The Diabetes Council: 47 Podiatrists Share Tips On Good Foot Care For Those With Diabetes

The Diabetes Council recently asked their panel of experts to share their tips on good foot care for those with diabetes. As one of those chosen experts, here is what Dina Gohil, CEO and founder of DG Podiatrist had to say:

What tips would you give to someone who is newly diagnosed?
People newly diagnosed with diabetes should ask as many questions as possible about their condition and how it can impact the body; especially the feet. Always check your footwear and your feet; if you are unable to cut your own nails, notice any callus, corns, or any discomforts and pain, then see a podiatrist to have safe regular treatments. The appointment will also check for vascular and neurological status of both feet.

Why do you think a lot of people ignore their foot care when it comes to diabetes?
It is easy to forget about your feet since they are the further away to reach and with everything new required to be implemented. But remember they are the best foundations your body has, so look after them well.

To read the full article click here.

For more details on how diabetes may affect your foot health and to book an appointment please email info@dgpodiatrist.com or call +44(0)20 7706 1997.

DG Podiatrist’s Guide: How to look after your feet when hiking

Greeting fellow hikers,

This guide is made for hikers and adventurers of all levels, with your needs in mind. All the information below is your DG Podiatrist’s Guide: How to look after your feet when hiking which can be downloaded here.

Sadly I can’t be there on this trip, but I’m hoping that using this guide will feel like having your podiatrist in your pocket.

Hashtag or tag @DGPodiatrist in your social media pictures! I would love to see and be part of your journey.

Dina Gohil, CEO and Founder, DG Podiatrist Ltd

Stretches

The best time to exercise is usually when the muscles are warm. By stretching, evidence suggests it can give you more power, speed and reduce the risk of injury and soreness. So before and after any forms of exercise including hiking, it is advised to stretch. 

It is best to stretch daily in the morning and on return from activities. Remember to breathe deeply and allow oxygen to help your muscles, as increasing the amount of oxygen will help break down the lactic acid that causes the discomfort of a cramp. If you are prone to cramps practicing your breathing can truly help. 

Visit our blog on various foot and ankle stretches here.

Laces

While every foot and boot is different, it is important to make sure your heel is firmly at the back of the shoe. Make sure your laces are tied in a way to give you the most support and comfort. Avoid tying them too tight as this can cause pressure and pain.  

Please see this fantastic guide on laces for different foot types here.

Footwear advice

Your heel should be firmly at the rear of the boot and the toes should have adequate room to wiggle. Make sure you foot is not sliding too much in the boot as this can lead to blisters. Likewise the boot being too small can cause pain to the toes and the nails. Arch support, ankle support, shock absorption and excellent grip is key to a good hiking boot.

Keep the feet happy with well broken in, perfect fitting and supportive boots. If you notice any areas where the boot is rubbing on the foot during the breaking in period, take special note, as these may be areas blisters can develop during long hikes. 

See blisters below for tips on how to prevent and manage blisters.

Socks

You will need moisture wicking, breathable, comfort, warmth and multiple pairs for your journey. Avoid 100% cotton; instead try wool blends with synthetic fibres.Wearing your socks inside out means the stitching over time wont cause pain or nail loss over long distances. 

If you are planning on wearing dual socks, ensure both socks are inside out. The first pair should be thin, well fitted and comfortable to reduce moisture. The second pair will reduce friction with the footwear and should be wool blend.

Blisters

Under the skin, commonly caused by increased friction between layers of skin resulting to painful fluid filled pockets. By ensuring your socks, footwear and friction is controlled the likelihood getting blisters can be minimalised. 

Alternative blister preventions are:

Applying zinc oxide tape to areas of friction overnight. This way the adhesive will not move during your hike. 
Talcum powder in the socks and in-between the toes.
Lubricants like petroleum jelly or blister sticks.
Deodorant sticks can be rubbed to help reduce moisture for those more prone to sweaty feet.

Toenails

Toenails are worth looking after before any hike. Make sure your nails are cut to the natural curvature of the nail. Cut them short enough so there is a small white edge still left. If you cannot cut the corners use a nail file to smoothen them. This will help prevent any snagging on the socks.

