March 2019 Newsletter Updates

West Coast Podiatry Team Podiatry Newsletter

“This Little Piggy Went to Market,
This Little Piggy Stayed Home”

They are small but essential! Your toes play an important part in helping you keep your balance and are in contact with the ground 75% of the time while walking. You may not realize it, but your big toes can bear twice as much weight as all your other toes combined!

Unfortunately, your toes are vulnerable to injury and skin issues. Here are some of the more common toe problems:

Athlete’s foot. This fungal infection is usually found between the toes but can spread quickly to other spots. The fungus is very contagious and thrives in warm, damp places such as public showers, gyms or spas. Symptoms include itching, blistering and peeling skin. Come see us for prescription medication if the condition persists.

Bunions. If you have pain, a visible bump on the side of your foot or tenderness around the big toe joint, then you may have a bunion that causes your big toe to turn inward and push against the other toes. Wearing narrow shoes and high heels along with a family history of bunions increase your risk. You can relieve the pressure on the bunion by wearing shoes with a wide toe box and low heels. We can discuss conservative measures as well as surgical solution to relieve the pain.

Fungal nail. A fungal infection under the nail will cause discolored, brittle, loose or thickened nails. This fungus is contagious so always protect your feet when in public gyms, pools and locker rooms. Keep feet clean and dry and wear shoes of breathable materials such as leather and canvas. If toenail fungus persists, topical or oral prescription medication will help, as will debridement of the infected nail substance.

Hammertoe. Hammertoes may be inherited and result from a muscle and tendon imbalance in the toe, resulting in a bent toe joint. The skin may be irritated where rubbing against your shoes. Wearing shoes with a wide and high toe box can relieve any discomfort. Surgery may be necessary for permanent relief.

Ingrown toenail. An ingrown nail causes swelling, pain and even drainage from the nail. Ingrown toenails are caused by wearing poorly-fitting shoes that are too tight or too narrow or by curving the corners when trimming the nails. Always wear shoes that fit well and are not narrow at the toes, as well as cutting the nail straight across. Your podiatrist may need to remove a portion of the toenail for it to heal completely.

It’s Important to Treat Dry Skin on Your Feet

Dry skin on the feet is a very common problem and is more than cosmetic. Excessively dry skin may cause cracks, or skin fissures, on the heels or soles. Along with being unsightly, this condition can cause itching, pain, a rash or even an infection.

Heat and humidity changes such as indoor heating in colder locations can cause water loss from the skin and may thicken the top layer. Some soaps can remove the skin’s protective oils.

Aging brings metabolic and hormonal changes that cause reduced cell turnover and skin thickening. As we age, the fat pad on the bottom of the foot thins, resulting in thicker, drier cracked skin.

Some skin conditions such as athlete’s foot, psoriasis, and rashes caused by an allergy can produce thick and dry skin on the foot, as can diabetes, hypothyroidism and certain vitamin or fatty acid deficiencies.

Treating Dry Skin on the Feet

If you have tried applying creams and lotions to your dry skin and the problem persists, give us a call and come in for an evaluation. We can identify the cause of your dry skin and prescribe special creams for severely dry skin if necessary.

To prevent a recurrence of excessively dry skin on your feet:

  • Apply lanolin which you can find over-the-counter.
  • Switch to hypoallergenic skin products or those that are formulated for sensitive skin.
  • After bathing, use a foot file or pumice stone on rough areas on the soles of your feet to prevent calluses. Use a loofah sponge for the top of the foot.
  • Increase your intake of essential fatty acids by adding walnuts, canola oil and flaxseed oil to your diet. Other supplements can also help, with the approval of your doctor.

Are You at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes?
Take This Quick Quiz

You may be at risk for diabetes and not even know it.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of this disease, affecting more than 30 million Americans. An additional 70 million Americans have prediabetes, or conditions that may quickly lead to diabetes. This disease can cause serious health complications including heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, premature death, vision loss and amputation.

With type 2 diabetes, your body cannot use insulin properly and over time may not be able to make enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels normal. Some symptoms of diabetes are frequent urination, excessive thirst, fatigue, blurry vision and cuts that are slow to heal. But many with diabetes may not exhibit symptoms at first.

You Can Assess Your Risk for Diabetes Online

March 26, 2019 is American Diabetes Association® Alert Day®. It’s the perfect time to think about your risk for this disease and do something about it.

Visit the Diabetes Alert Day® website and take a quick test to assess your risk for diabetes. The test is online and anonymous with instant results. Be sure to reach out to your doctor to discuss your risk for diabetes and how you can take action right now.

Recipe of the Month
Shakshuka with Feta Cheese

This one skillet Israeli breakfast dish is vibrant and delightfully spicy. Serve it with a side of pita or challah and enjoy it any time of day!


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • large red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • teaspoon ground cumin
  • teaspoon sweet paprika\
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes with juices, coarsely chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, more as needed
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, more as needed
  • 5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 6 large eggs

Chopped cilantro, for serving
Hot sauce, for serving


  • Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook gently until very soft, about 20 minutes. Add garlic and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes; stir in cumin, paprika and cayenne, and cook 1 minute. Pour in tomatoes and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; simmer until tomatoes have thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in crumbled feta.
  • Gently crack eggs into skillet over tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer
  • skillet to oven and bake until eggs are just set, 7 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with
  • cilantro and serve with hot sauce.

Recipe courtesy of the New York Times

History FootNote

An artificial toe found attached to the foot of an ancient Egyptian mummy may have been the world’s earliest functional prosthetic body part.

Celebrity Foot Focus

Mark McGwire, while playing for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1998, took out an insurance policy on his ankle. Lloyd’s of London wrote the policy that even specified which tendons and ligaments were included in “ankle.”

Foot Funnies

Why is it impossible to fool a ballerina? Because they are always on their toes.


Missing toenails can grow back.

A. True
B. False

Answer: A. True

Depending on why the nail fell off, you could expect to have a brand new one in 6 months to a year.