Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Loving Foot Care: Be Sweet to Your Feet

Is your family in need of some bonding time? What about an adventure race? The Houston 2014 Great Amazing Race is taking place February 15, 2014 at the George Bush Park. This one-mile obstacle course is designed for adults and kids in grades K-12. Hard work, communication, and having fun is all that is required. Grab your family and sign up! Also, don’t forget to take care of your feet along the way.

Photo Credit: Natara via
Let’s face it: our feet are often ignored—that is, until a problem arises. Whether it is after a run, at home after a long day of work, or after showering on a lazy Saturday morning, be sweet to your feet. Good foot care goes a long way in keeping your feet happy and healthy, and it doesn’t take much effort to get great results.

Develop a habit of following a simple foot care regimen each and every day. First, wash and dry your feet daily. Afterwards, give them a little check up. Give each foot the once-over and look for any developing blisters, corns, calluses, ingrown toenails, dry skin, cuts and changes in color or texture of your skin and nails. After showering or a footbath, smooth away rough, dry skin with a pumice stone. Use a moisturizing cream if your heels are dry and cracked, but avoid putting cream between your toes as this increases the risk of a fungal infection. Don’t forget about your toenails – they should be trimmed straight across and not too short to prevent ingrown toenails. Finally, wear comfortable shoes that allow feet to breathe and be supported.

If you haven’t been treating your feet well and are now left with pain or a developing problem, don’t wait to contact Houston Foot Specialists. Dr. Jeff Bowman is the expert you need to get your feet back in shape. Call our office in Houston, TX at (713) 467-8886 to make an appointment today.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Foot Care Means Bundling Up Your Feet

 Are you curious about how people lived in eras of the past? If so, Homestead Heritage Day is an event for you. Happening February 8, 2014 in Humble, TX this family-friendly festival will show you the arts of blacksmithing, candle dipping, weaving, and weaponry. A re-enactment of a Civil war skirmish will give you a glimpse into the 1800s in Texas. If the forecast is going to be cool, be sure to bundle up from head to toe.

There are certainly days that get downright chilly in Houston, TX. On days like this, or if you like to venture out to snow-laden areas for winter fun, there are a few foot care tips to keep your feet warm and safe. Cold, wet feet are uncomfortable and vulnerable to injuries such as frostbite. Whether walking around an event such as this, or playing somewhere in the snow, start with a pair of shoes that are not breathable. Avoid materials such as mesh and opt for full leather shoes or boots. Gore-Tex is another material to look for that will provide waterproofing.

Photo Credit: Suat Eman via
Socks are the next important piece and can make or break a day outdoors. Bundle up your feet with a two-layer approach. First, wear a thin moisture-wicking sock, then cover it with a wool sock. Wool is a great insulator to keep feet warm and cushioned. Make sure you buy a pair of shoes that can accommodate for these two layers without being too tight – you don’t want your circulation compromised. Toe warmers are little single-use inserts that you can put above or below your toes. They usually last up to six hours, but their use is not encouraged if you have diabetes or a similar underlying condition.

If your winter activities are being hindered by foot pain, contact Houston Foot Specialists for help. We can identify the root of your problem and provide the treatment you need to get back to enjoying life! Call Dr. Jeff Bowman at (713) 467-8886 to make an appointment at our office in Houston, TX.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Running Shoe Revival for 2014

If you live in or near Houston, TX and love to run, 2014 will be an exciting year full of fun events for everyone from beginner to the most seasoned runner. The Ready, Set, Glow 5K  in Woodlands, TX is on January 31, 2014 and is sure to be one to remember. Starting in the evening, this glow-in-the-dark race benefits local at-risk children in the Houston area, and is followed by a huge party with food, prizes and fun.

Photo Credit: artur84 via
Before even thinking about signing up and training for a race, you may very well need a running shoe revival. How old are your shoes? Do you know if they are suitable for your foot type? Have you been having foot pain while running? Running with the right running shoe is paramount for avoiding injury and keeping your feet healthy.

A basic rule of thumb is to give a pair of running shoes about 350-500 miles before retiring them. If you can’t remember where or when you bought yours, chances are it is time for a new pair. If you are experiencing sore feet or consistent pain, and if you notice compression wrinkles in the midsole, your feet are ready for a shoe revival. When you go shopping, remember these general guidelines. First, the heel should be snug but not too tight. The upper of the shoe should feel snug and support your instep. Your feet will swell over the course of a run, so there should be a thumb’s width of space between the end of the shoe and your longest toe. Your toes should be able to wiggle freely and the shoe should bend at the same place that your foot flexes. Don’t compromise comfort for looks or cost – your feet will end up paying the price.

If you need more help or cannot manage existing foot pain, contact Dr. Jeff Bowman at Houston Foot Specialists. Make an appointment at our Houston, TX office by calling (713) 467-8886.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

New Look For Your Toes in 2014

Photo Credit: Teeratas via
There is just something fun about a night on the town—catching a great show and enjoying a delicious dinner at your favorite restaurant. If you live in Houston, TX, the Mark Morris Dance Group has a show coming up on February 1st, 2014 at the Wortham Center Society for Performing Arts. This captivating, world-renowned dance group is sure to impress with its extraordinary movement and musicality. Part of the fun of a night out is getting dressed up in your favorite duds. For ladies, it may also mean a pedicure is in store, so your feet are dressed to impress as well.

