Posts for: May, 2017
You can get a callus on just about any surface of your body, but it most frequently occurs in places where there is a lot of friction to the skin. Your feet are most susceptible to calluses because you wear tight shoes around them for the better part of your day. In many cases, a callus is merely an annoyance, but there are cases when it can become a problem.
What Is a Callus?
A callus is a buildup of toughened skin that happens when an area of the foot continually comes in contact into a rough surface. The friction causes layers of dead skin to form until a noticeable bump develops—it’s a natural reaction of the body to protect itself from injury, but unfortunately can lead to other problems. Podiatrists often find calluses on the bottom of the feet or on the toes.
Why Do Calluses Form?
Foot calluses almost always form because of pressure from the shoes that you wear as well as walking very often. Athletes usually develop calluses because of their high levels of activity—they frequently run, jump and make sudden motions while wearing tennis shoes that aren’t always ideal for their needs. Women often develop calluses on their toes and the sides of their feet from wearing pumps to work that constantly rub up against their skin. Some are soft and caused by too much sweat and moisture in the shoes (another issue that affects athletes).
When a Callus Becomes Problematic...
A callus is usually considered a minor cosmetic annoyance to the feet, but there are cases when it can become problematic. Without proper treatment, they can become inflamed, ulcerated or infected over time. Calluses that become ulcers can put the foot or toes at serious risk if it isn’t cleaned and disinfected properly. Allowing calluses to grow to a certain size can also make it impossible to wear or walk in everyday shoes.
When foot or toe calluses become a problem, treatments should be explored with a podiatrist. Common solutions include removing the callus with a scalpel and administering what is called a salicyclic acid patch to heal the skin. Your podiatrist may also prescribe orthotic shoes or inserts to stop the progression of calluses and prevent them from coming back. If you have callused toes or feet, call your doctor to discuss a custom treatment plan.
Soccer and football players must wear athletic shoes that contain spikes on the bottom. The spikes are crucial for traction and safety when running on the field—especially in harsh weather conditions. Here are a few tips regarding picking out soccer and football spikes (also called cleats) for yourself or your child athlete.
The purpose of a spike is to give a player an advantage on the field. Football and soccer players often to have to play in muddy or wet conditions, so if they were to wear standard sneakers they’d spend more time sliding and falling than passing the ball. A proper spike gives a soccer or football player the traction and support needed to be successful in the sport and protect the foot from injury.
Pick Spikes Specifically Designed for Your Sports
One mistake that some athletes make is assuming that every sports spike is created the same. There are different spike shoe designs for different sports—soccer, football and running track. Track shoe spikes are often pointier. Soccer spikes and football spikes are more similar to each other in looks. Also called “mud cleats,” football spikes are commonly designed with blunter metal, rubber or plastic studs and a more angled sole. They also have studs near the top to facilitate fast forward movement as well as thicker soles.
Soccer spikes are lighter and lowcut to aid with quick, agile movements. The “spikes” are usually made of replaceable aluminum cleats. They don’t normally have spikes or studs at the front as in the case of football shoes.
Get Sports Advice from a Podiatrist
If you’re still unsure about which spikes to buy for soccer or football (especially if you’ve had foot complications in the past), consult your podiatrist in advance for any sports advice this season. Maintain regular checkup appointments throughout the year as well and be sure to replace your cleat studs when they become worn down.