I have a problem with the skin on my feet. It started getting rough and layered. And even though I am using a pumice and cream the skin again gets all covered with rougher layers of skin. And the worst part is the odor. No matter how fresh the socks are in a couple of hours my shoes would all have a terrible smell. I am usually wearing high heels but now switching to more flats as I would assume might have caused the problem. I have spoken to a couple of friends and nobody knows what it could be and if there is any natural remedy. I was trying to have vinegar baths but it didn't have any effect. I would highly appreciate any input or help as I am very desperate at this moment.
Hi Lori, May I assume your feet perspire quite a bit as this is usually a problem of excess perspiration which then causes an overgrowth of saprophytes which is an organism that thrives in this kind of environment. They are the source of the odor. In order to eliminate the problem, you first have to eliminate the perspiration. I would suggest you see a podiatrist in your area as there are many topical medications which can be used to first stop the sweating and then kill the organisms. Marc Mitnick DPM
Hi Doctor; My 7 year old daughter Sheanni has very obvious ball-like bone at both outer side of her feet;4 days ago the ball-like bone on her right foot suddenly swore to the size around 2.5cm in diameter, it is now subsided a little. She complained of pain at the effected area, however she could still wear shoes and walk. Is it cuboid problem and what is the cause of it? (Picture attached)
I appreciate if you can help.
Thanks; Gary Lim firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi Gary, That looks more to be the base of the fifth metatarsal bone which is actually in front of the cuboid bone. (see my anatomy page) This may be due to nothing more than a shoe that was not wide enough for her, but your best bet would be to see a local doctor and have the foot professionally examined. Marc Mitnick DPM
My problem is since I been a little girl and now 31 years old,I have corns on my toes.I never wore sandles and would like to wear them this summer.What can I do to get rid of the corns and spots. Or can I go to a foot doctor and get rid of them? And if i do go to a foot doctor is the procedure in and out? I never in my life got my feet done at a Nail Shop because of the way my feet looks...I really feel bad sharing this but I need help right now.
More than likely what you have is not the "classic corn" that is a very hard piece of skin that can be pared away by a podiatrist leaving normal skin. In African Americans, in many instances the lump over the toes that is formed is related to tight shoes, like corns, but it is more an inflammation of skin than a corn. So if you attempt to scrape these, they just bleed rather than disappear. The growths on your toes will feel rubbery when squeezed as opposed to the hard skin seen in corns. The treatment for this type of problem would be surgical intervention to remove a piece of the underlying bone so it does not get irritated by the shoes that you wear, however, I would also say that if these growths do not hurt, it would be my opinion to leave them alone. Your best bet would be to consult with a podiatrist who can actually examine your feet and determine what type of growth you have on your toes and offer a more complete opinion. Marc Mitnick DPM
Comments for Corns on my toes and the dark spot that covers it
I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. Five months ago I had a bunionectomy, DMM fusion of 2 small bones in the top of my foot utilizing bone from my ankle, plus a few bones were scraped down so they would not rub together because they could not be fused. I had basically been walking on a broken foot for 10 years. My foot still is swelling quite badly after walking on it all day. I'm still having difficulty fitting into a shoe. Is this normal?
Hi Maria, It is difficult for me to make out the "after" xray because I cannot enlarge it, but the alignment from the bunion surgery looks good as best as I can tell. I cannot make out the congruity of the bunion joint and of course with your history of rheumatoid arthritis I could make the assumption that the joint is "worn". In general, I would not be surprised that you are still having problems five months out, for two reasons. One, your history of rheumatoid arthritis may delay the healing process and two, we are coming out of the summer months where heat and humidity generally create more swelling above and beyond what is considered normal for foot surgery. In order to make sure your swelling is normal for you, I would recommend you contact your surgeon and let he or she evaluate your foot to determine if everything is OK, or if there are issues that need to be addressed. Marc Mitnick DPM
I have recently had orthotics made and have a problem. Although the leg pain and top of foot pain have gone my pain under the forefoot and toes now occurs after about 20 mins walking. Pre orthotic it was about an hour. The orthotics are very high on the medial side and i have found my walking boots the only shoes that can cope with them. With other sport shoes it displaces my heel counter and gives me blisters +++ on my heels.I have now broken down the heel counter in two pairs of shoes. I have been using lock lacing with no improvement. As far as tidy shoes eg Kumfs are concerned the orthotic is simply too high even when replacing the original lining. My question is do you think the high arch support that I have could be not allowing the met pad to work? Do you think lowering the pronation support may help? The toe pain was the original pain that took me to the podiatrist. I am a keen day walker and this has curtailed all activities. Thanks very much for the wonderful informative site. Catherine
Hi Catherine, The nice thing about custom made orthotics is that they are adjustable. The points you raise are valid, but I am guessing because there is a high arch in the orthotics, you have a high arched foot. If that is the case, the metatarsal pad may not be high enough to actually work for you. (just guessing here, because I cannot actually examine you) I would suggest you go back to your doctor and explain your concerns to he or she. The doctor should be able to make adjustments to the orthotics to make them more comfortable. It may require lowering the arch a little and raising the metatarsal pad slightly. Marc Mitnick DPM
Pain on top of foot, hurts to bend foot when walking
I have high arches and significant supination of my feet as a result of metatarsus adductus, conditions I've had my whole life but not diagnosed until I was 40. The past year or so the pain on top of my feet has worsened. The pain is where my metatarsals meet my ankle bones. I find that now when I walk, it hurts so much to do a heel strike/roll to the ball of my foot that instead I am plunking my foot down as a whole or mostly taking the weight at the back of my foot and my heel. Then I feel my hips dipping and my back now hurts. How can I break this cycle and get back to a more normal gait? I have custom orthotics that I guess give me support but I am most comfortable barefoot. I am a 50 year old female.
