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5 DIY Foot Scrubs You Can Make At Home

When it comes to our foot health, winter is a time of year when we should be exceptionally kind to our feet. For instance, our winter boots can often cause Foot odour, and several Painful foot conditions may also be exacerbated by colder weather and wet conditions. To go along with that, many of us are spending more time at home due to COVID-19 affecting Toronto this winter. On the bright side, we have more time on our hands to get creative! If you find yourself at home more often and are also looking to take better care of your feet, you can make your own homemade foot products! In this article, we will outline 5 foot scrub recipes made with ingredients that can mostly be found in your pantry or refrigerator! If they’re not already there, you can plan a trip to most downtown Toronto grocery stores to get everything you need to make these foot scrubs. The essential oils needed can be found online, or in many natural and organic stores.

These all-natural scrubs can become a part of your daily self-care routine, or even be given as gifts! Don’t feel intimidated if you’ve never done this before — we’ll go over the steps to making these 5 DIY foot scrubs and provide you with a shopping list. Moreover, we’ll discuss how these multi-purposeful ingredients promote foot care! 

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Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels – Thank you!

DIY Foot Scrubs: Shopping List

  • Granulated Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Coconut Oil (A large tub of this would be good, as all of these scrubs contain coconut oil)
  • Lemons
  • Oranges
  • Peppermint Extract
  • Epsom Salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Lavender Essential Oil
  • Orange Essential Oil

How Can These DIY Foot Scrubs Help With Foot Health? 

Let’s get into that, shall we? First, the coconut oil in these recipes has moisturizing qualities that can soothe your feet and help with dry skin, dead skin, or cracked heels caused by colder temperatures. It can also fight against athlete’s foot by preventing foot fungus! Additionally, we all know that eating sugar isn’t very good for our overall health, but the sugar component in several of these foot scrubs is a whole other story! When applied to your feet, sugar has exfoliating properties that also help remove dead skin. Not only that, but the sugar element can help relieve any soreness that comes with several painful foot conditions, such as Plantar Fasciitis, Osteoarthritis, or Diabetes related foot pain.

Epsom salt has anti-inflammatory characteristics, and is a total game changer when it comes to muscle relief and relaxation. It also helps with dead skin removal. For even more relief, You can use it in a foot bath. When it comes to the peppermint extract and essential oils, they’re fragrant components that tackle foot odour and leave your feet smelling delectable. The citrus components can help take on Joint related foot pain. The joints in our feet are affected by such conditions as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Bunions and Gout

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Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels – Thank you!

5 DIY Foot Scrub Recipes:

 

Peppermint Extract + Sugar + Coconut Oil

  1. In a mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup of coconut oil.
  2. Add 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of peppermint extract.
  4. Optional: if you like, you can use green food colouring for that extra minty effect. However, it’s not necessary to experience the medicinal qualities of the scrub.
  5. Mix all the ingredients together – voila!

Lemon + Sugar + Coconut Oil

  1. In a mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup of coconut oil.
  2. Cut your lemon in half and squeeze as much juice out of one half as possible into the bowl.
  3. Use a zester or cheese grater to get some zest out of the lemon peel, add to the bowl.
  4. Add one cup of sugar. Mix all ingredients together efficiently.

 Brown Sugar + Cinnamon + Coconut Oil

  1. In a mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup of coconut oil.
  2. Add one tablespoon of cinnamon.
  3. Add two cups of brown sugar.
  4. Mix well, and voila!
  5. Oh! If you’d like to add a little more scent, you can add 2 tablespoons of vanilla to this one!

Epsom Salt + Coconut Oil + Honey + Lavender Essential Oil

  1. In a mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup of coconut oil.
  2. Next, you’ll add 1 cup of the Epsom salt.
  3. You can slightly eyeball the amount of essential oil you add, but aim for somewhere around 10 drops.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of honey.
  5. Mix well and there you have it, a lovely lavender scented scrub with a hint of honey!

Sugar + Coconut Oil + Orange + Orange Essential Oil

  1. In a mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup of coconut oil.
  2. Next, add a 1/2 cup of sugar.
  3. Add some orange zest – similar to the lemon in the lemon recipe, use a grater or zester!
  4. Add some juice from the orange. Cut the orange in half and squeeze juice out of one half.
  5. Add about 15 drops of orange essential oil.
  6. Optional: orange food colouring.
  7. Mix thoroughly and enjoy this sweet-smelling scrub!

Please note: it’s okay to do a little eye balling when it comes to amounts of ingredients used! If you’re looking for a smoother texture, for example, you can add a little more of the coconut oil. 

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Looking For More Foot Care Guidance? Look No Further!

These foot scrubs are great, but you may also need to see a chiropodist to receive sufficient foot care. A foot specialist can guarantee that you’re tackling any foot concerns from all angles. Call or Book Today and we’ll have you in asap! Open 6 days a week, we’ll be happy to help inform you and solve all your concerns any day at your convenience! 

Call us at 416-769-FEET (3338) or Book Your Assessment Today!

