Blog Archives

Flat feet- Children’s feet | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz



Children with flat feet, also called pes planus, have a flattening of the arch during standing and walking.

Flat foot is normal in infants and young children. At this age, in the absence of any associated symptoms, treatment is highly debatable.

Flat foot usually naturally corrects itself as muscles strengthen and soft tissues stiffen. The height of the arch in the foot increases with age until about 9 years. The problem is when flat foot persists, spontaneously occurs in older children or later in life, or is associated with pain and disability.

Flat feet can be flexible or rigid, painful or painless and associated with a tightness of the calf muscles (Achilles tendon). The majority of flat feet are painless, but when pain is present it is usually during weight-bearing activities such as walking and running. The pain can be in the sole of the foot, the ankle, or non-specific pain all around the foot area.


What causes flat feet?

A complex and sophisticated interaction of bones, ligaments, muscles and nerves within and above the foot defines its anatomy and function. Anything that interrupts the integrity of these structures leading to a collapsed arch can cause symptomatic flat feet.

Examination of the foot begins with an examination of the entire child, because the flat foot may have an underlying cause.

Flat foot can also originate from unusual anatomy such as a tarsal coalition (bones joined together), ligament or muscle damage, restricted ankle movement, outward rotated lower legs, and knock knees (where the legs bow inwards at the knee). Obesity can result in collapse of the arches by the increased load on the foot. If knock knees also develop, the middle of the foot will tend to turn out (abduct). The foot will point outwards when walking, instead of straight ahead, which is inefficient and can cause early fatigue.

Footwear in early childhood has been thought to cause flat foot. It is likely that children who wear shoes, are not physically active and have flat feet will have decreased muscle activation in their feet and thus impaired foot function and weakness.

Some older children and adolescents develop flat feet in the absence of any disorder or associated factors.


Does flat foot need to be treated?

Flat feet require treatment only if clearly associated with pain or decreased function. Managing the underlying cause or disease is of highest priority; just treating the symptoms should be secondary.

If flat foot is observed in a child who is overweight and has knock knees, or in a child with excess joint flexibility and poor footwear, each of these factors could be contributing to the symptoms, and each should be addressed.

If a child’s quality of life is affected by how their feet look, feel or function, then the associated issues should be addressed.

For any foot problems, contact The Podiatrist.


Keep those feet happy | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz


The importance of our feet has been understood for centuries. Even the Greek philosopher Socrates is reputed to have said, “To him whose feet hurt, everything hurts.” So, what comprises foot care that promotes comfort at any age?

  • Wear shoes and socks that fit and are comfortable.
  • Be sure your toes are not cramped.
  • Change socks daily and if possible have two pairs of shoes in everyday use so that you can alternate the pairs daily.
  • Elastic laces are handy if your feet swell.

Shoes should be worn that cover, protect, provide stability for the foot and minimize the chance of falls.

Whatever your age – student or grandparent – foot care is important.

  • Remember to cut or file your nails straight across and never shorter than the end of your toe.
  • If you are older, and particularly if you are diabetic, it is helpful to get The Podiatrist to do your foot care.
  • It is best to wash feet daily and always test the water’s temperature beforehand. Pat, do not rub, your feet dry and remember to dry between and under the toes. If your feet are bothering you you’ll find that short soaks of even ten minutes are soothing.
  • Use a lanolin (ointment base) moisturizing cream for dry and cracked skin. If your feet perspire, dust lightly with talcum powder. Remember to remove excess cream of powder from between your toes to avoid skin problems. If you are diabetic it is wise to examine your feet daily.
  • Exercise each day if possible. Walking is always good but there are also special foot exercises that can be done like rolling your feet over a rolling pin several times daily or picking up a crumpled towel with your toes.

Despite reasonable care throughout life, however, the older foot is subject to problems. Heredity is a factor as are the stresses over the years and complications from systemic diseases. It has been estimated that at least 80 percent of people over 50 have at least one foot problem.

The most common are corns and calluses, ingrown toenails, bunions, hammertoes, strained arches, heel pain and arthritis including gout.

In many cases there can be improvements jus by switching shoes to the type with wider, box-type toes. Also. shoe size can actually change with added years.

Feet carry our body’s weight, help hold us erect, co-ordinate and maintain balance in walking. We need to give them tender, loving and skilled care.