Hi Sue, Yours is not an easy situation to resolve. With a cavus (high arched foot) your foot has become a very poor shock absorbing appendage and may explain why you are getting the type of pain that you experience. One would think that custom orthotics would "do the trick" but apparently not so. I do not know what type of orthotic you wear, but if I was making the orthotic I would lean more towards a cork and leather orthotic and not a plastic orthotic, as the cork and leather are better at absorbing shock. Although I do not have the luxury of examining you I would think if you feel better barefoot than in orthotics, maybe your orthotics are either too high in the arch or too rigid. Perhaps it is time to revisit the doctor who originally prescribed the orthotics, or perhaps get another opinion. Marc Mitnick DPM
Flat cyst under the skin of the ball of my foot -- no pain
There is no pain involved (yet), but I have a very strange sensation whenever I stand up and walk barefoot after sitting for a while. It feels as though there's a sticker or a bandage on the ball of my left foot, but not quite a numb feeling. It's been happening for about a week, and when I checked it out this evening, I realized there is a flat cyst under the skin of the ball of my foot that moves around when manipulated. It doesn't hurt; it's just strange!
I never wear heels -- just flats all the time. I don't wear athletic shoes or anything that ties over the top of my foot, because that causes my feet and toes to cramp (but I have a great method -- EFT -- that I use to take care of the pain). I have high arches, but I can't imagine how that would cause the cyst to form.
After going through all the other inquiries posted here -- especially since almost all of them include pain, I feel a little guilty about taking your time with something like this. But thank you, anyway!
Hi Carol, Without looking at your foot, I have no idea what is going on, but the best piece of advice I can give you is to go see a podiatrist just to make sure the cyst is nothing more than a cyst. Just because it does not hurt does not mean it should not be looked at. Marc Mitnick DPM
Comments for Flat cyst under the skin of the ball of my foot -- no pain
My feet turn purple and blue after being on them for periods of time. The ball of my right foot is and stays swollen. Pains often shoot through making it hard to walk. I no longer can go barefoot and walk on the side of my right foot due to swelling.
ANSWER Hi, Although I know nothing about your age or medical history, in general discoloration such as you describe may be a sign of poor circulation. Not so much about the blood getting down to your feet, but the inability of the blood to return from your feet back up to your heart. In the majority of cases this is due to a problem with your veins, they have become incapable of adequately returning the blood back up to your heart. However, this is not the only reason why your feet turn purple. There are also instances where this type of purple- blue discoloration is considered normal. Generally, there may be a family history of the problem. You may also notice a similar situation in your hands when they are in a dependent position for a long period of time. This is a problem that would be best evaluated by a vascular specialist. The specialist will likely do some vascular testing on you to accurately check the quantity of blood coming into your feet and will also check the ability of the venous system to have the blood return to the heart. What I have discussed here is not the only cause of discoloration in your feet and because this is considered an abnormal finding in most people, my best advice would be to make an appointment with a vascular specialist in your area and have your feet and circulation examined. For more information see my section on peripheral circulation.
When my feet or legs get cold, my toes "lock up" and something in the arch of my foot gets very hard and. I have to rub my arch or pull on my toes to relieve the pain. The pain is somewhat like a charlie horse type pain. It can happen when I am sleeping, if I roll over onto a cold spot in the bed; or when I am sitting or standing. I have asked my GP about this & they cannot explain it. I am 39 and I feel as though it is happening more often; I do not know if age has anything to do with it or not.
Without having the luxury of examining your feet your description sounds like night cramps. This problem in most individuals is more annoying than anything else. I will assume your GP checked your circulation and found it to be normal; if he or she did not it would be a good thing to have done, although at age 39 I would be surprised if poor circulation was part of your problem. Night cramps seem to be exacerbated by cold weather so you might think about when you first noticed them (warm vs cold weather) and if they have seemed to become more common now that it is cold. If your symptoms have worsened during the cold weather one simple solution is to wear socks to bed during the winter months. Over the years I have recommended 800 iu of Vitamin E daily as another means to cut down on the occurrence. Visit my page on night cramps for other conditions that will contribute to night cramps and if you suffer from any of them, see about having them corrected. Hope this helps. Marc Mitnick DPM
a couple of weeks ago the top of my foot, at the base of the two little toes became very tender to the touch. after a few days it was sore from top through to the bottom. painful to walk. structured shoes helped more than sandals. one night i awoke with the big toe hurting like fire at the toenail. that passed. we had a 5 hour car ride and the food and ankle were quite swollen. iced it for the next day 5 hour car ride. got home, went to care now. x ray showed degenerative arthritis, which he did not think was the cause of pain. nothing else showed up. he said put on heat, such as whirlpool. foot still hurts, and this morning it was the ankle as well. felt as if there was a "catch" and it did let up after walking a big. foot still very painful.