Podiatry Podcasts: Wellness, Fitness, Beauty Perspectives

As the world of podcasting evolves, there are more professionals from different walks of life engaging on this platform. Today, with a little view into the variety out there, we here again from podiatrists, engaging with medical, fitness, and beauty professionals. In continuance of the Podiatry Podcast series, here are 3 more episodes for your listening pleasure.

The People’s Pharmacy 

Co-hosted by partners, medical anthropologist Terry Graedon and pharmacologist Joe Graedon, the podcast features a vast array of guests in the different facets of the medical and wellness fields.

Female counselor wears mask during session

In episode 1113, the guest is Dr. Jane Andersen, podiatrist, who highlights some of the most common foot problems seen in her practice, reflective of Feet First Clinic’s specialties.

Looking through their entire series, there is a great mixture of content which attests to the holistic approach to living, and this episode follows suit.

Muscle Intelligence

Hosted by bodybuilder Ben Pakulski, his guests range from fitness to medical experts, discussing optimal functionality for your physical body.

Muscular men lifting deadlift

In episode 139, Dr. Emily Splichal discusses: “Why Orthotics are just a quick fix and how healthy feet function.” Tapping into the importance of your gait and how building healthy glutes impact every step you take. In addition, finding your own primal movement with a gait analysis will help you to increase your mobile longevity.

Fat Mascara

A beauty driven podcast, led by Jessica Matlin, the beauty director of Harper’s Bazaar and Jennifer Goldstein, writer for the likes of Marie Claire and O, The Oprah Magazine, the candid and engaging duo speak to other professionals about all things aesthetics.

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In the particular episode curated, #156, they speak to yet again, Dr. Emily Splichal discusses the safe practices within self-care through spa rituals. Learning more about medical pedicures such as what Feet First offers are mentioned as well. Everything from ingrown toenails to discoloured toenails, and making sure you are visiting a professional who knows how to properly administer a medical pedicure. 

Looking to have a safe, and effective procedure on your feet?

Come visit us at Feet First Clinic! We have all-encompassing service offerings to keep your feet mobile and healthy. Our chiropodists and team will have great one-on-one insight for your specific concerns. Call us at 416-769-FEET (3338) and Book your Appointment Today!

 

How To Get Rid Of Peeling Skin On Your Feet

It’s common knowledge that winter has a tendency to aggravate certain foot conditions, and for that reason, we should take extra care of our feet. Peeling skin, Dry skin, and dead, hard skin can become a real problem during the winter, and even throughout the year if we neglect proper foot care. Skin on our feet can build up over time if our feet are confined inside our boots and socks, leaving little room to breathe and keeping them in an environment where there is a lack of healthy moisture. What’s more, if we go too long without proper exfoliation and a decent moisturizing and scrubbing routine, we are likely going to experience the nuisance of dead, peeling skin.

Located on the bottom of our feet, or sometimes on our toes, dead, peeling skin can present itself in several ways. Whether it be cracked heels, peeling skin, or hard, dry and rough skin, it’s a problem that deserves attention. It may persist alongside another common foot condition, or you could be experiencing it for the first time. Whatever your situation, we’re here to give you the low-down on how a chiropodist can help! Furthermore, we’ll be sure to let you know what you can do from home to defeat it! If you combine the two, you’ll be right on track to ridding your feet of peeling skin.

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Photo by cottonbro from Pexels – thank you!

Can A Chiropodist Remove Peeling Skin?

Yes, absolutely. Licensed chiropodists are qualified foot specialists and will be able to remove peeling skin with specialized tools and products. They are also equipped to inform you how to use these various products if you’re required to apply them from home. Likewise, Peeling skin can be associated with various foot conditions that chiropodists are trained to treat by incorporating medicated ointments, creams, spays, powders, and sometimes antifungals. These conditions include, but are not limited to, the following:

Is There Anything I Can Do At Home To Prevent And Remove Peeling Skin On My Feet?

Definitely! It’s always a good idea to maintain your “homework” when it comes to foot care, and your chiropodist will help assist you and inform you. Some things you can try right away, include:

  • Ensuring your feet have time to breathe. We keep our feet cooped up in shoes and socks for a large chunk of the day, so ventilation is important.
  • Avoid public places like pools and showers, which can be breeding grounds for athlete’s foot, and even Plantar warts. If you’re unable to avoid them, make sure to shield your feet with flip-flops or shower shoes.
  • Stay hydrated. A given!
  • Opt for lukewarm showers and baths, instead of hotter temperatures. Exposure to very hot showers or baths can contribute to dry, peeling skin.

Let’s also discuss some foot care habits, accessories and products, as well as how to use them, including:

  • Foot file
  • Medicated products
  • Exfoliating and moisturizing from home

Foot File

You can invest in proper foot care and say goodbye to dead, dry or peeling skin by purchasing a Foot file. Not only will you be able to polish your feet and get rid of peeling skin, foot files are multi-purposeful, and are also a perfect accessory that can rid your feet of Calluses and be used during at-home Pedicures. A foot file will have a rough side and a smooth side and is easy to use.

