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Skin Problems & Treatments Health Center

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5 Nice Things to Do for Your Feet

From Blisters to Inflamed Tendons, Summer Can Be Tough on Toes

2. Avoid (or Treat) Heel Pain

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, the band of connective tissue that supports the arch of your foot and extends to the heel. It is a common cause of heel pain. Every other step...ouch!

Marlene Reid, DPM, a podiatrist in private practice in Westmont, Ill., and past president of the American Association for Women Podiatrists, tells WebMD plantar fasciitis can best be prevented by walking in sturdy shoes, with good stability and arch support, rather than flimsy sandals or flip-flops.

Once it starts panging, the disorder -- which usually hurts worst right after taking the first steps in the morning -- can go on for months, gradually getting worse rather than better.

If the pain lasts more than two months, Reid recommends seeing a doctor. "You could stretch gently in the morning before walking," she says. "There also are different types of heel cups you can buy.

"The doctor might also recommend physical therapy or night splints," Reid says. "Cortisone can be injected, and there are shockwave and cryogenic treatments available to destroy the inflamed tissue and promote normal healing."

3. Wear Sensible Shoes

Sandals that make you grip with your toes to keep them on may cause tendonitis, an inflammation of the tendons in the toes, Reid says. So get a shoe that attaches firmly.

High heels, Reid says, don't just put temporary pressure on the ball of the foot -- they change the makeup of your foot. "A 3-inch heel causes pressure seven times your body weight," she explains. "This changes the pattern of (cushioning) fat on the bottom of your foot. This can happen to women in their 20s."

Fortunately, the sandals and platforms worn in summer tend to have a lower toe to heel height ratio. "A platform raises the heel as well as the toe," Reid explains.

"Summer is a wonderful time for businesswomen," says Brodsky. "They can wear open-toed shoes and give those piggies a breather. We see fewer complaints of painful hammertoes and bunions with women wearing dressy sling backs and sandals."

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