Monday, August 23, 2010

Psoriasis on the Feet

Have you been itching your feet lately? Are there patches of thick, scaly skin, or have your nails turned a yellow-orange color? These symptoms are not a sign or Athlete's Foot or fungal toenails, but instead psoriasis.

Psoriasis occurs when our skin cells grow quicker than they are supposed to. Instead of taking weeks to develop, these cells form in days. Our body will not shed these new skin cells as quickly as they devlop, and therefore they will form lesions.

Of the five most common types of psoriasis (plaque, guttate, pustular, inverse, and erthrodermic), plaque is seen in 80% of people suffering with the condition. Plaque psoriasis is characterized by thick, scaly skin, in shades of red, silver, or white, and can develop anywhere on your skin.

About half of all psoriasis patients have problems with their toenails. Their toenails pull away from the skin, and develop ridging as well as a yellow-orange color.

So how do you get psoriasis? Is it from touching someone who already has it? Is it genetic? You are correct if you guessed that it can be linked to your genes. Since people who suffer from psoriasis have a weak immune system, their T-cells (fighter cells) react with your skin cells, causng a chain reaction that takes less time than it should. Many people inherit the gene for psoriasis, but may not get the condition. Along with having the particular gene, other triggers for psoriasis are stress, strep throat, or a skin injury.

Psoriasis has been found to affect men and women equally, but whites (2.55) over blacks (1.3) are more likely to have the condition. People between the ages of 15-30 are roughly 75% of all psoriasis sufferers. Family history also increases your chances of psoriasis.

It is important that you know psoriasis is a lifelong, chronic condition. When flare-ups occur, your lesions will most likely crack, itch, and bleed. The itching may wake you up in the night and you may find it difficult to focus on work.

On your feet, the most traditional methods of treating psoriasis is tar, salicylic acid, and corticosteroids. Nails that are affected may be treated as previously mentioned or may be surgically removed.

Dr. Tina A. Boucher, DPM
Central Connecticut Foot Care, LLC
Meriden CT Podiatrist
Order Your free copy of our books, "Why Do My Feet Hurt" and "Heal My Heel" today!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Avoid Kid's Foot Problems This Back-to-School

Before heading back-to-school shopping with your children this fall, you should follow these tips in purchasing shoes that will last and fit your child's foot.

Your child's foot can grow up to two sizes in six months, so you need to account for growth during that time period. That does not mean that you should buy shoes that are overly big, as this can cause the foot to slide forward, and cause excessive pressure on the toes. A good fit is about a finger's width from the end of the shoe to the tip of the big toe.

Tight shoes can cause blisters, corns, and callouses on your child's toes, blisters on the back of their heels or worse, ingrown toenails, which can become infected. Signs of infection from ingrown toenails include pain, redness or fluid draining from the area. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should make an appointment with your podiatrist, who can perform an in-office procedure to remove the infected nail.

Shoes wear out over time and lose their shock absorption, so new and old shoes need to be inspected for proper cushioning and arch support. Replace any old shoes with wear and tear around the edges of the sole. When buying shoes, check to see that the toe box flexes easily and the shoe does not bend in the middle of the sole.

Worn-out shoes elevate the risk of heel pain, Achilles tendonitis, which can be diagnosed in children, as well as ankle sprains and fractures.

Children with flat feet need shoes with a wide toebox, maximum arch support and shock absorption. The best shoes to purchase are oxford, lace-up shoes that have enough depth for an orthotic insert, if necessary. Converse sneaker, flip-flops, Uggs, and ballet flats are all shoes that should never be worn by children.

Dr. Tina A. Boucher, DPM
Central Connecticut Foot Care, LLC
Meriden CT Podiatrist
Order your free copy of our books "Why Do My Feet Hurt?" and "Heal My Heel!" today!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Avoid a Flip-Flop Fiasco!

No matter how many times we tell our patients not to wear flip-flops, some people are going to wear them anyway. Always remember that your average flip-flop has no support, no structure, and is generally bad for your feet. The American Podiatric Medical Association has these suggestions if you are one of those flip-flop hold-outs


1. Do shop for a flip-flop made of high-quality, soft leather. Leather minimizes the potential for blisters and other types of irritation.

2. Do look for flip-flops that hold APMA's Seal of Acceptance, such as those made by FitFlop and Chaco. Evaulated by a team of APMA podiatrists, these products are shown to allow for the most normal foot function and promote quality health. For a list of all flip-flops with the APMA Seal of Acceptance, visit their website,

3. Do gently bend the flip-flop from end to end, ensuring it bends at the ball of the foot. Shoes of any kind should never fold in half

4. Do wear a sturdy pair of flip-flops when walking around a public pool, at the beach, in hotel rooms, and in locker room areas. Walking barefoot can expose foot soles to plantar warts and athlete's foot.

5. Do ensure that your foot does not hang off the edge of the flip-flop.


1. Do not re-wear flip-flops year after year. Inspect old pairs for wear. If they shoe signs of severe wear, discard them.

2. Do not ignore irritation between toes, where the toe thong fits. This can lead to blisters and possible infections.

3. Do not wear flip-flops while walking long distances. Even the sturdiest flip-flops offer little in terms of shock absorption and arch support.

4. Do not do yard work while wearing flip-flops. Always wear a shoe that fully protects feet when doing outside activities such as mowing the lawn or using a weed eater.

5. Do not play sports in flop-flops. This practice can lead to twisting of the foot or ankle, as well as sprains and breaks.

Dr. Tina A. Boucher, DPM
Central Connecticut Foot Care, LLC
Meriden, CT Podiatrist
Order your free copy of our books "Why Do My Feet Hurt?" and "Heal My Heel!" today!

Shoe of the Month: Platforms and Wedges

Towering platforms and wedges combine all the things girls love in footwear- a little bit of height, straps and lots of style options. Be careful up there, though, platforms and wedges can be unsteady, causing instability and problems with balance. Also, excessive height can lead to ankle rolls and falls. Try lower platforms and wedges with secure ankle straps, cork material bottoms for shock absorption and traction for slippery conditions. When wearing this shoe type, always avoid uneven terrain.
Dr. Tina A. Boucher, DPM
Central Connecticut Foot Care, LLC