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February Articles 2020

Heel Pain

Heel pain, while quite common, can be extremely uncomfortable and painful if not met with proper care or treatment. Heel pain may occur if you injure or overuse the heel. If left uncared for, the affected area may worsen, limiting your mobility and making it difficult to perform everyday activities, such as walking.

There are many different causes of heel pain, including strains or sprains, tarsal tunnel syndrome, stress fractures, Achilles tendonitis, and heel bursitis. One of the most common causes of heel pain for children and teenagers specifically is Sever’s disease. Sever’s disease can develop due to overuse or repetitive microtrauma of the heel bone's growth plates. This condition is often seen among those who are active in sporting activities.

Other causes of heel pain may include issues with poor circulation, poor posture when walking or running, a soft tissue mass, and a rupture of the Achilles tendon. To help ease the discomfort of heel pain, it’s advised that you get plenty of rest, apply ice to the affected area, and wear shoes that fit properly. In some more serious cases, a podiatrist might recommend the use of custom orthotics or shoe inserts for extra support.

If you’re experiencing heel pain, we recommend you consult with a podiatrist as soon as possible for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

 

Blisters

Blisters are small pockets of fluid that occur on the top layers of the skin for several reasons. Friction, burns, and diseases are all known causes of blisters.  Smaller blisters are known as vesicles, while larger blisters are referred to as bulla. The fluid inside the bubble can be blood, pus, or serum; which is a clear liquid that protects the skin. In most cases, blisters are not a major health issue, but they can be an indicator of a more serious condition.  

Causes of blisters vary. Blisters are commonly caused by wearing poorly fitted shoes that rub against the foot. However, there are many other causes besides from friction; including burns, sunburn, insect bites, frostbite, poison ivy/oak, chemical exposure, impetigo, eczema, viral infections, and more.

Most blisters heal by themselves and do not require immediate medical care. If you have a blister, do not pop it since this may cause infection; it is advised to put a bandage over the blister to protect it. If the blister is large, causes pain, or if you have a fever, it is recommended that you see a doctor who can provide proper care. Blisters are easy to diagnose, and if considered prudent by the doctor, can easily be drained of fluid with a sterile needle as well.

To prevent blisters on the feet, wear shoes that fit properly and don’t cause rubbing. Socks can help prevent friction and it is recommended that you wear them if you are wearing shoes. Hand blisters can be avoided by wearing gloves during activities that cause friction against the hand. If you have a blister that pops, do not remove the dead skin, wash the area, apply antibiotic ointment, and cover with a bandage. It is okay in most cases to not seek immediate medical care for a blister if it was just caused by friction. However, if the blister causes pain or does not go away, it is suggested that you see a doctor for a diagnosis.