Next Step: Foot Care In Connecticut

Posts for: October, 2012

As a model, you are asked to wear and do anything. Sometimes you're asked to wear shoes that are completely ridiculous and precariously high. Miyoshi Anderson remembers wearing 5 inch Gucci stilettos and walking down a runway constructed of shaky tables for a Saks Fifth Avenue show. Attendees were sitting right at the tables, sipping cocktails, so models had to dodge spills. "I have had my share of pain in shoes on the runway, especially that one," said Anderson, executive director of Pittsburgh Fashion Week.

"Talk about a catwalk. I have also worn shoes that were way too small. When you are on the runway though, it's all about the performance to showcase the designer's collection. I think that adrenaline takes over, and you don't feel the pain. That is the epitome of fashion," said Anderson.

Podiatrists have been warning of the dangers of high heels and ill-fitting shoes for eons, but women are still blocking out our message. As long as high heels remain in our culture, and popular, it will be difficult to break women of the stiletto habit. Dr. Marlene Reid, one of the leading experts in women's foot health in Naperville, Il., says "There is no fighting fashion. I know that. But there are some things you can do to make your fashion days more comfortable."

She recommends changing up heel heights. "Even a half-inch difference can help, because it takes some pressure off the Achilles tendon and the ball of the foot. If you wear heels on a daily basis, your feet will suffer from it one day. I try to be realistic, but I know I can't fight fashion. Women don't want to hear, 'Don't wear heels.'"

Which is true. Tell any woman that wearing high heels, stilettos, or flip-flops will ruin their feet and you'll most likely hear "My feet are fine now." Cally Jamis-Vennare, 50, who is 5 foot 10 inches, says "I love wearing heels, and often, they come back to haunt me. I remember being in New York for business and walking all day in high-heeled boots. Afterward, I was in immense pain. I have had foot pain and back pain, but I did it in the name of fashion and would do it again, because I love the way heels look with a dress or skirt and even pants."

Women care an awful lot how much they look and want to look their best, often going beyond their health limits to achieve perfection. Sherri Lynn Dunik, 36, knows the risk of wearing high heels, but as a everyday wearer, she often  tapes her toes to fit the shoes. "I did it just the other day. Especially, when I wear heels without stockings, the shoes just fit better then when you tape the toes. Afterward, my feet are swollen and sore, but I like the way I look in heels, so I live with the pain." Dunik is 5 foot 3 inches and likes having the extra 3 or 4 inches.

Felicia Jones, 23, wears heels for a different reason. "I wear heels to attract men. They sometimes get you free drinks at the bar and they make your legs look a lot nicer. I know a lot of women who wear heels even though they hurt."

Some women who used to wear sky-high heels all the time are not able to anymore. Kristin DiGiacomo, 30, wore heels often, but her feet changed when she had her son, A.J., growing a whole size. The pain goes from her toes to the balls of her feet to heels to ankles. "Trying to wear heels, sometimes even just a little kitten heel, for an extended period of time is awful. I used to be able to wear 3 to 5 inch heels, but now I feel I can't wear a heel over 1 to 2 inches. And being 5 foot 2 inches doesn't help matters because most of the time heels are necessary to add height and length... I miss being able to wear heels without pain, but so goes life and growing up."

Women do not wear heels solely to add height or to be fashionable, says Ellen Goldstein, professor of accessories design at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. "They wear high heels to make them look sexy and for their boyfriends, husbands, and significant others. They also wear them because they make them look taller. They say the agony is totally worth it, and under certain circumstances you just put up with the pain," said Goldstein.

Dr. Greg Simunick, owner of HealthQuest Chiropractic in Pittsburgh, sees plenty of women who have put their bodies through the wringer. "Heels have been around for years, but they can cause back pain. They can also affect the calf muscles and Achilles tendonitis. The less you wear heels the better. Women are not going to stop wearing heels. My wife would never do it," said Simunick.