Unfortunately, there are pedicures that can go wrong and leave your feet looking and feeling less than desirable. Take note of these healthy pedicure tips before you head out to the salon.

First, never ever allow a technician to get a razor anywhere near your feet. This increases the risk for cuts, infection and removal of too much skin from your foot. A foot file or a pumice stone should be used instead.

Second, beware of footbath dangers. Be sure to ask before dipping your feet in, as bacteria can grow inside tubs that are not properly sterilized. It is a good idea not to shave before you go as bacteria from dirty water could get into tiny cuts in your skin and cause infection.

Third, while it is tempting to get lost in a magazine or rest your eyes in relaxation, watch how your toenails are being trimmed. Cutting corners could lead to ingrown toenails in your future – toenails should be cut straight across.

Finally, a great way to ensure a healthy pedicure—aside from carefully watching what the technician does—is to bring your own sterilized tools.

Red spots, yellowed nails or scaling skin are signs that something is wrong. If you have any of these foot symptoms, contact Dr. Jeff Bowman at Houston Foot Specialists. Call our office in Houston, TX at (713) 467-8886 to make an appointment today.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Treatment for Metatarsalgia

Have you ever driven by an amazing house and wished you could just get a peek inside to see what it looked like? If so, you need to take part in the Modern Home Tour on January 25th, 2014 in Houston, TX. You will get special access inside the homes of some of Houston’s most creative homeowners, architects and designers.

Now let’s switch gears and talk about foot pain for a moment. Have you ever experienced it and wished you could just get an inside look to know what exactly was going on? At Houston Foot Specialists we can do just that, and you may find your ball of foot pain is very likely caused by a condition called metatarsalgia. This is when there is an imbalance in the metatarsals, which are the long bones in your foot.

Proper footwear and inserts are a often recommended for treatment
The good news is that we have several effective treatment options to help relieve your ball of foot pain caused by this condition. The first part of the action plan starts with you and involves rest. You will need to alleviate pressure on your foot and avoid activities that may stress it further. Icing for 20 minutes, several times a day is helpful in reducing pain and inflammation. Next, we can step in and help you find the most suitable shoes to wear so this pain does not come back. We will help you find footwear that’s suited to your foot type and any activities that you do. Arch supports are effective in taking pressure off of your foot and orthotics can provide extra cushioning and support for your feet.

The bottom line is that treatment is important. Don’t just wait for your foot pain to go away, as most conditions only worsen if ignored. See Dr. Jeff Bowman at Houston Foot Specialists for expert foot care and treatment. Call our office in Houston, TX at (713) 467-8886 to make an appointment today.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Causes for Ball of Foot Pain

There is something exciting about seeing what is new and upcoming in the world of cars. At the Houston Auto Show from January 22-26, 2014 you have the chance to marvel at over 500 of the newest domestic vehicles and model year imports. For a newbie or true fanatic, this show will not disappoint. When something new arises with regard to your foot health, however, it can be disappointing – and unsettling if you don’t know what is going on.

Are you experiencing ball of foot pain, for example? There are a few reasons why this may be happening to you. One of the most common causes for pain in this area is a condition called metatarsalgia. The long bones in your foot are called the metatarsals, and when there is an imbalance in these bones they can’t properly absorb weight while standing or walking. This can result in pain in the ball of your foot.

High Heels can cause ball of foot pain
In addition, you may have pain if you are involved in a high-impact sport that involves a lot of running, jumping, or wear and tear on the balls of your feet. Overuse can lead to strain on the muscles and tendons in your foot. A large callus on your foot could be causing your pain, and it could develop from wearing shoes that put extra strain and pressure on your feet, such as high heels. An abnormality like bunions or hammertoes can also lead to ball of foot pain, as can being overweight.

Since there are so many causes for foot pain, it is really important to find the root of it and treat it accordingly. Many conditions worsen if ignored, so please don’t delay – contact Houston Foot Specialists as soon as possible. Call Dr. Jeff Bowman at (713) 467-8886 to make an appointment at our office in Houston, TX. Your feet are worth it.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Diet for Joint Health

Do you want to be a part of the largest single-day sporting event in Houston, TX? Coming up on January 19th, 2014 is the Chevron Houston Marathon that will have you running alongside 20,000 participants. You will be cheered on by marching bands, Elvis impersonators, bagpipers, and cheerleaders – now that is a way to race!

As exciting as this kind of event sounds, maybe you are someone who struggles with even a short walk due to pain in your joints. A marathon is definitely geared to the elite runner, but when joint pain prevents you from the simplest exercise, it can be very frustrating. Years of wear and tear can take a toll on your joints and result in arthritis. One of the best ways to combat pain and improve your joint health is through your diet.