Making sure they are short can help prevent nail pressure from footwear during hiking or other forms of exercise. If you notice any nails changing colour or pain in the corners, soak your feet in warm water with a handful of salt on a daily basis during your planned activity. This helps cleanse the area and soft tissue around, and in turn eases pain and helps prevent infection. 

On return see your podiatrist.


Tired feet and how to rest them

Your feet have a way of telling you they have enjoyed your journey and they would like to rest. You should be proud of how much you have been able to accomplish. If they feel tired then this is completely normal. 

Soaking your feet in warm water with a handful of salt at the end of the day will provide relief to the soft tissue allowing for relaxation. Massaging your feet with a foot cream after, from the heel up to the toes, will help improve circulation. 

When going to sleep elevate the mattress using towels for example, so you can sleep with ease with your legs and feet elevated. Following these steps will help them feel fresh and ready for the next day.


Foot and ankle pain advice

Here are a few tips for certain types of injury:

Sprains/strains

These are usually associated with muscles, soft tissue, ligaments or tendons. If you or another are suffering from this, the key aspect is to use ICE/ COLD compress, elevation and strapping, along with rest when possible. 

Bone fracture pain

If you are unfortunate to get a fracture, it is important to seek medical attention. Get an X-ray to see the extent of the damage and rest with the foot and ankle elevated. Avoid walking and weight bearing as much as possible.

Toenail pain

Soak your foot in warm water with a handful of salt for 10-15mins on a daily basis. If you notice the nail is coming off, avoid tearing the nail off. You may cut the loose edges, but if you are unable to do so use a regular plaster to cover it. This will prevent any socks from catching and causing further trauma. 

Blister pain

Usually if small enough leave them alone. Use Compeed to cover and they will settle down. If the blister is large and needs to be drained make sure the area is cleansed and sterilized as much as possible. Occasionally, blisters can pop naturally - apply gentle pressure to aid the liquid to empty.  Use Compeed or alternative dressing to keep covered. Do not under any circumstance tear the roof of the blister away as this can stem more pain - an open wound can lead to a infection. 

Cuts/open skin

Cleanse the areas with salt water if you do not have access to sterilized saline, and apply antiseptic ointment. Cover the area with a dressing of your choice. It is advised to have your feet checked by a podiatrist at the end of the trip to ensure all aspects are in good condition.


Book your appointment

DG Podiatrist Ltd, 58 South Molton Street, Mayfair, W1K 5SL

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7706 1997

Email: info@dgpodiatrist.com

*Harrods staff receive 20% discount off on showing their Harrods staff card.

Get Your Feet Autumn Ready

The time has come to say goodbye to your strappy sandals, pack away your flips flops and say adios to the sunshine. Autumn is here, so while you hunt for the perfect pair of boots and slip on a pair of your thickest socks, don't forget to make sure your feet are 'autumn-ready'. Here are a few DG Podiatrist tips:

Lose The Hard Skin
The hot summer months can leave your feet dry and damaged. Rub your feet with pumice stone for a few minutes to shed dry skin and apply a rich moisturiser to leave your feet soft. 

Take Care of Your Nails
It's easy to forget about your toe nails when they're tucked away in a big pair of wooly socks, but don't forget to keep them neat and clean even when they are hidden away. Maintain your toe nails by clipping them regularly and using a file to soften the edges.

Get a Medi-Pedi
A Medical Pedicure by DG Podiatrist is designed to ensure your feet are the best they can be. The perfect way to get your feet ready for the colder months with a touch of indulgence. 

Walking your way to health

We all do it! We all learnt how to do it from a young age. Walking of-course! Our feet have been our companions for a long time and its time for them to shine! National walking day is a brilliant way to promote your healthy lifestyle. Did you know walking is considered to be an excellent form of exercise with many health benefits? It may not feel like much but every step truly does count. Make today the day you decide to walk that extra mile, or take those stairs instead of the lift or escalator. Remember simply small changes like this have positive affects on the mind, body and spirit. Best part no gym membership required. Lets start today and sustain that fantastic energy. Left, right, left, right left…

Five scientific facts about walking

1. Reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer.
2. Reduce and prevent obesity.
3. Improves blood pressure and sugar levels.
4. Reduces risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
5. Increases energy and improves your stamina.