The returns are high, including the joy of a walk.

Make an appointment with The Podiatrist today.


The Ageing Foot | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz


rheumatoid arthritis and your feet

One of the few things that does not shrink when people get older is their foot. The tendons and ligaments lose their elasticity and they no longer hold the bones and joints together as they used to, which leads to fallen arches and a wider forefoot. It has been estimated that some people over the age of 40 can gain up to half a shoe size every 10 years.

The fact that all our weight is placed on our feet exacerbates the problems associated with them.

As feet age, the fatty pad underneath the ball of the foot can wear thin so that there is no longer a cushion, and it feels a lot like you are walking on the bones. This can lead to great discomfort, corns and calluses.

Gravity can overwhelm the older body. When standing, the circulation is less efficient, so fluid is squeezed from leaky veins into the lower legs, causing them to swell and effectively making them bigger. The skin loses its elasticity, becoming dry and thin, so it can easily be damaged and takes a longer time to heal.

Conditions such as diabetes, osteoarthritis and peripheral arterial disease aren’t strictly age-related, but the risk of having these conditions increases with age. Certain surgeries like hip and knee operations also become more prevalent.

However, painful, sore feet are not a natural part of the ageing process. A lot can be done to prevent problems, relieve pain and improve mobility.

Check your feet for changes. Get into a routine of inspecting your feet daily; using a mirror might help. If you experience sudden pain, changes in colour, swelling, or infection, see The Podiatrist.

It is very important to nourish your skin on a daily basis. Use a thick lotion or cream on your legs and feet, taking care that you don’t slip when it is applied to the soles of your feet. Nails become thicker and more brittle as we get older. This combined with a less efficient blood supply can make toenail cutting more difficult and less safe. Have The Podiatrist cut them correctly for you.

Ensure you are wearing the correct style of footwear. Purchase shoes in the afternoon or evening. This is when your feet tend to be most swollen. Purchase shoes with a lace or velcro strap so they are held securely to your feet. Leather is the best material for the upper of your shoes. Avoid plastic shoes as they won’t stretch to accommodate your feet. A cushioning insole can be an added comfort, but be sure that there is enough space in the shoe to accommodate it. Remember, when you buy a pair of shoes, you should not have to “break them in”. They need to be comfortable at the point of purchase or you may end up with blisters and sores.

Ageing feet need regular exercise to tone muscles, strengthen the arches and stimulate the circulation. Try to exercise every day.

If you are young or able and have an elderly relative or friend who is infirm, check their feet and assist them where possible, as many a neglected foot is hidden within shoes.

For all your foot care needs- See The Podiatrist

Healthy resolutions for our feet in 2015- The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

cracked heesl can be very painful


Healthy resolutions for our feet in 2015


On New Year’s Eve, we all start out with a clean slate. It’s a time when most of us make a resolution to either stop doing something, or to start something new. The most common resolutions (like getting more exercise and losing weight, dropping bad habits and saving cash) are super, but I would like to add a new one to the mix and encourage everyone to get healthier feet in 2015 — especially women! On a whole, women are more susceptible to foot problems than men. This is due to improper footwear and physical differences such as the structure of the foot, strength and laxity of the muscles and ligaments, shape and length of the arch, width of the forefoot, size of toes and hormones that allow muscles in the feet to relax and expand. Pregnancy is also not kind to a woman’s feet. Consequently, women are far more susceptible to ankle sprains, bunions, hammertoes, neuromas, plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendon pain. Unfortunately, if problems are not addressed appropriately, conservative treatments become less effective, quality of life declines and surgery becomes the only option. Here are some simple resolutions to help women achieve healthier feet and a better quality of life.

Resolution 1: Start moving, but start smart!

Physical activity contributes to your health and can provide benefits to your feet. Select activities that you enjoy and get your feet moving. Don’t rush into fitness. Start smart to avoid injuries like shin splints and plantar fasciitis (heel pain). A steady, gradual program is more beneficial in the long run than an intense program that puts undue stress on your feet. Avoid running on uneven surfaces and terrain, and incorporate cross training into your fitness program to reduce stress on your feet.

Resolution 2: Wear the proper footwear!

