Have a Question About Foot Pain or Treatment? Find the Answer Here

We get asked a lot of questions about foot and ankle pain. In fact, we’ve compiled a list of frequently-asked questions (and their answers) to give our patients fast access to common podiatry issues. Use the search bar on this page or browse through our list of frequent questions for solutions to your problem.

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  • Can allergies affect my feet?

    People often think about sneezing, itchy eyes, and runny noses when they think of an allergy, but it is important to note that allergies affect feet, too. Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) is a condition that involves skin irritation and inflammation and occurs from direct contact with an allergen. Part of this condition will typically entail an itchy sensation, and you may experience reddening in the affected area as well. ACD often results from exposure to metals, detergents, cosmetics, latex, and poisonous plants. Other sources include rubber, adhesives, and solvents. There are airborne allergens, too, like ragweed and insecticides.

    If you suspect that you have foot allergies, and live in the Carson City, NV area, do not hesitate to contact Sierra Foot & Ankle. We can perform a skin test to identify the cause of your ACD and then get you started on a treatment regimen to alleviate your symptoms. Yes, allergies affect feet, too, but we can take care of that for you. Call (775) 783-8037 to schedule an appointment with Victoria L. Melhuish, DPM.

  • How do I moisturize my dry feet?

    You might be thinking “moisturizing my feet is such a hassle.” Sure, it can be little time consuming, but you need to remember that keeping your feet moisturized can save you from dry, cracked skin that can lead to fissures—or even wounds and ulcers for some people.

    If you’re already dealing with a dryness problem, trying using an oil, cream, or salve. Rub it deeply into your skin after taking a shower or foot bath. At first, try to stay away from lotions with alcohol in them; that could further deplete your skin of moisture. After your skin is showing signs of repair, you can begin to using lotion. You can also use moisturizing soaps when you wash them, and make sure you drink plenty of water.

    Your dry feet might also be an indicator of a more serious problem like thyroid disease, eczema, or psoriasis. If that’s the case, treating the underlying problem should help clear up your skin. If you’re concerned for your skin health, please make an appointment with Victoria L. Melhuish, DPM, at (775) 783-8037. Sierra Foot & Ankle can also be found on Pinterest and Twitter! 

  • How can I fix shoes once they smell?

    It takes some effort to remove foot odor from shoes, but it is possible. If your shoes are made of fabric, they may be washable. Remove the insoles and shoestrings and stick your footwear in an old pillowcase—then run it through the wash. Afterward let your shoes air-dry for several days. Stuffing smelly pairs with crumpled newspaper works well, too; the paper absorbs the old sweat as well as the odor.

    Some substances you find around the house are known for their odor-eating properties and may help you fix smelly shoes. Baking soda works very well. Sprinkle it directly into your footwear before bed, then shake out the powder in the morning. You can also use fresh orange peels or fill clean socks with kitty litter. Of course, you may need to look into stopping the smell at the source—your sweaty feet. If you’re struggling with foot and shoe odor, let Dr. Victoria Melhuish at Sierra Foot & Ankle in Carson City, NV help. Just call (775) 783-8037 or submit an appointment request through our website.

  • How do I prevent my shoes from smelling bad?

    Let's play a game! Can you think of things that stink? Rotten foods, dumpsters, dirty diapers... shoes? Though we can't do much for the first three items on the list, stinky shoes can be prevented. Nothing ruins your entryway, gym bag, or favorite pair of shoes like a rancid stench.

    Shoes harbor odor-causing bacteria. This bacteria thrives in footwear due to the dark, sweaty atmosphere. And though you cannot rid your shoes of the bacteria completely, you can control the smell. Here are some methods to help prevent shoes from smelling. Do your best to keep your socks and shoes dry. If you plan to go sockless, dab a little antiperspirant on the bottoms of your feet and between your toes. While your shoes are airing out, sprinkle them with love— a little baby powder can go a long way. You can even freshen them up with dryer sheets! Mmm, that fresh laundry smell!

    To get odor under control, contact Dr. Victoria Melhuish at Sierra Foot & Ankle in Carson City and Gardnerville, NV. If your feet tend to perspire more than most, we can help! Call us at (775) 783-8037 or visit us online. We'll find a solution that keeps both you and your shoes smelling great!

  • How can I prevent black toenails while hiking?

    Consider a change in your hiking shoes or socks to prevent black toenails while you’re on the trail. Sometimes, too-tight shoes or too-slippery socks can cause your toes to bump up against the front. This can cause bruising and bleeding underneath the nail.

    You can also try lacing up your shoes differently. The way you lace can affect how stable your foot is inside the shoe. The more firm the placement, the better. (Lace them all the way so your foot is firmly seated in the heel and won’t slide forward.)

    Walking downhill can also cause this problem. Avoid long stretches or make sure you modify your shoe lacing to keep your toes from repeatedly pounding on the front of your shoes.

    Trim your nails shorter next time—but not so short that you develop ingrown toenails. Cut straight across and more frequently to maintain the same length.

    If none of these solutions work for your black toenails on the trail, try a custom-made orthotic from Sierra Foot & Ankle. You can call our office in Carson City or Gardnerville, NV, at (775) 783-8037 to make an appointment.