Using the rough side of the file and in a downward motion, you can scrap away any dead skin. For the best access to both feet, use your knee to rest the foot you’re using the foot file on, and then switch feet. For optimal results, you can soak your feet in lukewarm water for about 20 minutes prior to using the foot file. Afterwards, you should be sure to follow up with a good moisturizing regime!

Woman Filing Foot

Exfoliating And Moisturizing From Home

An excellent accompaniment to your foot file is a thorough exfoliating and moisturizing routine. For exfoliating, you can make a homemade foot scrub with epsom salt or sugar, or look into purchasing a trusted product to simplify the process. Creams are also excellent moisturizers. An excellent product to consider is Gehwol’s Fusskraft Soft Feet Cream, which is enriched with avocado oil and other components that leave your feet feeling and looking softer. This cream aims to rid your feet of scaly and dry skin by reawakening skin cells, and also acts as a defence against conditions that cause dead skin. Another plus to this product is it’s ability to ward off calluses!

If the peeling or dry skin is primarily located on your heels in the form of cracked heels, you can try moisturizing regularly with Dermal Therapy Heel Care Cream. Cracked heels, if ignored, can become irritated, inflamed and can even bleed, especially during the harsher winter weather. Not only a great product for your heels, this product locks in moisture and fights intensely dry skin on your feet. The superstar component of this cream is urea, which binds moisture to skin cells.

Other Medicated Products 

You can also opt for Gehwol’s Med Salve For Cracked Skin. The medicated soap, lanolin, and Vaselin in Gehwol’s Med Salve softens hard skin. Furthermore, this product is able to keep dry, peeling skin and cracked heels from becoming inflamed or worsening. Gehwol specializes in foot care products that can do most of the work for you if used properly and consistently! Check out even more of their versatile products!

Foot perfection

We’re Here To Help! 

Do you have a problem with dry, cracked, peeling, or dead skin on your feet? Don’t be embarrassed if it seems icky, it’s widely common and an issue for many! We pride ourselves in effectively communicating your concerns and needs as comfortable as possible. Call our downtown Toronto foot clinic anytime to ask about your specific concern! We’ll make sure to provide actionable steps towards getting your feet as happy and healthy as possible!

Call us at 416-769-FEET (3338) or Book Your Assessment Today!

Last Minute Stocking Stuffers That Are Great For Your Feet

The holidays are a hectic time of year and sometimes we leave some of our shopping to the last minute! This can be especially true when it comes to last minute touches, such as stocking stuffers. If this sounds like you, don’t worry! Rest assured, we’ve got you covered if you need some last minute goodies to add to someone’s stocking, or if you’re still looking for that perfect gift. Coupled with the fact that these are great for our feet and foot health this winter, we’re confident in our ability to give you some last minute ideas for holiday gift giving. These products help prevent foot pain, foot conditions and skin conditions. Furthermore, some of these goodies will help keep your favourite shoes protected from looking worn or rough around the edges.

Last Minute Stocking Stuffers That Are Great For Your Feet Include:

  • Gehwol Night Time Routine Bundle
  • Sigvaris Sports Compression Socks
  • Anodyne Leather Shoe Conditioner
  • Compression Pantyhose
  • Gehwol Medical Salve For Cracked Skin
  • Superfeet Insoles

Christmas stockings hanging by the chimney

Gehwol Night Time Routine Bundle

Bundle deals are exciting and greatly appreciated during the holidays! What’s more, they give you the opportunity to treat someone to a variety of products. If you’d like to do this for someone who spends a lot of time on their feet at work, the Gehwol Night Time Routine Bundle may be the perfect gift for them! Additionally, it’s the perfect gift or stocking stuffer idea for someone who is too busy for proper foot care and may need the right introduction to the perfect routine. This self-care bundle includes a soothing leg balm, revitalizing foot bath, and a moisturizing foam.

Sigvaris Sports Compression Socks

If your friend or loved one is the athletic type, you can opt for a pair of Sigvaris Sports Compression Socks as a last minute gift or stocking stuffer. Please note that if you’d like to treat someone to a pair of compression stockings, it’s best that they’re in the know, since they will need a proper fitting. Despite the lack of surprise, the gesture is still a good one that they will appreciate, and you can incorporate the fitting into their gift, if you like! Known for their ability to rejuvenate tired, achy muscles, as well as their knack for preventing lactic acid build up, a pair of these may be just what someone needed! They’re a gift idea that’s certainly long lasting and will be used regularly. They will greatly improve the quality of life for that physically active special person in your life.

Interested in learning more about compression stockings? Click here to learn about the different varieties, as well as the numerous health benefits they provide.

Anodyne Leather Shoe Conditioner

Do you know someone who cherishes their favourite pair of leather shoes? Or perhaps you know someone who wants to protect their newly purchased shoes? Whatever the reason, shoe care means a lot to many people. A great stocking stuffer or small gift idea would be the Anodyne Leather Shoe Conditioner! Found on page 17 of their catalogue, this product protects leather shoes from the harshness of weather and prevents them from looking tattered or shabby. Applying this conditioner to shoes cleans them, protects their colour, and conserves and softens the leather.