Choose the right footwear for all occasions this year. Pitch the old sneakers or athletic shoes that have been lying around in your closet or gym locker. Ask your podiatrist for some tips to select a shoe that is designed for your fitness activity and foot type. Whenever possible, leave the stilettos in the closet. At least try to wear them less or scale down the heel height. There is nothing beautiful about painful feet and shoe wear that leads to ankle sprains, bunions, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, ingrown toenails, or neuromas that may lead to surgery. Make a healthier choice of shoes this year.

Resolution 3: Say goodbye to ugly toenails!

If you are tired of having to deal with the embarrassment of toenail fungus now is the time to have these treated.

Resolution 4: Support your feet with custom orthotics!

Custom orthotics are made from cast impressions of your feet and fabricated into inserts for your shoes. Orthotics provides support for your arches and distributes weight bearing loads more uniformly. They are especially helpful for people with foot deformities, athletes, pregnant moms and seniors who are experiencing greater changes in their feet.

Resolution 5: Get rid of all those ugly cracks around your heel.

Have you developed large cracks in your heels from wearing jandals or summer sandals? Are they starting to cause pain, or are they bleeding? Come in and The Podiatrist will get those heels looking and feel smooth once again.

Resolution 6: Healthy feet in 2015!

Your feet deserve the very best in 2015! If you are interested in seeking advice, contact The Podiatrist for all your foot care needs.

Foot health: How to care for blisters on feet- The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

blisters can be painful and making walking around uncomfortable

How to care for blisters and other minor foot wounds over the holidays.

The tourist’s nightmare. The walker’s bane. The runner’s curse. The blister. Whether on your palms or soles, this nasty pest is a recipe for pain. As most of us are aware, blisters occur when the skin rubs up against a surface repeatedly over time. The friction causes a small tear in the upper layers of the epidermis which forms into a small gap. The tear allows for the seeping of fluid into the void between layers, and then, folks, you have your blister.

We notice blisters popping up on the soles of our feet, our heels, and sometimes our toes. Blister development generally requires thick and rather motionless skin, and this, not strangely enough, is found on the soles of the feet, the heel, and the toes. Blisters form more easily on moist skin than on dry or soaked skin, and are most apt to occur in warm conditions. Thus, the sole of the foot, damp and warm after a long day’s walk, is the perfect place to harbor a blister.

If you do get a blister you will want to relieve your pain immediately. It is important to keep the blister from growing and to prevent infection. You can treat most blisters yourself. Here is how.

Small, unbroken blisters that don’t cause discomfort generally need no treatment. The best protection against infection is a blister’s own natural skin. It is a good idea to protect this skin, or roof, with a band-aid and to avoid rupturing it. Larger or painful blisters that are intact should be drained without removing the roof. First clean the blister with rubbing alcohol or antibiotic soap and water. Next, heat a needle or a safety pin over a flame until it glows red. Allow it to cool before puncturing a small hole at the edge of the blister. This disinfects the pin. Deplete the liquid with light pressure and apply an antiseptic ointment such as Crystaderm. When the blister is drained cover it with a bandage. Change the bandage daily. If it becomes wet or soiled, change it more frequently.

crystaderm is ideal for treating blisters

Blisters with small tears should be treated the same as those that you have performed needle-work on. More padding may be needed to decrease the friction (and pain) in the course of exercise or activity. Ring-shaped pads made of felt will protect small blisters.

When you are ambushed by blisters the biggest question on your mind is, will this endless bandaging and pestering pain ever go away? It will in time. But, fear not, there are ways of actually preventing blisters. To avert blisters you need to eliminate, or at least minimize, friction. The best way to do this is to wear the correct size shoe. Shoes should fit comfortable with roughly one thumb’s width between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. Narrow shoes can cause blisters on the little toe and the big toe. A narrow toe box may cause blisters on the tops of the toes as well.

gehwol sports cream ideal for preventing rubbing in shoes

Loose shoes may create blisters on the tips of the toes. It is important to buy shoes for a specific sport or activity as well, as specific shoes are designed to be used for specific motions. Basketball shoes and walking shoes are not, and should not be used, interchangeably. Wear the same socks when you try on your pair that you plan on wearing during your work out. It is best not try on shoes in the morning, as feet tend to swell during the day. It is also a good idea to give the shoes a test run, just to be safe. Walk or jog around the store before purchasing the shoes. Make sure you do not experience any discomfort.