Avoiding foods that trigger your joint pain or contribute to inflammation will be the foundation for your diet. Start with limiting the amount of fried and processed foods you consume. It is advisable to get your protein from vegetables, nut butters, beans and lentils. White flour baked goods, candy, high sugar foods, and excess salt can result in inflammation. It helps to always pay attention to the labels, and avoid the quick, microwaveable meals – they may be convenient but are full of additives and preservatives. On the other hand, wild salmon in particular is full of anti-inflammatory properties, and almonds, papaya, apples, black beans and broccoli are great foods to eat for healthy joints.

If you are struggling with joint pain, especially in your feet or ankles, it doesn’t have to be that way.Contact Dr. Jeff Bowman at Houston Foot Specialists for expert care and treatment. Call our office in Houston, TX at (713) 467-8886 to make an appointment today.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Chocoloco 5K: What to Eat on Race Day

There are many reasons that make Houston, TX a great place to live, but the Chocoloco 5K has got to be one of the best! This is the “yummiest” race you will ever be a part of. A 5K run and a 1K fun run will be finished off with the most delicious chocolate festivities and live music. Sounds great doesn’t it?

Now, a race day diet will definitely need to involve more than chocolate. Nutrition is a big factor in your performance and remembering these tips that we have gathered will ensure that you are at the top of your game on race day. The right choices start the night before. This is not the time to hit a big buffet party and eat to your heart’s content. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just a well-balanced meal that is easy to digest. Avoid foods that may have you running for the nearest bathroom in the morning.

On the morning of a race, remember that it could take a meal up to two hours to leave your stomach. It is wise to wake up early and have a small meal of low-fiber carbohydrates with plenty of hydration. During the race is when many make their mistake. Runners don’t want to take any time to stop along the way, but the stations are there for a reason. Ingesting carbohydrates while running will improve your performance. Locate all the aid stations and map out when you will refuel. After the race, replenishing your body with a bit of protein will help in the recovery process.

There are many injuries that can slow down a runner. Don’t wait to contact Houston Foot Specialists if you have any pain or new symptoms. Call Dr. Jeff Bowman at (713) 467-8886 to make an appointment at our office in Houston, TX.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Don’t Neglect Your Feet This Winter!

There can be a bit of a let down when the excitement of the holidays is over. The parties are done, the gifts have been opened and family members have gone back home. On January 11th, 2014 in Houston, TX you have a chance to get excited once again and be a part of the Glow Run 5K! This evening race will provide you and thousands of others with a “light em’ up” experience that you don’t want to miss.

Something else that you don’t want to miss this winter is the importance of your foot health. If you live in a cold climate, feet are hidden and covered up in cozy socks and winter boots for most of the season. It can be easy to neglect your feet and also to be unaware of problems that may be developing. Diabetic foot care in particular is extremely important, and any level of neglect could lead to serious consequences.

Don't leave your feet trapped in your boots all winter!
According to the Amputee Coalition, over half of the amputations that occur every year in the United States are the result of diabetic complications. This can often be avoided by diligent foot care. Start by never compromising with your footwear. Shoes should have a good sole, cushioned insoles, a wide toe box and good arch support. Custom orthotic insoles that distribute weight properly and support feet are highly encouraged. Poor footwear can lead to ingrown toenails, corns, calluses and blisters. If a pair of shoes is creating any area of pressure, change them. Lastly, don’t delay in getting even the most minor symptom diagnosed and treated.

When it comes to your foot health, neglect can lead to problems that can impact your quality of life – don’t let that happen. Contact Houston Foot Specialists in Houston, TX with any questions or concerns. Call Dr. Jeff Bowman at (713) 467-8886 to make an appointment.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Dry Skin Remedies for Colder, Drier Air

Even though the holidays are over, it doesn’t mean that the bargain hunting needs to end! The Discovery Green Flea Market happening on January 11th, 2014 in Houston, TX is a fun place to find artful, vintage, recycled and repurposed items.

When the cool, dry air of winter comes, you may also be hunting for ways to keep your feet in top shape. One of the ways the elements take a toll is by making our skin dry. Two reasons for this are indoor heating and lower humidity. Dry skin can simply be an annoyance, but for some it becomes a painful problem, especially when it affects your feet. There are ways to combat the issue, though, and we have a couple remedies to share with you.

Try adding some essential oils to the water the next time you take a bath, to soften dry skin. Rosemary oil can help warm up cold feet and helps with circulation. Always use a moisturizer on your feet after a bath or shower, preferably a foot lotion with alpha-hydroxy acid, which helps with moisture retention. It is a good idea to do this at night and then cover your feet with socks to wear over night. Your heels and the balls of your feet are pressure points and the skin there tends to get dry and tough quicker. Using a foot file on these areas after soaking your feet helps keep skin soft, and lanolin is a good product that helps to lock in moisture.

If your feet continue to become dry, callused, or cracked, or have developed signs of a rash, it may be due to another underlying problem. It is important to have these symptoms evaluated and treated properly. At our office, we carry a special line of diabetic friendly products designed to treat extreme dry skin. Don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Jeff Bowman at Houston Foot Specialists for help. Call our podiatric office in Houston, TX at (713) 467-8886 to make an appointment.