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Birkenstock Deluxe Shoe Care Kit

Stocking stuffers that are great for our feet are even better when they come as a bundle! Another great bundle that allows someone to enjoy several products is the Deluxe Shoe Care Kit from Birkenstock, found on page 26 of their catalogue. Commonly assumed to be a company that only makes sandals, Birkenstock’s kit includes leather protector, shoe cleaner, cork sealer, and a suede brush! A handy accessory kit that focuses on shoe protection may be just what someone wanted this year! A great pair of well-fitting, high quality shoes should last as long as possible, and that’s exactly what this kit will help someone achieve.

Superfeet Insoles

Another great last-minute stocking stuffer or gift idea are Superfeet insoles. These high-quality insoles come in a various designs that target different needs. Superfeet curate insoles suitable for sports enhancement, hiking, running, or simply everyday walking. Do you have a friend who enjoys frequent walks or hikes? Or perhaps a loved one who enjoys running? Whatever the activity, Superfeet has an insole for the man or woman in your life who needs that extra support. For instance, yellow Superfeet insoles are made to accomodate hockey players by fitting snugly inside their skates. What’s more, Superfeet insoles can help treat, as well as prevent, such foot conditions as Morton’s Neuroma, Blisters, Bunions, and Plantar Fasciitis.

Compression Pantyhose

The benefits that come with compression socks also apply to Compression PantyhoseSimilar to the Sigvaris Sports Compression Socks, there will be a lack of surprise by gifting a pair of these to someone. This is because they will need a proper fitting with a foot specialist. However, the gesture will be greatly appreciated, as compression pantyhose are an excellent gift for any working woman. Specifically, they’re great for women who spend a lot of time on their feet while experiencing foot and leg fatigue or discomfort. To gift a pair of compression pantyhose to someone special, you can schedule their fitting with a Toronto foot specialist and then offer to pay for the pantyhose.

Gehwol Medical Salve For Cracked Skin

In addition to their night time routine bundle, Gehwol’s Medical Salve For Cracked Skin is another great product from the trusted brand. Perfect for cracked heels and dry skin, most people could benefit from this practical stocking stuffer. This is especially true during the Toronto winter season. A great introductory product to foot care, your friend or loved one will hopefully be inspired to ditch other bad foot care habits. These habits could include wearing bad shoes, also known as “shoe icide,” or the habit of wearing low quality shoes. Once they feel the relief that comes with this product, your loved one will be appreciative, and hopefully take that next step towards proper foot care.

 

Foot Care

Need Some Last Minute Stocking Stuffers? We’ve Got You Covered! 

Looking to finish up some of your holiday shopping? We’re confident in our ability to help inform you and solve your concerns! Call us even to ask about a quick question and we’d be happy to point you in the right direction! Be sure to check out our downtown Toronto foot clinic’s Full product catalogue for more great gift ideas!

Call us at 416-769-FEET (3338) or Book Your Assessment Today!

How to Defeat Dry Skin This Winter

There are plenty of positives of winter: snowy walks, cozy evenings by the fireplace, outdoor winter activities and the holidays. One not so great aspect of winter is dry skin.

Dry skin is an uncomfortable condition characterized by scaling, itching, and cracking. It can result from a variety of factors, or be totally natural. Although you can have dry skin anywhere on your body, your feet can be particularly prone to this condition.

Why Dry Skin is Prevalent in Winter

Winter is especially brutal for dry skin. This is the case for a number of reasons:

  • Dehydration is more evident in winter
  • Indoor heating and showers can dry out the layer of skin that locks in moisture
  • Low humidity levels can degrade the skin’s natural moisture barrier. This can lead to flaking and peeling

Generally, humans’ desire to stay warm, either through indoor heating or hot showers, is particularly conducive to having dry skin in the winter. If you’ve ever come inside from the cold and take lengthy hot showers to warm up, you know what we mean.

Dry Skin

Beyond peoples’ habits, the environment plays a role. As Harvard Health Publishing explains it, the water content of the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin) tends to reflect the level of humidity around it.

Modify Your Home

Start by optimizing your home environment for the winter. Drier air means drier skin. Using a humidifier in the room that you spend the most time can help prevent your feet from drying out.

Keep the temperature on the cooler side as warmer temperatures will quickly dry out your skin.

Use a Moisturizer

Moisturizer For Dry Skin

One key component to avoiding dry skin is using moisturizing creams and products. Skin moisturizers specifically rehydrate the epidermis (the outermost of the three layers that make up the skin) and seal in the moisture. As a general rule of thumb, the thicker and greasier a moisturizer, the more effective it is. For example, petroleum jelly and moisturizing oils are highly effective as they help prevent water loss.

Use moisturizing products in damp conditions (like after taking a bath, or a shower) to seal in the water. By moisturizing your skin, you can help prevent calluses, blisters, and cracked heels.

Products we carry in-store here at Toronto’s Feet First Clinic include:

  • Gehwol Fusskraft Herbal Lotion Spray
  • Dermal Therapy Heel Care Cream
  • Gehwol Refreshing Foot Bath
  • Gehwol Fusskraft Soft Feet Cream

Visit the clinic any time – no appointment required – for a wide selection of skincare products, footwear, and footcare products.