Dr. Marlene Reid and our doctors have the following tips for getting the best of both worlds:

  • Buy your shoes at the end of the day when you feet are largest. Go for a walk in the store with the shoes on. If the shoes don't fit in the store, they are not going to fit when you bring them home. 
  • Purchase shoes with a round or square toe box, or with a faux pointed toe.
  • Try kitten heels. They give added height without causing the problems stilettos do.
  • Your shoes should bend at the ball of the foot, but should not twist like a ballet flat. The heel of the shoe should also be firm for support.
  • Think about your day: if you are going to do a lot of walking, leave the 4 inch heels at home. However, if you are going to be sitting at a desk all day, then wear them. 
  • Depending on your foot type, you may not be able to wear all kinds of shoes. 

If you have a foot problem, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.

Connecticut Foot Care Centers

Podiatrists in CT

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Some nail polishes commonly found in salons and advertised as free of so-called "toxic-trio" of chemicals actually have high levels of agents linked to birth defects.

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control was the first to report this in April and determined that the mislabeled nail polish products have the potential to harm thousands of women who work in more than 48,000 nail salons in California, along with thousands more nationwide, and their customers.

The use of the three chemicals in nail polish is not illegal if properly labeled. But agency officials said the false claims may be a violation of a state law that requires disclosure of harmful chemicals in consumer products. The final decision on whether the companies will face legal action, which includes fine and an order to attach warning labels to their products, will be made by the California state attorney general's office.

Investigators chose 25 brands at random, including a number of products claiming to be free of the chemicals toulene, dibutyl phthalate, and formaldehyde, which are known as the toxic-trio. Regulators said exposure to large amounts of the chemicals has been linked to developmental problems, asthma, and other illnesses.

Investigators found that five of the seven products that claimed to be free of the toxic three actually included one or more of the agents in significant levels. The agency said that it did not have enough data to accurately estimate how many people were being exposed to the chemicals through the products. "We know there are exposures at salons, both to workers and customers, and we're concerned about potential harm," said Karl Palmer, the DTSC's pollution prevention performance manager who oversaw the report.

"Our strategy first and foremost is to shed light on the reality of what's in these products and put this information out to everyone."

The DTSC said all three chemicals are linked to chronic health conditions when inhaled, and that the 121,000 licensed nail care technicians who work in the salons, many of them young Asian-American women, are most at risk.

The agency said the salons are poorly ventilated, leading to exposure to a number of harmful chemicals. Because of these workplace health issues, some cities around the nation have passed laws seeking safety for workers and customers at nail salons.

San Francisco passed an ordinance in October 2010 that acknowledges salons that voluntarily choose to use nail polishes free of the three chemicals included in the DTSC's report. New York City had a similar ordinance to recognize salons that choose products devoid of the toxic trio.

"We are alarmed by the results of this report," Julia Liou, co-founder of the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative and a public health administrator for Asian Health Services, said in a statement. "The misbranding of products is not only a major public health problem, but also interferes with a salon worker's right to a safe and healthy work environment."

DBP has been banned in nail products in the European Union and the EU has strict limits on the amount of formadehyde and toulene that can be used.

Doug Schoon, a scientist who works with the Nail Manufacturers Council, agreed that mislabeling products should never be done, but said that proper ventilation and training of salon workers are much more important to preventing negative health effects. He said the level of toulene and other chemicals found in the nail polishes featured in the report do not pose a serious threat. He said the "need for appropriate ventilation for the work you're doing, whether it be in printing shops or other workplaces, is a huge area of opportunity that the DTSC should be focusing on."

The California attorney general's office said it will have to review DTSC's findings before making a decision on any legal action. "We will have to examine the data for compliance with Prop. 65 and other state laws," said Lynda Gledhill, spokeswoman for the attorney general's office.

Mike Vo, vice-president of Miss Professional Nail Products, Inc., the maker of Station products and others on the list, said he disputed the DTSC's findings. "We will look at the report and challenge it," he said.

If you have a foot problem, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.

Connecticut Foot Care Centers

Podiatrists in CT

Visit our website, friend and like our page on Facebook, and follow our tweets on Twitter.


Researchers at the University of Kansas say that people can accurately judge 90% of a stranger's personality by simply looking at their shoes.

"Shoes convey a thin but useful slice of information about their wearers," the authors wrote in the new study published in the Journal of Research in Personality. "Shoes serve a practical purpose, and also serve as nonverbal cues with symbolic messages. People tend to pay attention to the shoes they and others wear."

