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10 Tips on How to Get Rid of Smelly Feet (Bromodosis)

10 Tips on How to Get Rid of Smelly Feet (Bromodosis)

Bromodosis is the term used to describe smelly feet or foot odour. This is a common medical condition that affects a number of individuals. Your feet have a tendency to sweat profusely as they have more sweat glands than any other part of your body. Sweat regulation is also affected by your hormones and thus teenagers and pregnant women tend to sweat more. However, it is not the sweat that causes the odour but actually the bacteria that grows as a result of the sweating. There are naturally occurring bacteria already present on your skin but extra bacteria can form and remain on your skin and shoes if not properly cleaned, causing the bad odour. However, there is good news as smelly feet can be treated easily.

Here are 10 things that you can do at home to prevent and help with smelly feet.

1. Make sure you wash your feet regularly, especially after your feet have been in enclosed toe shoes for a long period of time. Wash with a mild soap and scrub in between your toes as this is where bacteria tend to grow the most. After washing, make sure to dry thoroughly.

2. Change your socks regularly, at least once every day.

3. Clean and maintain your toenails.

4. Use different pairs of shoes or have two pairs of shoes that you can alternate between so it gives the other shoe time to dry properly.

5. Use tea-tree spray ( inside your shoes to remove bacteria and get rid of odour.

6. Leave your shoes in the sun to eliminate bacteria and dry the moisture from the shoes.

7. Use rubbing alcohol or Friar’s balsam to prevent excessive sweating.

8. Use breathable socks.

9. Use antifungal sprays to prevent athletes foot.

10. You also use deodorising insoles that can be purchased from the chemist.

Smelly feet can be an embarrassing condition but it is relatively easy to treat. With regular attention and care, you can potentially eliminate foot odour in 1-2 weeks. The tips above are usually very effective but in severe cases seeing a doctor may be necessary.

 

 

Ankle-foot Orthosis (AFO)

Ankle-foot Orthosis (AFO)

Photo credit: AliMed

Solid AFOs

Ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) are braces for the lower leg and foot that are often prescribed to patients with gait abnormalities. They are lightweight plastic braces composed of a plastic material that can be secured to the calf with the use of a strap; this strap also runs along and under the foot. The foot itself sits in a comfortable, accommodative shoe, AFOs possess a characteristic L-shape, which in effect assists by holding the foot and ankle in the appropriate position when performing certain tasks. Individuals suffering from disorders that severely affect muscular function, i.e. stroke, spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy and polio patients have a greater need for such devices in order to remedy irregularities that may occur in movement, especially during gait. AFOs can work in two ways: either correctly positioning a limb with contracted musculature in the normal position or supporting wasting or weak limbs.

Articulated/hinged AFOs

Articulated or hinged AFOs are made up of two separate components that are not continuous with each other but instead “articulate” with one another with a hinge mechanism. While the components themselves are composed of plastic, the joints/hinge are usually made with metal or other composite materials. The hinged moment present in these AFOs allows unrestricted and free movement of the ankle joint. These AFOs are often prescribed to reduce the rigidity in movement so that patients can perform daily tasks (e.g. walking up the stairs or rising from a chair).

Richie braces

A Richie brace is a custom ankle brace that is made after taking a cast of the patient’s ankle and foot. This type of brace is used to treat chronic conditions of the foot and ankle where the muscles are not working effectively or there are structural problems. It can be used for a number of conditions including drop-foot, ankle injuries, severe flat foot, and tendon damage. It is a lightweight design that is preferred by patients who are very active. It comes with leg uprights for maximum support, and as it is custom-made it perfectly fits the ankle joint axis of the patient’s foot. Moreover, it has an orthotic base that is also specifically moulded to your foot. As with all AFOs they do need to have good quality shoes that they can fit into – shoes with an adjustable strap, wide heel cup, and stable back and base are preferred. This brace provides a wonderful non-surgical option to complex pathologies of the leg, foot, and ankle.

Overall, the ankle foot orthosis is an efficient therapy for weakness in the lower extremity musculature and can effectively help weak muscle groups in the leg. A thorough assessment is necessary to ensure that the AFO chosen successfully remedies the given condition. Our team at the Perth Foot & Ankle Clinic are experienced in the use of AFOs and Richie braces. 

Preventing Falls

Preventing Falls

Falls can occur anywhere and anytime but as you grow older you are more risk of falling down during day to day activities and are likely to injure yourself. There are number of reasons for falls in elderly patient’s. As you grow older your vision becomes impaired, your muscles can become weaker and joints stiffer, which can all lead to the risk of falling. Falls can also be a sign of side effects from medications, balance problems and short term illnesses. 

If you have had a fall in the past six months you have a higher likelihood of falling again. Moreover, other factors that can increase the risk of falling include: poor footwear, hazards in your home, poor lighting, chronic diseases and sensory and balances issues.

However, there are number things that you can do to help prevent falls. Here are a few tips to reduce the risk of falling. 