Skin Ageing and Dryness

Your skin gets drier as you age. It’s inevitable. In fact, more than 75% of people over age 64 have dry skin.

Dry skin and ageing are related through a number of factors: cumulative effects of the sun over time as sun damage can thin the skin’s layer that absorbs moisture, and the production of natural oils slows as we age. Generally, dry skin doesn’t cause serious foot or skin conditions, but they can. These conditions can include chronic eczema, bleeding, or even bacterial infection.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels are another side effect of ageing. When the skin on the bottom of your heels becomes overly dry, it can split and crack. This condition is known as Cracked Heels. These fissures can be painful and bleed. If they persist, your heels can become infected.

What You Can do About Dry Skin

Dry Skin Avoid Long Showers

Combat dry skin this winter by incorporating (or avoiding) some of these habits into your routine:

  • Use a humidifier in the winter
  • Limit yourself to 5-10-minute baths or showers
  • Use lukewarm water rather than hot water
  • Minimize your use of soaps. Alternatively, use moisture-rich hygiene products
  • Avoid deodorant soaps, perfumed soaps, and alcohol products
  • Use bath oils
  • Use moisturizer immediately after bathing or after washing your hands
  • To reduce the greasy feel of petroleum jelly and thick creams, rub a small amount in your hands, and then rub it over the affected areas until neither your hands nor the affected areas feel greasy.
  • Avoid scratching or itching dry areas
  • Use sunscreen in the winter (not just in the summer)
  • Use a cream or gel a few minutes before shaving
  • Avoid fabric softeners and use fragrance-free laundry detergents

We Can Help With All of Your Foot and Skincare Needs

We’re confident in our ability to help inform you and solve your concern with the least amount of discomfort possible. Call us to inquire about any concerns or questions you have and we’d be happy to point you in the right direction!

Call us at 416-769-3338 or Click Above to Book Your Assessment Today!

Varicose Veins: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Have you ever noticed red or blue veins that almost appear to be sticking out of your skin? These may be varicose veins.

Varicose veins are swollen, twisted veins that lie just under the skin. Most often, these swollen, twisted veins develop in the legs. The good news about is that these veins are rarely painful, and often not a serious concern. The bad news can be related to cosmetics. Enlarged and colourful veins may be undesirable. Given we all age, varicose veins become increasingly more common, especially at advanced ages. Like many foot conditions, varicose veins is one side effect ageing has on our feet and legs. But, age is only part of the story.

Read on to learn about the causes, risks, prevention, and treatment, as well as how we can help.

Causes and Risk Factors

Varicose Veins

At its simplest, varicose veins are the result of damaged walls and valves. So, the veins are unable to do their job: to carry blood. When blood pools because of reduced circulation, the veins grow, blood pressure rises, and your veins become distorted.

According to Onhealth.com, varicose and spider veins (see more on spider veins below) affect up to 50% of the adult population. Women tend to suffer from these veins more often than men, especially as you age. But, there are a wide range of risk factors that may lead to swollen, twisted veins. Risks include:

  • Advanced age
  • Prolonged sitting/standing
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Hormone therapy (HT)
  • Birth control pills
  • Injury
  • Prior vein surgery
  • History of blood clots
  • Family history

Notable controllable risks from above include obesity, and prolonged sitting/standing. Through self-care, regular exercise, and monitoring your feet and legs, you help reduce the likelihood of this foot condition. Those who sit for long periods of time, or those who stand for lengths of time, should be particularly aware of varicose veins. A balanced lifestyle, one with a proper diet and regular exercise, can help prevent your veins from weakening.

Person sitting on their computer

Fortunately, varicose veins rarely pose any threat or symptoms. Instead, it’s a cosmetic appearance that may be undesirable. Symptoms may include swelling, throbbing, aching, burning, itching, heaviness, tingling, or cramping of the legs. In rare instances, you may develop skin ulcers. When in doubt, contact a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis.

The Effects of Compression Socks

Compression Socks are one of the most effective ways to prevent varicose veins. In fact, compression socks are generally a great investment as a preventative measure to most foot and leg conditions. Medical Leggings use “graduated” compression, which squeezes harder the farther they are from the heart. This prevents blood from pooling in the legs; that’s why you see people on planes, trains, and at work wearing them. The idea behind compression gear is that it increases blood flow throughout the body. Specifically for vein health, compression socks will limit the effects of being sedentary as your body will pump blood in and out of the region keeping your veins strong and healthy. Visit Feet First Clinic for a wide range of compression socks, as well as for a home to all of your footcare and footwear needs.

Will Crossing My Legs Cause Varicose Veins?

Sitting Cross-Legged

Prolonged sitting, standing, and obesity are the common risk factors for varicose veins—not sitting cross-legged. According to a doctor at UAMS Medical Centre, the connection between sitting cross-legged and varicose veins is a myth.

