The feet are important in this time of crisis with the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. OZ as well as other doctors reported that several people with the coronavirus have developed sores and red spotty areas on their feet. It is important to check your feet on a daily basis.  Especially people with diabetes and neuropathy need to inspect their feet. When you have diabetes and neuropathy you can lose your sensation or feeling in your feet. You can develop sores or step on objects that can become embedded into the skin, that can go undetected for days, weeks or longer. I had a diabetic patient who had a sewing needle embedded deep into the plantar aspect of her foot for months. I had to surgically remove the needle utilizing a fluoroscope. A fluoroscope is an x-ray instrument that can be used to help you locate foreign objects under the skin during surgery.

If you cannot see your feet you should ask someone in the house to check your feet for you. If your eyesight is good you can put a mirror up to your feet and exam them on a daily basis.  If you notice sores or wounds on your feet you need to contact your Podiatrist or family doctor for treatment. It is important that we pay attention to routine foot care during this pandemic. Toenails are going to continue to grow along with the buildup of corns and calluses. At home care is required to maintain healthy feet.

If you are not diabetic and you can see your feet, toenail clippers can be used to cut the toenails straight across and a nail file can be used to alleviate rough edges. If you are diabetic and can see well use a nail file to keep the toenails from getting too long. Corns and calluses can be padded with non-medicated corn pads or moleskin pads until you can see your Podiatrist.

For people who have boney deformities such as Bunions and hammertoe deformities, conservative treatment would include wearing wider shoes to accommodate the deformities. Bunion shields, inserts and pads are available over the counter at most drug stores. You can see your Podiatrist for more complete treatment and elective surgery.

For people suffering with heel pain, plantar fasciitis and acute gout attacks I would suggest that you call your Podiatrist and get prescription medication and or injection therapies and exercises as needed.  Orthotics may be required, you can get them from your Podiatrist for treatment of plantar fasciitis, heel pain, arthritis, etc.… Foot and ankle sprains/strains and fractures should be treated by your doctor and usually requires an office visit with x-rays or a hospital emergency room visit.

You can also try over the counter (OTC) orthotics if you cannot get to your Podiatrist for custom made orthotic devises. OTC orthotics may not be as good as the custom- made orthotics but they might possibly provide some amount of relief.

If you develop infections in your feet where the area becomes red and inflamed around the nail borders with or without pus drainage then you need to see a doctor.  Antibiotics may be required as well as possible removal of the side of the nail or total nail removal. Red inflamed areas can occur anywhere on the feet and you should seek medical advice. Remember to walk and get plenty of exercise.  Remember to wash your hands and feet, cover your mouth when you cough and wear a face mask. Pay attention to your feet they are a vital part of your body.

Again, stay healthy and don’t forget your feet.

Dr. Julia Ruffin ,DPM

P.O. Box 19514

Cincinnati, Ohio 45219