Coupling the right pair of shoes with the perfect pair of socks will aid in your crusade against blisters. Socks can decrease friction between the feet and shoes. Layering of socks or double-layered socks can minimize abrasion. Socks made from new synthetic can absorb moisture from the skin better than wool or cotton, thus creating a less blister-friendly environment. It is a good idea to always carry an extra pair of socks to change into in case your feet get too damp. Foot powders and spray antiperspirants that contain aluminum chlorhydrate or aluminum chloride are other ways to decrease moisture. If you are really concerned about blisters try applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly to your feet to decrease friction. Duct tape or cloth tape will provide a similar result.

dr comfort socks

Blisters are minor problems every human must face. Though they are but minor ailments, they must be dealt with. It is important to treat blisters immediately because a small blister can lead into a big infection. If there is puss, excessive redness with streaks leading away from the sore, or if you are experiencing extreme pain you should see a doctor.

For all your foot care needs, contact The Podiatrist. We have a range of foot creams that are ideal for preventing blister, as well as treating them.

Secrets for choosing jandals that look and feel great- especially if you are going away to the Isalnds for the holidays or heading to the Northern Hemisphere.

Let’s face it – jandals are mainstream, and not just because they’re stylish, easy-to-wear and cooler when the weather warms. For many of us, jandals are the equivalent of comfort-food for the sole. Slip into those comfy, light, lovely shoes.

Yet if you’re prone to foot problems or concerned with overall foot health, you may shy away from one of summer’s great joys, believing jandals  aren’t good for your feet.

Non-supportive jandals cause a common foot injury known as plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the tissue along the bottom of the foot and the heel. Jandals leave feet prone to common muscle overuse injuries, which can be easily prevented with the right footwear.

The good news is, you can wear jandals-even if you never thought you could. It is possible to find stylish, good-looking varieties that feel great and are healthful for your feet. Here are some tips:

* Look for shoes that promotes good foot health. Footwear like the Vasyli Jandal.

* Choose a jandal that bends only at the ball of the foot. You shouldn’t be able to bend your jandal in half. Footwear

* Look for a jandal made of high-quality, soft leather for the thong and a sturdy, comfortable, supportive base.

* Choose jandals in the correct size so your toes or heels don’t hang off the edge of the sole.

* Replace last year’s worn jandals if they show signs of wear. Cracked or frayed shoes may cause foot irritation and provide inadequate support.

* Wear your supportive jandals and stylish, comfortable sandals at the pool, beach or for a fun evening dining al fresco. Save them for another time if you’re planning on doing yard work, playing sports or will be walking for a long time. Athletic shoes or supportive sandals make better choices for those occasions.

To maintain your foot health, visit The Podiatrist:




Looking after your feet as the winter approaches.

People often  remember to care for their feet in the summertime, when the practice of wearing sandals makes calluses, dried skin and ingrown toenails easily visible. But when the weather becomes chilly, and wearing socks and winter boots become the norm, it’s easy to forget about your feet.

Winter weather can make feet more susceptible to problems, which is why it’s important to think about footcare during the winter  season. To help give you a leg up on proper winter footcare, here are some helpful tips  to keep your feet healthy when the temperature drops:

– Give your feet a breather. The foot contains over 250,000 sweat glands. When feet sweat in warm socks and boots, that moisture becomes trapped and causes foot odour. To keep feet sweat-free, buy socks made from a natural or synthetic blend. Put foot powder in your shoes to prevent odour. Once a day, take off your socks and shoes and let your feet breathe.

-Moisturize. Winter air is very dry. To keep skin smooth, moisturize your feet every time you shower. After washing your feet, thoroughly dry your skin before applying a lotion or foot moisturizer. Apply moisturizer over all of the foot except for between toes, and make sure your feet are dry before you put on socks. If your feet are dry and flaky and have painful cracks, apply antibiotic cream and bandages. If trouble continues, see The Podiatrist immediately.

– Keep up your weekly pedicure. Putting away your sandals shouldn’t mean putting away your pumice stone. At least once a week, soak your feet in lukewarm water, then buff away dry skin with a stone or scrub and apply moisturizer. Do not try to cut off calluses.