“Crossing your legs does not cause varicose veins,” Dr. Mohammed Moursi says. “They result from an intrinsic problem with the veins themselves. Standing for long periods of time is another habit that has been questioned as a cause of varicose veins. In truth, standing may exacerbate the existing problem with veins but should not cause them.”

Varicose vs. Spider Veins

Varicose veins and spider veins are terms often used hand in hand. However, spider veins are a mild variation. According to the Mayo Clinic, spider veins are smaller, and often resemble a spider’s web. These veins are found closer to the surface of the skin, and appear red or blue. Spider veins occur throughout the body, but most often in the legs.

Vein Surgery

As previously mentioned, varicose veins is typically a case of appearance. Surgery is an option to remove these veins, and the procedure is quite simple. The following procedures are an option, according to the Mayo Clinic.

  • Sclerotherapy. An injection with a solution or foam that scars and closes those veins
  • Foam sclerotherapy. In this case, an injection of a large vein with a foam solution is made to close a vein and seal it.
  • Laser treatment. Laser treatment works by sending strong bursts of light onto the vein, which makes the vein slowly fade and disappear. No incisions or needles are necessary.
  • Catheter-assisted procedures using radiofrequency or laser energy. Doctor inserts a thin tube (catheter) into an enlarged vein and heats the tip of the catheter using either radiofrequency or laser energy.
  • High ligation and vein stripping. This procedure involves tying off a vein before it joins a deep vein and removing the vein through small incisions.
  • Ambulatory phlebectomy. This involves the removal of smaller varicose veins through a series of tiny skin punctures.

We Can Help!

Your leg and foot solutions live here. Whether you have a severe case or mild spider veins, you can rest easy knowing we’re able and happy to solve all your foot care needs.

Call us at 416-769-3338 or Click Here to Book Your Assessment Today!

Surprising DIY Additions to Your Foot Baths

Our Feet Are Overworked, Underpaid, and Fed Up with The Neglect! 

 

Show your tootsies some TLC by making foot baths a regular practice within your wellness routine. Depending on your foot conditions, you can tailor a custom blend to your needs. You can play around with everyday products you already own. We also offer Gehwol’s range of products here at Feet First. I am often running around (literally) or in the gym, so my feet take a beating with each foot strike. I require a good soak to alleviate any strain felt and help to soften the callouses built up over the activity and switching footwear regularly. 

Foot Bath Recipe

Okay, truthfully, I rarely measure anything, but these are good rough estimates. Liken your ratios to the tub you are using. Mine is small and basic, so I tend to add the ACV accordingly based on the chemical reaction from the baking soda. Science is fun! I will sit and soak my feet for up to a half-hour, and this combination is both soothing to aching feet and softening. Follow-up with a quick rinse, some cream, and you will not believe the difference. Bonus points for using a foot scrub or a pumice stone on those stubborn spots.

The Beneficial Ingredients in This Bath: 

 

Epsom Salt

The favourite child when it comes to alleviating aches and pains in your joints and muscles. A natural anti-inflammatory, the salt acts as a drawing agent once dissolved in the water. It begins to release magnesium and sulfate ions for super effective detoxification.

Apple Cider Vinegar

ACV if you’re cool. My mornings always start with a litre of water and a shot of this legendary vinegar. The ritual partnered with my coffee is so beloved, that I began experimenting with external use. This powerful cleanser and detoxifier, ACV has the power to help you with fungal issues, bad odor, and even soothing to your dry and cracked heels. I can attest to the magic it brings into my daily wellness routine, and it has been a gamechanger for the softening of my feet.

Baking Soda

Along with their best friend above, baking soda is a great softener, and exfoliant. The skin on your feet is naturally rougher and less susceptible to scrubbing with the fine grain as opposed to your face for example, but the soaking is a powerful tool.

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Here are some other ingredients to play around with that you likely have in your home already:

 

Coconut Oil

A popular moisturizer (just be sure to throw some socks on after to prevent slipping) that also helps to kill bacteria and fungi. When heated, it is a great liquid to add to your foot bath.

Citrus Fruits

You could be fancy and float the slices atop the water or squeeze them for more functionality. The alkalinity offered by a lemon or lime will offer detoxification for your feet in addition to a pleasant aroma. 

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Essential Oils

A quick and easy addition to your soak. Tea Tree, eucalyptus, peppermint, and lavender are great choices. All are cooling and have anti-fungal properties. They also, of course, will make for a pleasant fragrance in the room.

Listerine

The most interesting option I have found, but have yet to experiment with. Particularly, the original yellow bottle is recommended. By mixing the mouthwash with white vinegar and hot water, it apparently creates a salon-grade soak, priming your feet for exfoliation with your pumice stone.

Questions/Concerns?

If you are having a little more trouble with your feet, come to say hello! We offer Medical Pedicures here at the Feet First Clinic. Think of it as a relaxing way toward supporting your foot health.

Call us at 416-769-3338 or Book Your Assessment Today!

 

Why Are My Feet Always So Cold?

Have you ever had a cold sensation in your feet, even in warm conditions? Or have you noticed your feet turning white, then blue, or even red?