Five fun facts about walking

1. Scientists believed that walking originated underwater! Apparently from hopping from air-breathing fish.
2. In America walking is considered to be the most popular form of exercise.
3. Experts suggest walking 6,000 steps a day to improve health and 10,000 steps a day to lose weight
4. Studies have found not only can walking reduce stress but helps you becomes more creative.
5. Helps in maintaining healthy skin.

Five foot facts to keep walking

1. Wear comfortable walking shoes and trainers.
2. Walk at your own pace and increase speed in short and steady bursts.
3. Keep a water bottle on you to hydrate.
4. Wear socks in your shoes & trainers.
5. Alternate your footwear to keep them fresh!

If you do have any pain in the foot or ankle and are unsure about what it may be, book an appointment to see Dina Gohil to help soothe those soles.

Foot and ankle stretches

The best time to exercise is usually when the muscles are warm. By stretching, evidence suggests it can give you more power, speed and reduce the risk of injury and soreness. So before and after any forms of exercise including hiking, it is advised to stretch. 

It is best to stretch daily in the morning and on return from activities. Remember to breathe deeply and allow oxygen to help your muscles, as increasing the amount of oxygen will help break down the lactic acid that causes the discomfort of a cramp. If you are prone to cramps practicing your breathing can truly help. 

Sunscreen Foot Cancer

London weather being predictably unpredictable can host a fabulous array of sunshine and tropical weather. As the heat, in one of the most overly populated cities in the world increases, layers can be left at home, umbrellas can be hidden under the stairs and sandals or flip flops can come out to play. Thats when cancer can strike! Or is it?

What is cancer?
Cancer is when the normal cells in your body change in an abnormal way which can be considered to be uncontrolled. When the amount of changed cells increase and feel like a lump, we can call this a tumour. Cancer, I feel is given a terrible stigma and for the right reasons too. When people are diagnosed most of the trauma is to the mind. Therefore it is essential that medical professionals explain clearly and with kind words just what this disease is. 

Why do people get skin cancer in foot?
Exposure to harmful rays from the sun is commonly true for most skin cancer however in the foot this is not entirely true. Other factors have been associated to skin cancer of the foot such as; chronic inflammation, viruses, chemical exposure, genetically inherited by the family gene pool and of course a significant exposure to unprotected harmful sun rays.

What types of cancer can be found on the foot?
There are three main types; basal carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma. The first two tend to stay localised with low chances of spreading. Malignant melanomas are the potent skin cancers and requires early detection for survival. Malignant melanomas are notorious for being well disguised and can be commonly diagnosed as other pathologies.

Commonly, cancerous moles are associated to skin cancer. If you are concerned about your moles, here are a few things to look for...as easy as... ABCD.

A= asymmetry B= borders C= colour D= diameter.

Look out for uneven edges, spontaneous ulcers or sore, itchy skin that bleeds, lumps or bumps and unusual colour.

Why can DG Podiatrist help?
Podiatrists are specifically trained as lower limb specialists. The expert knowledge plays an essential role in detection as skin cancer of the foot is not like regular cancer in the body, as it appears in many forms. For this reason it is always advisable to find and book with DG if you have any areas of concern. After all, a cancer free world is a better world. 

Remember:
"Your skin doesn't stop at your ankles, use sunscreen down to your toes and enjoy the sun!"

Ingrown Toenail

Ingrown Toenail: "My toenail just doesn't take directions!"  "Ouch my toe!" Sound familiar? That pain in the top corner of your toe nail.

Ingrown toenails develop because of many reasons such as: ill fitting footwear, tight socks, injury, inherited and poorly cut toenails! Therefore, it is essential to learn to cut your toe nails properly. More often than not, toenails are cut awkwardly resulting in ingrown toenails. DG Podiatrist would be more than happy to show you the correct way for your feet.

Once ingrown, your toe can be very painful even in socks, shoes and even via on touch. Depending on how bad the condition is, the top corners of the toe can become red, sore, swollen and even exude pus.

