December 7, 2010 @ 6:39 pm
Do you know how important wearing the correct shoe size is to your overall health? Dr. Robert Klein joins the show to give us good information about foot care.
Note: Refer to audio player below to listen to this episode.
Dr. Rob is a podiatric physician and board certified foot surgeon with more than 16 years of clinical experience. Dr. Klein specializes in the treatment of foot and ankle disorders, including treating diseases of the skin, nails, and disorders of the musculoskeletal system of the foot and ankle. Dr. Klein serves as a Diplomat with the American Board of Podiatric Surgery, and is a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.
Dr. Klein practices in the Orthopedic and Podiatry Department of the Collom & Carney Clinic in Texarkana. He has previously served as an attending physician treating hard to heal wounds of the foot at a specialty Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center. Dr. Klein has lectured on a variety of subjects ranging from Common Foot and Ankle Conditions to more complex topics such as Advanced Tissue and Wound Care Techniques for Hard to Heal Wounds. He has also participated in a local Family Practice Residency Program lecture series educating family practice residents about podiatric medicine and surgery.
A graduate of the Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine in Chicago, Dr.Klein continued his post graduate studies in podiatric medicine and surgery in Detroit, serving as Chief Resident at Michigan Health Center in the last year of his residency program.
An avid runner and triathlete, Dr. Klein has completed marathons, half marathons, and triathlons in the US and Canada. He hopes to one day compete in an Ironman Triathlon.
For more information on Dr. Rob, please visit his blog at: DrRobKlein.com
Full Transcript of Interview with Dr. Robert Klein
Eric Michaels: Many people don’t think about moisturizing below the knee caps. Why is it so important to properly moisturize the feet, and how do you choose the right stuff?
Dr. Rob: As we approach the winter season, moisturizing your feet is an important part of your skin care regimen. In the winter months there is lower humidity which in turn can cause dry skin. Dry skin can be itchy, crack, even cause deep fissures which can be painful. An important part of your skincare regimen throughout the dry winter months should be liberal use of a good moisturizing lotion. Choosing the right stuff - in my practice I suggest to my patients to avoid lotions with alcohol, it may actually wind up drying your skin. Ingredients that I suggest are lotions with shea butter, soy, or petrolatum. Also choose a lotion with SPF or sunscreen in them. Apply regularly, especially after showering as it will help your skin retain moisture.
Eric Michaels: Beyond lotions and creams, let’s talk about what we actually wear on our feet. Not all socks are created alike. Which do you recommend? Does it change with the season?
Dr. Rob: Choosing a sock in winter takes a little extra thought. Cotton socks aren't best in the winter. Cotton socks have little insulation and tend to hold moisture. In the cold weather that can lead to colder feet, and worse off excessive moisture in your socks can even lead to a fungal infection, blisters, and skin irritation. So, what should we wear in the winter? I recommend materials that will wick away moisture. Fabrics to look for include acrylic, coolmax, or wool. In the summer months I recommend acrylic or coolmax socks. They wick moisture away from the skin keeping your feet dry and comfortable, they feel cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Eric Michaels: And you say people should double-check their shoe size. Most of us have a general idea of what we wear, walk into a store and tell the sales associate we’re looking for anything in a size X. How is it possible that we’re wearing the wrong size, and why is it important to find a properly fitting shoe? How do we know what fits?
Dr. Rob: Absolutely double check your shoe size. Several simple rules I explain to my patients for proper shoe fit:
Not all shoe sizes are equal, not all shoe sizes run true to size.
The space between the end of your longest toe (usually the 1st or 2nd toe) should be a thumb's width length to the tip of the shoe.
Try shoes on towards the end of the day when your foot will be largest and most swollen.
When trying on shoes make sure you wear the same socks or hose that you intend to wear later with those shoes.
The shoe should fit comfortable without the need to stretch them, and with no slippage.
When in doubt, ask an experienced sales clerk to measure your feet, always fitting the larger of the two feet.
Eric Michaels: Going back to or speaking of nasty infections you can get on your feet – many people are big fans of nail salons. But we’re all aware that some of those place or any public place for that matter – gyms, saunas, pools – can harbor germs. How do you know if a place is hygienic and how can you protect your feet in those environments?
Dr. Rob: Infections, including fungal infections of the feet can occur at nail salons, pools, gyms, etc - anywhere someone walks barefoot. First thing to look at is the cleanliness of the facility (e.g. is the nail salon clean, debris on the floor, do they clean and disinfect the tub and instruments in between clients, wipe down the chairs). If your gut feel is the facility is not clean I'd say go with your gut instinct.
Eric Michaels: Finally – let’s say we do get a toe or foot infection. We’ve all looked up at-home remedies online. Which ones actually work? What self-treatment options do you recommend?
Dr. Rob: As you can imagine over the past 18 years that I have practiced I've heard of tons of home remedies. Some make me cross my eyes and wonder where they came up with that one. Others do seem to work. One of the home remedies that I've seen success with is tea tree oil. There is evidence based medicine for the use of tea tree oil for fungal infections. A product that I like that incorporates home remedies and homeopathic remedies is Miranel, which is available over the counter and is inexpensive. It contains miconazole as the active anti-fungal, combined with tea tree oil, menthol, eucalyptus, and camphor. I've seen positive results with Miranel and more importantly, my patients like it. When a fungal infection does not respond to OTC therapy, I think at that point it is helpful to seek an opinion of a professional.
CONCLUSION TIP: You should NEVER let an infection get worse. If you have foot pain or other problems affecting your feet, consult a podiatrist – specialists uniquely trained and qualified to treat medical conditions involving the feet.
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