Feet at the Forefront for Women’s Health Week

Women around Columbus took part in a variety of activities celebrating National Women’s Health Week over the past week. Local YMCA branches offered free health screenings, and events promoting a healthy lifestyle including a “Fitness Friday”. Feet play a huge role when it comes to screening for health problems and maintaining good health for women.

According to the American Diabetes Association, 10.8% of women over 20 years of age have diabetes. This means that teaching women with diabetes how to care for their feet is a huge focus in women’s health. In people with diabetes, their elevated blood sugars impair the function of white blood cells which are responsible for fighting off infection. Because of this, serious infections can happen more easily in people with diabetes. Foot infections are the most common infection individuals with diabetes develop. Women with diabetes should schedule annual podiatric exams and always call their podiatrist at the first signs of infection in their feet. The cardinal signs of infection to watch for are swelling, pain, redness, increased warmth of the skin around a wound, and loss of the normal function of the foot. Foot health during pregnancy should always be monitored as it can be an important indicator of health problems, but pregnant women also need to focus on preventing the condition called “gestational diabetes”. Women who develop this pre-diabetes condition during pregnancy are at a greatly increased risk of developing full blown diabetes type 2 and the foot and ankle complications it brings with it.

With summer on the horizon, many women will want their feet and toenails to look nice so they can wear their tall sandals out or go to the beach without feeling embarrassed by their toes. One of the most important things women should do to care for their feet in the warm weather is to always apply sunscreen to the tops of the feet anytime the skin will be exposed, including when wearing strappy sandals. This is one of the most missed areas for sunscreen application and creates high risk of developing malignant melanoma, or skin cancer in the foot. Before summer, many women would like to get rid of dry scaly skin, and unattractive, thick, crusty toenails. If your dry skin does not improve with moisturizing lotion, it can be a sign of a fungal infection or athlete’s foot and you should contact your podiatrist to receive anti-fungal medication. Thick, discolored nails are also a sign of fungal infection. Toenail fungus is very difficult to treat in the short period of time left to be ready for beach season, unless you choose to undergo treatment from the PinPointe Foot Laser. Normally, when nails are infected with a fungus, nail polish should not be worn on the toes because it covers the fungus and allows it to continue growing and thriving. However, with the PinPointe system, immediately after the treatment nails can be painted over and ready for your next pool party!

Please visit www.ColumbusFoot.com for more information or call 614-885 FEET (3338) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington.

By Dr. Animesh (Andy) Bhatia