Ingrown toenail treatment: The best treatment for ingrown toenail will be explained to you by DG Podiatrist on consultation. There is a conservative method in maintaining the nail and providing you with immediate pain relief. This method does not include surgery. DG will delicately loosen the nail spike which has ingrown into the skin with gentle precision. This is where the nail spike will be removed professionally. Routine treatment for your nails at intervals of six to eight weeks can achieve happy feet. 

Ingrown toenail surgery: Sometimes the ingrown toenail can be an on going problem. If you are prone to this condition, then ingrown toenail surgery is for you. This small procedure can provide you with permanent relief. No more painful toes! 

How is the ingrown toenail surgery done?

Primarily, the toe is numbed with the use of local anaesthetic. Once numbed you will not feel anything at all. The procedure consists of removing a thin section of the offending nail. Followed by a chemical called phenol that kills the area of your nail bed that stimulates nail growth. This part of the surgery is called Phenolisation. Your toe is then dressed and you ready to go.

You will be able to walk straight after the surgery but you are strongly recommended to wear loose fitting footwear or even flip flops. DG Podiatrist always offers her patients weekly checks up till full recovery, which is usually around 4-6weeks. Many clients have had miraculous results! This surgery really is a fantastic way to resolving these painful ingrown toenails.

So now that you know exactly how stubborn nails can be and what can be done about them, let DG Podiatrist take you that one step closer to having the best toenails.

* A wonderful comic strip, by talented http://theawkwardyeti.com/ingrown-nail/, to show you how a ingrown nail develops. 

Merry Christmas

Its the most wonderful time of the year. DG Podiatrist would like to wish everyone a merry christmas. May it be filled with joy, laughter, indulgent food, family and love. This time of year sometimes gets lost by the need of presents but its the thought and kind words that fill our hearts with joy and light up our spirits. 

The Sole Of London

DG Podiatrist has teamed up with Tri-Dosha skincare to produce a new combined Ayurvedic Medical treatment called the ‘Sole of London’.

The treatment begins with our signature DG Podiatrist Medical Pedicure, designed to perfect your feet with medical precision. The Medical Pedicure is then followed by six stages of nourishing Tri-Dosha treatments including a cleanser, foot scrub, support oil, compress and massage, foot wrap and finally an invigorating lotion, leaving your feet feeling light, revived and silky smooth. 

Tri-Dosha brings a fresh, honest approach to looking and feeling good. Thanks to an infusion of novel indigenous ingredients, farmed using traditional agricultural methods, their products smell and feel delicious. By infusing Tri-Dosha’s Ayurvedic products with the DG Podiatrist's Medical Pedicure, the Sole of London is a pioneering new treatment combining the best of East and West.

The Sole of London Treatment is available from December. For more info or to pre-book, please contact info@dgpodiatrist.com. 

5 Tips For Winter-Ready Feet

Here are 5 tips on how to keep your feet in tip-top condition this winter!

1. Moisturise your feet
For soft, flexible skin, use CCS cream. This cream is fantastic as it penetrates into the deeper layers of your skin, helping restore moisture and reduce the build-up of hard skin.

2. Be prepared for blisters!
Christmas and New Year might only mean parties and shopping until your dropping! If this is you, prepare for blisters from shoes that may rub you the wrong way.  If you're looking for a quick blister fix, pop to your local pharmacy for a well cushioned blister plaster to help relieve the pain.

3. Treat your feet to a saline soak
By treating your feet to a 10 minute saline soak after a long day’s work, feet can be revived, cared for and moisturised.  Add a handful of salt in a bowl full of warm water.

4. Choose footwear carefully
Our feet are usually wrapped up from the harsh weather in winter, and sometimes tight shoes can cause corns. If you're an avid skier or snowboarder, you know exactly what we're talking about! Protect your feet and relieve any pain with a quality blister plaster with extra cushion.

5. Have a medical pedicure
Our Medical Pedicures are a necessary luxury for your feet as it combines medical foot care with an indulgent, cosmetic touch. Not only will your feet feel incredible after the treatment, you will receive education throughout so you know exactly how your feet will benefit.