Dr. McKinney and associates at one of our 8 convenient locations in the Houston area and surrounding towns.

Foot 101: Plantar Fasciitis

Though the top three most common issues to arise with our feet are bunions, calluses, and corns, other foot related issues are still common and just as troublesome to experience! Plantar fasciitis, for example, is when the tendon along the bottom of your feet are damaged. This damage can happen due to a traumatic injury or it can develop over time from over use of the tendon or ill fitting, non-supportive shoes. The pain of plantar fasciitis can be mild to severe and greatly impact your ability to walk.

As a coping mechanism, many people will change the way they walk to avoid or decrease the discomfort associated with their plantar pain. When it goes untreated for long periods of time, sometimes plantar fasciitis can lead to developing a bone spur on the heel where the tendon meets the heel bone. At this point, walking can be too painful to bare and it is likely that the sufferer would already be on their way to their podiatrist for relief!

If you ever find yourself experiencing plantar pain, the first step is to see your podiatrist. Your specialized and trained podiatrist will be able to examine your feet and let you know the options that you have for treatment–from orthotics to surgical intervention. In the meantime, try to find shoes which focus on arch and ankle support. It isn’t a cure, but it will help decrease your pain and discomfort until you and your podiatrist have a closer look at your feet.

At your next appointment with our doctors at McKinney Podiatric Associates, be proactive and ask any questions you may have lingering! To learn more, message us conveniently online or call us today at (713) 946-1500 to schedule your next appointment with Dr. McKinney and associates at one of our 8 convenient locations in the Houston area and surrounding towns.

Foot Health For Fall

We can feel the last stretches of the summer season in the air–however, it’s undeniable that winter is on its way. The air is a little less humid, a little more cool, and let’s not forget.. Everything is pumpkin flavored now! Among all of the lovely perks of the autumn season, there are some “cons” lurking that may pose a risk to our foot health:

With the air getting colder and the weather becoming more harsh, the first risk is to our skin. Second to our faces, cold weather can put us at risk for overly dry skin that can become cracked and painful. In contrast, the cold weather can also pose a risk when our footwear isn’t waterproof and doesn’t protect us from moisture. Excess moisture in the shoes not only may lead to blisters and calluses, but it can also put us at risk for athlete’s foot.

Moisture from the snow and inclement weather can also make it easier to slip when we transition into winter time. Though snow doesn’t always grace the whole of Texas, you never know when it may decide to! Similarly, that moisture can turn to frost, creating icy surfaces in your path. Slipping can so easily lead to a sprained ankle that it is worth every penny you may spend on winter-proof footwear for the season. Shoes with soles that grip the terrain, even in the snow and ice, are the best shoes for winter.

The risks winter has on our foot health are important, but thankfully they don’t outnumber the other joys brought on by the season! Your winter-proof footwear can make autumn’s hiking, apple picking, hay riding, and halloween-candy-eating activities that much safer and more enjoyable this season. If you would like to be smart and proactive about your foot health, it’s time to visit Dr. Scott McKinney at McKinney Podiatric Associates, P.A.

At your next appointment with us, be sure to ask about any recommendations for your pedicure experience based on your personal history of foot health. Call us today at (713) 946-1500 to schedule an appointment at one of our 8 convenient locations in the Houston area!

 

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!