Hi, I would go back to the doctor and have some blood work done to rule out inflammatory disease like rheumatoid arthritis, particularly if the affected area is red and swollen. Marc Mitnick DPM
About once every couple of weeks I get a strong burning sensation in the middle three toes of my right foot. Today it hit me as I was driving. I had to find a parking lot to drive into so that I could remove my shoe and massage my foot. This time the pain was more severe than usually. Nothing seemed to help. The pain lasted about forty minutes. Do you have any ideas on the reason or the cure?
Hi, Your symptoms are very suggestive of Mortons neuroma. Many people have come into my office with a similar complaint. If you are getting the attacks more frequently and they are more painful when they occur, then you need to see medical attention because the condition does not seem like its going away any time soon. Keep in mind, the worse they get, the harder they are to treat. Marc Mitnick DPM
My three year old has very flat feet like his father. Recently I've noticed that it appears that his big toes are curving to the second toes. Is this reason to be alarmed? Do I need to make a doctor's appointment for him or should I get toe straighteners or special shoes for his arch?
Hi Michelle, The big toe curving towards the second toe is not a common finding in three year olds. The very flat feet may be as all young children have flat feet, but most develop an arch as time goes on. I do not see any harm in having a doctor look at your child's feet to determine if the big toe deviation is anything to worry about. Marc Mitnick DPM
Comments for Crooked big toe and flat foot toddler
I am having pain on the sole of my foot, on the lateral portion of the foot, distal to the heel but not to the toes. I find that I cannot palpate the pain, but when I put weight on it it hurts more and more. I am a runner, and by the 4th mile or so it is quite painful (a dull throb). What could this be? Can I/should I continue to run on it?
My first thought would be tendonitis of the peroneus longus tendon as it passes under the cuboid groove. See the fourth diagram on my foot anatomy page. That is probably the most common problem I see in that area. The next possibility would be trauma to the fifth metatarsal base which is also in that area. In either event, if running is exacerbating the problem, you can assume that running will also prevent it from getting better particularly if you are not having it treated. See a podiatrist, have an xray to make sure there is no stress fracture particularly because fractures of the fifth metatarsal base can be difficult to heal. Good luck. Marc Mitnick DPM
so my ankle gave out as i was walking off the bus, i heard a crack and then a sharp pain went through my whole left side, i walked it off causing the pain to worse, i didnt have time to take a break at work where im on my feet all day. there is no sweeling or much brusing my pain is at a 10 now after elevating it and icing it and i cant put any pressure on it. Not sure if its just a sprain or not. Ive broken this ankle twice and the second time it didnt swell so should i be worried and arranging a doctors appointment for exrays?
You most certainly should get an xray. The fact that you have broken this same ankle twice before increases the odds that the ankle may be broken this time. When a broken bone heals from a previous fracture in many instances it can be an incomplete healing process making the chances of re-fracture greater. In an effort to reduce your pain and perhaps reduce further damage you should consider doing a couple of things until you can have the foot and ankle examined. The first thing I would recommend would be to wrap the ankle, if with nothing else, an ace bandage. This will help stabilize the ankle (somewhat) and should help reduce some of the pain and swelling. Secondly, I would suggest you remain non-weightbearing, if possible, through the use of crutches. This too, will reduce the pain but maybe more importantly prevent further damage to the ankle. Having said that, get yourself to a doctor as soon as possible.
I have severe pain on top of my feet and radiating to the inner side and heel of each foot.Sometimes the pain is radiating with sharp shooting pain deep inside the feet sometimes i get electrical shocking pains with the regular pain Also there is a deep inflamation kind of pain my feet can be very hot to very cold and my feet get stiff The bones on top of my feet look swollen and bumpy I can not put my shoes on, Some days it hinders me from walking at all My ankles & my feet,the heal and lower calf is miscolored bruised looking if i am on my feet too long that day.And sometimes the top of my feet get a pink to a light red rash on the top of them. There are days that I can not walk at all or apply pressure to my feet because of the pain stiffness and swelling.
Sounds like there is a lot going on in both feet and lower legs which makes it virtually impossible for me to offer any real clues as to what your problem might be. I will say this. You apparently have the problem in both feet and legs which would mean to me that there is more of a systemic problem going on than a local problem. You do not mention much about your medical history but I am somewhat concerned about the discoloration you mention. Additionally, the simple fact that some days you can barely walk would lead me to tell you that you would be very wise to seek medical care as your symptoms sound way out of ordinary. I wish I could be more specific as to what direction you should take, but as I just mentioned, your symptoms are way out of proportion to what most patients present with when they come into the office and I think your problems may require a medical work up.