Cold feet is a catch-all term for when you experience a freezing sensation in your feet. What makes the actual cause trickier to determine is that cold feet is often a common symptom for a number of other conditions (foot and all). Now, we know winter is fast approaching, and you might be worried about having this annoyance happen on a daily basis. As with any foot condition, we’re here to help. Here at Feet First Clinic, we’re experts in diagnosing and treating the Most Common Foot Conditions. Generally, cold feet is not something to be particularly worried about. But, there are some instances where it’s advised to get a second opinion. Like with any foot condition, the longer you wait to get a proper diagnosis, the higher the likelihood that a condition will develop, or worsen. Find everything you need to know about cold feet including causes, and what you can do about it, below.

Causes Of Cold Feet

Red Feet Cold Temperatures

The two most common causes of cold feet include: decreased circulation or a problem with nerve function. Below you’ll find a list of conditions that may cause cold feet, or underlying conditions where cold feet can be a symptom.

Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is a condition characterized by limited blood supply to your limbs. Restricted blood flow for those with atherosclerosis is typicaly due to the buildup of fats, cholesterol and other substances in and on your artery walls (plaque). Since your feet do not receive the proper oxygen and blood supply, your feet may appear blue or purple when you are sitting, and pale or white when you are lying down. You may also feel pain in your calves when you walk. Ask your doctor to check the pulse in your legs as a test for this foot condition.

Raynaud’s syndrome

Raynaud’s Syndrome is a condition of toe discolouration after exposure to hot and cold temperatures. Your toes may turn white, then blue in response to cold temperatures. Conversely, your feet and toes may turn red in response to warmth since the small blood vessels overcompensate for the temperature change. According to WebMD, there are two types of Raynaud’s syndrome: primary and secondary. Primary’s cause is unknwon, and typically harmless. Secondary Raynaud syndrome is linked to diseases that affect your autoimmune system including Rheumatoid Arthritis or lupus.

Neuropathy (nerve damage)

Neuropathy is damage or dysfunction of one or more nerves. In the feet, neuropathy directly affects the nerves that detect temperature. Damaged or dynsfunctional nerves do not work correctly so the affected person experiences cold feet. In reality, the foot may not be cold to touch.

Anemia

Anemia is a condition in which you lack enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your body’s tissues. Cold feet can be a result of iron deficiency anemia. People with anemia don’t have enough red blood cells to provide oxygen to their tissue.

Should I be worried if my feet are always cold?

Generally, don’t fret over cold feet. Especially with Raynaud’s syndrome, if there are no underlying diseases, then there’s no cause for concern. However, one should be aware of the possible symptoms of more serious conditions associated with cold feet. People with Raynaud’s should be aware of associated skin changes, including tightening or thickening of the skin, nail changes, or cracks and sores that don’t heal. Additionally, if you notice fatigue, weight changes, a fever, joint pain, or a rash, consult a medical professional to get a second opinion and to determine the exact cause of cold feet. It’s always smart to be proactive, not reactive when it comes to foot health.

How can I improve circulation in my feet?

Cold Feet

There are a number of tried and true methods of improving circulation to your feet. A few tips include:

  1. Exercise. Regular activity can increase circulation to the feet. Whether it’s going for a run, bike, or walk, even getting up to move around every hour, especially when in the workplace, can do wonders for circulation, and can help control swelling in your lower legs.
  2. Elevate your feet. Put your legs up from time to time to help encourage blood flow to, and away from, your feet. Allowing gravity to help do some of the work in a natural way.
  3. Compression socks. Compression Gear is specially designed to apply pressure to your lower legs. This helps maintain blood flow, and reduces swelling.
  4. Iron supplements. If you have anemia, consider asking your doctor about iron supplements. Raising your red blood cell count can increase the oxygen going to your feet, which can help with circulation, and reduces instances of cold feet.
  5. Quit smoking. If you’re a smoker, consider quitting for the sake of your feet, as well as your overall health.
  6. Warm socks. Since your feet are prone to large swings in temperature, wearing warm socks will keepm your feet at a steady state.
  7. Proper winter boots. Invest in a Proper Pair of Winter Boots to prevent your feet from getting cold during the dark winter months.

Winter Boots In Cold Temperatures Looking Down From Above

Cold Feet? Worry Not!

We pride ourselves in effectively communicating your concerns and needs as comfortable as possible. Call anytime to ask about your specific concern and we’ll make sure to provide actionable steps towards getting your feet as happy and healthy as possible.

Call us at 416-769-3338 or Book Your Assessment Today!

Shockwave Therapy For Feet and More

Shockwave Therapy For Feet and More

You hear the term “Shockwave Therapy” every now and then around physiotherapy clinics, speciality foot clinics and by friends! But what does it mean? Why does it sound so cool? What’s being shocked?!

We’ll be covering the benefits and factors involved in the shockwave therapy process below.

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Is Shockwave Therapy Effective? 