– Watch out for chilblains. In areas that experience very low temperatures, chilblains become a very real concern. The skin looks  red and painful, can become itchy and digits burn when exposed to heat. If you think you have chilblains, do not put your feet in hot water — you can burn your skin. Soak your feet in tepid water. If you see blisters or blackened skin, or have pain, go to an emergency room immediately.

Why not purchase a pair of Dr Comfort slippers to keep your feet through winter?

See The Podiatrist for any concerns

Looking after your feet as the cold weather approaches.

As the cold weather approaches, I thought it a good idea to give you some tips on keeping your feet healthy.


It is important to keep your feet clean and as dry as you can. However, the sole of the foot contains thousands of sweat glands so feet which have been kept hidden away in winter shoes and boots during cold and rainy days are prone to problems because warm, dark moist places encourage such as
athlete’s foot, fungal nail infections and verrucas. On top of this, bacteria that cause smelly feet flourish on warm, moist skin.Make sure your shoes and
socks are made from natural fibres and try and let your feet ‘breathe’ as much as possible.

The simplest way to deal with sweaty feet is to use a foot powder or antiperspirant. However, this may be insufficient in some people who have truly
sweaty feet and have a condition called hyperhidrosis.


Scaly, itchy feet can be due to athlete’s foot and it is actually quite common for this to be resistant to treatment with the standard
over-the-counter preparations. If this is the case you should see you GP as oral medications may be required. Make sure that you treat your socks and shoes with powder as well as these can harbour the fungus and cause re-infection.

Staying on your feet and keeping them warm go a long way toward enjoying outdoor winter activities. Over-layering your feet will cause them to sweat, which can lead to cold toes. For cardiovascular-based sports, a single pair of warm, wicking socks will normally do. In very cold conditions or for gravity-based sports, use a double layer of socks.

Avoiding frost bite and hypothermia is the most important consideration when preparing for cold weather activities. Make sure all of your skin is covered and carry an extra layer in case the conditions change during your workout.

Keep in mind also, that your legs and trunk tend to stay warmer than your hands and head. A pair of gloves, mittens, or socks over your hands can make a big difference in your comfort level, as can a headband, stocking hat or hooded sweatshirt. Usually, a single pair of athletic socks is sufficient, as your feet benefit from frictional heat during walking and running. The choice between tights and sweatpants is largely a matter of personal preference. As temperatures decrease, I recommend the following progression of upper body attire.

Dr Comfort Socks

The Dr Comfort range of socks are designed and manufactured with your foot health in mind. They’re perfect for people living with diabetes, arthritis, edema, neuropathy and circulation issues. They’re available in a range of men’s and women’s sizes. And the dye in our colored socks doesn’t bleed out of the fabric, reducing your risk of foot infection.

Why Nano Bamboo Charcoal Fibers?

Nano Bamboo Charcoal Fibers release Far Infrared Rays that may promote blood circulation and anion production, which has health benefits. Nano Bamboo Charcoal is also a natural deodorizer. It’s a sustainable, chemical-free way to take care of your feet.

Why not come in and try on a pair for yourself?

Keep warm and stay healthy.


Cozy Winter Slippers for your feet as winter approaches

New in winter slippers in stock, just in time for the winter (and Mother’s Day) to keep your feet warm and free from chilblains.

The core principals of the Dr Comfort slippers and footwear range are:

  • Total satisfaction in look, feel, quality and fit
  • Every shoe style offers extra depth in the toe box and is available in a large range of shoe sizes and 3 widths to accommodate even the most difficult to fit foot.
  • Easy shoes and slippers to put on, many with Velcro fastening
  • The use of top quality natural materials in all footwear. Most of the uppers and linings are made from the finest top grain leathers.
  • Belief that proper shoe fitting can alleviate foot complications.
  • The Podiatrist in Remuera, Birkenhead, Orewa, New Lynn, Westgate and Westview is trained in the shoe fitting process, and we have experts on-site and available to help tackle the most difficult of foot issues.
  • Continual improvement of the Dr Comfort range from heel to toe, to make it the very best it can be.
  • Have a positive impact on the daily lives of our customers and their well being.
  • A great range of socks to accompany the shoes- made from Bamboo fibres to keep feet warm and dry and prevent infections.
  • Before you buy any other shoes, see the specialists.

For more information, don’t hesitate to contact The Podiatrist today.