Medical Daily reports that the number of detailed personality traits detected in the study include a person's age, their gender, income, political affiliation, and other personality traits, including someone's emotional stability.

Lead researcher Omri Gillath said the judgments were based on style, cost, color, and condition of someone's shoes. In the study, 63 University of Kansas students looked at pictures showing 208 different pairs of shoes worn by the study's participants. Volunteers in the study were photographed in their most commonly worn shoes, and then filled out a personality questionnaire.

So, what do your shoes say about your personality?

People with higher incomes wore expensive shoes, and flashier footwear was typically worn by extroverts. However, some of the more specific results are intriguing. For example, practical and functional shoes were generally worn by more "agreeable" people, while ankle boots were more closely aligned with "aggressive" personalities. The strangest of all may be that those who wore uncomfortable looking shoes tend to have "calm" personalities. There was also the political calculation that liberals wear shabbier and less expensive shoes.

"Shoes have a wide variety of styles, brands, looks, and functions. Because of this variety, shoes can carry individual difference information, but do they? We suggest the answer is yes," the study authors wrote.

And if you have several new pair of shoes or take exceptionally good care of them, you may suffer from "attachment anxiety", spending an inordinate amount of time worrying about what others think about your appearance.

The researchers noted that some people will chose shoe styles to mask their actual personality traits, but researchers noted that volunteers were also likely to be unaware that their footwear choices were revealing deep insights about their personalities.

If you have a foot problem, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.

Connecticut Foot Care Centers

Podiatrists in CT

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People step on weird stuff all the time. From glass to wood to nails, even dog fur, foreign bodies enter our feet and cause havoc. While it may seem strange, our podiatrists remove dog fur from patient's feet at least a half dozen times a year! Some times we don't even know that we have stepped on something and that it became embedded in our bare feet.

You may notice a while after you stepped on the foreign object pain, swelling, infection, irritation, or discomfort. Many of these objects can be removed by yourself at home- but be wary of botched bathroom surgeries! If you are a diabetic and believe that you have a foreign object in your foot, call a podiatrist immediately. Do not try to remove this on your own, as the diabetic foot needs special and extra attention.

Here are some tips to remove a foreign object on your own:

  1. Soak your foot in warm water to soften the foot.
  2. Make sure your hands are clean and dry your foot.
  3. Place fingers on either side of the splinter (if you can see it or know where it entered) and gently squeeze the object out.
  4. If the object won't come out on its own, disinfect a pair of tweezers with rubbing alcohol, let them dry, and grasp the end of the object. Pull in the direction the object entered. If the object is firmly embedded in your skin, with no entrance or exit visible, do not attempt this. 

If none of these tips work, call a podiatrist immediately. The longer the object stays in your foot, the more likely you are to develop an infection. Our podiatrists numb the area with a topical anesthetic and shave down the top layers of the skin.

f you believe you have a foreign object in your foot and cannot remove it yourself, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.

Connecticut Foot Care Centers

Podiatrists in CT

Visit our website, friend and like our page on Facebook, and follow our tweets on Twitter.

 

General Hospital star and Dancing With the Stars season 1 winner Kelly Monaco broke her second toe on Tuesday while camera blocking. Pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy says "We had three takes in rehearsal and she broke it on the first take. But she didn't tell me. And the second take, I said 'Come on, we need more'. And she's quiet. And just did her thing. Then we had a break and she said, 'Oh by the way, I broke my toe.'"

Monaco, 36, who is also suffering from a swollen left ankle, says about her broken toe, "I couldn't walk, so I knew something was wrong. And then it went all black and blue all over and puffed up. I had someone look at it. But there's nothing you can do with a broken toe. You just tape it up and call it a day." We would disagree with that statement- rest, icing, ibuprofen!

This however did not stop her from performing an emotional contemporary piece that left her in tears by the end of the routine. Rumors have been flying that Monaco and Chmerkovskiy are in a relationship, but nothing has been confirmed by the dancing couple and Monaco is still dating actor beau Heath Freeman.

If you believe have a foot problem and do not currently see a podiatrist, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.

Connecticut Foot Care Centers

Podiatrists in CT

Visit our website, friend and like our page on Facebook, and follow our tweets on Twitter.