Extracorporeal shockwave therapy was originally used in 1980 as a non-invasive medical procedure for the breakdown of kidney stones. However, in the last twenty years or so, it is being used as a method for treating a number of orthopaedic disorders including plantar fasciitis, Tennis elbow, calcific tendonitis of the shoulder, Achilles tendinopathy, and patellar tendinopathy. Many scientific research articles, including a review article in the Journal of orthopedic surgery and research by Ching-Jen Wang, prove positive effects (ie significant reduction of pain and improved functionality) with the use of shockwave therapy as a treatment for musculoskeletal disorders, making it an evidence-based therapeutic modality.

Benefits of Shockwave Therapy 

Extracorporeal shockwave therapy is a safe, effective, convenient way to treat painful tendinopathies especially when all other conservative routes have proven unsuccessful. It has the potential of replacing surgery for a number of musculoskeletal disorders and therefore, avoids the risks and post-operative care that come along with invasive procedures. Recovery and side effects of shockwave therapy are minimal and generally well tolerated.  

What Does Shockwave Therapy Do? 

The exact mechanism of action of shockwave therapy is not fully understood, but what we do know is that through the application of high-intensity sound waves concentrated to a focal area, a cascade of biological responses is propagated. This in turn enhances metabolism, circulation, revascularization, and tissue regeneration. Ultimately, an induced inflammatory response encourages natural healing and repair of the tendon.

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How Long Does Shockwave Therapy Take to Work?

How long it takes shockwave therapy to work will depend on the indication and tissue response. If improvements are seen, treatment will usually continue until complete resolution of symptoms. On average, shockwave therapy requires about 3-6 sessions, waiting a week between appointments. One treatment lasts 15-30 minutes.

Need a Recommendation?

If you’re in Toronto, we recommend Bloor Jane Physiotherapy as our place of choice for all your shockwave therapy and physiotherapy needs. We specialize in foot care services, conditions and treatments. Often it’s complimentary to pair any treatment to your muscles, with a follow-up shockwave therapy treatment. Unlike most other muscle relief, shockwave therapy is among the most immediate options toward relief.

Steps Towards a Solution

Call 415-766-2050 to Book An Appointment at Bloor Jane Physiotherapy and/or

Call 416-769-3338 to Book Your Foot Assessment at Feet First Clinic Today!

Is Compression Gear Worth It?

Long story short, the answer is, it depends. Compression stockings can be very beneficial when given to the right individual and for the right reasons. There are support stockings and medical compression garments. Support stockings are the ones you find at your local retail or drug store. They are considered over the counter stockings that provide about 15-20mmHg of compression, which essentially exerts a passive resistance to swelling. On the other hand, medical-grade compression stockings not only offer higher levels of compression, but they are made according to strict medical and technical guidelines to ensure adequate ankle pressure and graduated compression up the limb. Before you decide to get measured for and purchase compression gear, talk to your doctor about them as they are not for everybody.

Here are four conditions compression therapy is commonly recommended for:

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1. Edema

Edema is the medical term for swelling. It occurs when the small blood vessels in your body leak fluid to the surrounding tissue. As this fluid accumulates in the tissue, the tissues begin to swell. Edema can be the result of a number of disorders and diseases, some of which will be expanded in the points below. Others include, congestive heart failure, excessive retention of sodium and water, pregnancy, constrictive pericarditis, and prolonged inactivity. In some cases, edema in the lower extremity can lead to impaired wound healing, increased risk of infection, and pressure sores. As a result, it is highly recommended to speak to your doctor if you are experiencing edema in your feet and lower legs.

2. Varicose veins

Varicose veins are veins that have become diseased and appear enlarged, swollen, and twisted. They develop due to increased pressure in the venous system, causing damage to the valves that control proper blood flow back to the heart. As backflow of blood occurs, blood pools in the veins and causes them to dilate (widen in diameter). These are the start of venous insufficiency.

3. Chronic venous insufficiency

As the venous disease progresses, chronic venous insufficiency may develop. Similar to varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency is the result of valvular incompetence. Damaged valves compromise the flow of blood back to the heart and eventually, deep vein emptying cannot occur. Chronic venous insufficiency is also the most common cause of deep vein thrombosis. Symptoms include aching, heavy legs, lower leg and ankle edema, and moderate to severe varicosities. Chronic venous insufficiency can also lead to skin diseases such as stasis dermatitis (red, dry, itchy skin), hemosiderin deposits (brown pigmentation due to iron deposits in the skin), and ulcerations.

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 4. Venous thrombosis

Venous thrombosis describes a blood clot in a vein with accompanying inflammation of the vessel wall. Signs and symptoms of venous thrombosis in the lower leg include pain in the calf, edema, redness and increased warmth of the affected leg, fever, and generally feeling unwell. 

5. Lymphedema

The lymphatic system is made of channels and nodes that work to collect and filter fluids before returning it to the bloodstream. Lymphedema presents as swelling in either one or both limbs, the swelling worsening with progression of the disease. It is caused by extra fluid build-up in tissues due to a defective lymphatic system.

Question or Concerns?

If you have been diagnosed with any of the above conditions or your doctor has recommended compression therapy as part of your treatment plan, book an appointment with one of our licensed chiropodists to be properly measured. 

Call us at 416-769-3338 or Book Your Assessment Today!