In our previous podiatry blog article we discussed home remedies and simple things you can do on your own to help minor foot conditions.
But remember, even though there are a multitude of self-treatments options available, some at-home self-treatments can actually do more harm than good. When you have a foot problem avoid these home remedies.
What Home Treatments Should I Avoid?
1. Corn or callus removers -There are a multitude of products out there labeled as "corn removers" or "callus removers." They are available with the "medication" in a liquid form or often as pads impregnated with the liquid. These products contain salicylic ACID as the active ingredient. As you might imagine from the word "acid," these products essentially eat away at your skin.
Hopefully they'll eat away your painful corn or make your callus "disappear" with out leaving a painful sore or wound on your foot. The acid doesn't know the difference between the corn, or skin it's targeting and your normal healthy skin. We've seen too many cases where corn removal products have eaten a hole right through the skin and left behind an open, often infected wound. It makes us cringe just thinking about it!
2. The medicine in your cabinet - This is another no-no we see all too often, especially with antibiotic medications. If you think you have some kind of infection in your foot, please don't start taking those leftover antibiotics from the last time you didn't finish the course like you were supposed to!
First, it could be the wrong antibiotic for your infection and it could be getting worse while you're waiting to see what happens. Second, even if you get lucky and take the correct antibiotic, you can't possibly have enough to take care of the problem. And third, when you do end up in our office after haphazardly taking antibiotics, it makes it more difficult for us to properly diagnose the bug.
3. Pedicures - Before you get too excited, we are not saying that pedicures are a bad thing. But we do see the results of too many bad pedicures. So what makes you think that if you have a painful foot problem, such as a corn or an ingrown toenail, that a pedicurist can fix it? They are not doctors!
If you have pain in your feet or toes, especially from an ingrown toenail, please see a podiatrist to have it properly removed (not to mention anesthetized before someone starts digging into the side of your nail!). The ramifications of improper treatment are more severe infection, longer down time and even loss of your toe.
4. Over-priced arch supports -These are more likely to hurt your pocket book than cause you physical harm, but, because the marketing for these devices has run completely amok, we include this discussion for your protection.
There's nothing wrong with trying an over-the-counter arch support if you're experiencing an EARLY onset of MINOR foot pain, especially if it's in the heel or arch area.
You can purchase an adequate arch support for around $45.00 at our podiatry store. Look for something that is somewhat firm so that it actually has a chance of holding up your arch a bit. We recommend Powerstep and Sole supports. Definitely avoid anything that is more than fifty dollars and claims to be in any way "custom" (i.e. Dr Scholl's Custom Fit, Good Feet Stores). And please go to the podiatrist if your pain is not resolving.
Find quality, podiatrist approved over-the-counter arch supports and insoles to relieve heel and arch pain at our sister store, Foot Traffik.
5. Thinking that your foot pain will simply go away - Foot pain rarely resolves on its own!
Just think of all the stress on your feet with every step you take. you can try to "take it easy" for a few days, but every time you get out of bed in the morning you are likely aggravating whatever area is injured.
So unless you put yourself on bed rest for a few weeks or you can levitate through life, your foot problem is going to be difficult to heal, and ignoring foot pain can lead to even more serious consequences such as stress fractures and ruptured tendons. Please always remember that early intervention for your foot problem is likely to decrease your down time, decrease your need for more major treatments (i.e. surgery!), and also save you money and frustration in the long run.
If you are tired of dealing with your foot problem and are ready to get help from an experienced podiatrist, call: (562) 433-0478