  • Good diet that provides all the vitamins and minerals that you need. 
  • Drink enough water to keep you hydrated
  • Exercise to strengthen muscles and joints
  • Wearing good shoes that are supportive and well fitting. 
  • Avoid walking in socks. 
  • Wearing well-fitting clothing, especially pants. 
  • Decluttering your house to prevent trip hazards (e.g. loose mats, objects in your path). 
  • Using aids to walk/installing grab rails in the bathroom. 
  • Using ramps and other mobility aids if required. 
  • Have good lighting in your house, especially at night time. 

Contact us today for foot problems.

Gout

Gout

Photo courtesy: Consumer Reports

Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis, often termed ‘the disease of kings’, caused by the deposition of uric acid (monosodium urate) crystals in tissues and typically the joint fluid. This occurs as a result of excessive production of uric acid by the body, or under-excretion of uric acid by the renal system.

Gout is characterised by four clinical phases: 

1. Phase I – involves the deposition of uric acid with no symptoms

2. Phase II – (further uric acid deposition) involves intermittent acute attacks of pain and inflammation which resolves spontaneously over a period of 7 – 10 days.

3. Phase III – The stage between acute gout attacks and persistent crystal accumulation.

4. Phase IV – If the excessive crystal deposits are not controlled, individuals can transition into phase IV of gout, which is characterised by chronic crystallisation involving numerous joint attacks and the deposition of crystals in joints as well as in soft tissues.

Risk factors:

Men are more likely to develop gout and a family history of gout also increases the risk of developing the disease.

Risk factors for gout includes:

  • Some drugs: e.g thiazide diuretics, cyclosporine, low-dose aspirin
  • Diet that mainly consist of meat, seafood and refined sugars/drinks or alcohol.
  • Other factors that are associated with gout include insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, obesity, renal insufficiency, hypertension, organ transplantation and congestive heart failure.

Recurrent attacks or flares can also be induced by the use of recent diuretics, alcohol intake, surgery or trauma and recent hospitalisation; initial use of uric acid lowering drugs can also trigger gout attacks in the early periods, however reduce the risk of attacks in the long term.

Signs and Symptoms:

Clinical features of gout include spontaneous onset of intense pain, swelling and redness that most commonly affects the big toe joint (known as podagra). It can also affect other joints of the foot, ankle, mid-tarsal, wrist and knee.  Other problems that can cause similar symptoms include pseudogout, psoriatic arthritis and septic arthrtis.

Investigations:

The standard for the diagnosis of gout still remains removal of the joint fluid and evaluation to check for monosodium urate crystals under a microscope. As gout and septic arthritis can co-exist it is also essential to analyse the joint fluid for bacteria through culture. Radiographic imaging of the joints can show the changes due to a chronic history of gout. Sometimes, evidence of crystals in the joint may be seen, but not always. Recently, ultrasound, CT and MRI are also emerging techniques for the diagnosis of gout.

Treatment:

Treatment of gout can involve drug therapy as well as support and rehabilitation measures. Pharmacological management aims to treat acute gout attacks and also helps to maintain an appropriate level of uric acid in the blood in order to prevent recurrence. The British rheumatology guidelines prefer the use of NSAIDs at a high dosage (given no contraindications to its use) with a treatment period of 1-2 weeks. Therapy starts with high doses of anti-inflammatory medications for the first few days with a decrease in the dosage as the symptomatology subsides. For acute attacks of gout, another drug called colchicine is also used in addition to anti-inflammatory medicine.

Long-term management for gout consists of managing the urate levels and maintaining the concentration below a certain level. However, urate-lowering drug therapy is only indicated in patients who have experienced multiple gout attacks or chronic joint pathology and extensive crystal deposition.

Chronic gout can be painful and significantly reduce the mobility in the joint due to the crystal deposits, and the inflammation and damage caused by this. Orthotic therapy is often beneficial in order to increase the range of motion of particular joints and protect the foot from further deformity that can be caused by chronic gout.

Köhler’s Disease

Köhler’s Disease

Photo credit: Fixmyfeet.co.za

Köhler’s disease is a condition that impacts a bone on the inner arch of the foot. This bone is called the navicular. This relatively rare disorder of the foot typically affects males more than females and occurs between the ages of 2 and 10 years of age with a peak occurs during the ages of 3 to 7 years. It is not fully understood why this condition occurs. Some researchers suggest that it is caused by excessive strain on the navicular bone, while others believe that it is caused by injury/trauma to the area. As a result of this, the blood supply to the bone get compromised as the child is growing. This leads to loss of blood flow (ischaemia) to navicular resulting in progressive degeneration of the bone. If not treated promptly, the bone can become permanently deformed. The signs and symptoms of Köhler’s disease can differ, but they generally include:
  • Redness around the inside of the foot, near your arch
  • A swollen foot
  • Tenderness/pain along the inside of the arch
  • Pain worse if putting pressure on the affected foot
This is an uncommon condition that warrants proper diagnosis, care and management. Generally, it does resolve on its own. It is important not to aggravate the condition as it can lead to complications later on in life. If the condition is very severe (as determined by X-ray/CT scans) then a fibreglass cast or moon boot may be required in addition to other treatment options. See our Podiatrists here for more information regarding this condition.