My Blog

By Brian Cragg
March 19, 2013
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Blisters   spring makeover   toenails   dry skin   sandals  

Spring Makeover for Your FeetSpring is on the way—are your feet ready?  Winter boots are great for the cold and snow, but they can leave your feet looking for a breath of fresh air!  How can you get your feet ready for their spring debut?

If your feet have spent most of the winter enveloped in wool socks and warm footwear, they may need some extra attention.  Cold weather can be drying to the body—including the feet.  Take some time to carefully trim your toenails straight across, use a pumice stone to rub away dry skin, and moisturize your feet with a hydrating lotion. 

Next, have your own shoe fashion show.  Dig out all of your spring favourites, and try them on for size.  You may find that your feet have grown, so don’t be afraid to donate pairs that no longer fit.  Also, take note of any shoes that slip on the heel, or seem to be rubbing your feet.  You can prevent blisters, calluses, and corns by being proactive.  Use shoe pads to decrease slip and Band-Aids to protect your skin against friction.

As you make the transition to fun flats and sandals, give your feet a break.  These types of shoes affect the feet differently than winter footwear.  If your feet feel tired at the end of the day, soak them in warm water.  Adding Epson salts, or essential oils can add to the relaxation process.  Massaging the feet with lotion in a circular motion can also give the feet a little extra TLC during this time.

Foot pain should never take the spring out of your step.  Chiropodist Brian Cragg understands your foot health needs.  Call the friendly staff at Markham Foot Care Clinic today at (905)294-8087.  You can also schedule an appointment online.

photo credit: s.o.f.t. via photopin cc

By Brian Cragg
March 06, 2013
Category: Footwear
Tags: shoes   personality   shoe fit   bright shoes  

What do your shoes say about you?Imagine being asked to make conclusions about someone’s gender, age, emotional standing, financial status, and other identifiers—based on their shoes!  In an article published in the “Journal of Research in Personality,” conductors of a study did just this, and the results were surprising.  Participants were able to determine the answers to these questions with an accuracy rate of 90%. 

According to this study, our shoes tell others a lot about our personality and standing in life.  Bright shoes tend to be worn by those who are extroverts, while polished and tidy shoes denote an owner who is diligent.  It might seem obvious that expensive shoes would indicate an owner with money, but you might be surprised to find out that boring shoes indicate the person has a hard time building relationships. 

What do your shoes say about you?  Do you tend toward boots or sneakers?  While boots may indicate a more somber side, sneakers can give your feet a hipster vibe.  Men, do you slip on loafers or tie your dress shoes?  Either way, your feet look successful with slip-ons giving you a little global flair.  No matter your gender, flip-flops give the “I’m on vacation” message, so wear them when you’re keeping it casual. 

When it comes to foot health, the fit of your footwear is much more important than the style.  Make sure that you are wearing shoes that fit.  Shoes that are too tight can cause many issues including blisters, calluses, and corns.  Shock absorption, support, and comfort should top your “must have” list. 

Are you experiencing pain when you put on your shoes?  Just like your footwear, healthy feet and ankles say a lot about you.  Call the office of Chiropodist Brian Cragg today to schedule an appointment.  You can reach our Markham, ON office at (905) 294-8087, or schedule an appointment on our website.

photo credit: OrangeCounty_Girl via photopin cc

Mark WahlbergIngrown toenails
are a common foot condition, and they can happen to anyone—even film stars.  Prior to his recent appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” actor and producer Mark Wahlberg had part of his toenail removed.    The actor stated that he had suffered from an ingrown toenail, “The thing was just growing the wrong way.”  After removing his shoe and sock, Wahlberg showed a curious Ellen his bandaged toe, and explained that a foot specialist had removed the nail.  

Symptoms of an ingrown toenail include pain, redness, and swelling around the nail and the skin that surrounds it.  Sometimes an infection develops, and the area may produce drainage that could include pus and even blood.   If you suspect an infection, or you’re experiencing a lot of pain, you should call your chiropodist right away.  For people with special health concerns, such as diabetes, an appointment should be made at the first sign of any irritation to the foot.

Had Mark Wahlberg addressed his ingrown toenail earlier, he might have been able to treat the issue at home.  A warm foot soak may be enough to soften the skin around the nail, so that you can lift the nail away from the skin.   An antibiotic cream can be applied as well. 

 Prevention is the best way to avoid this common foot condition altogether.  Cutting your nails straight across and wearing shoes with sufficient space for your toes will reduce your risk.

If pain, swelling, and redness persist, visit Chiropodist Brian Cragg for effective treatment of your ingrown toenail.  Possible remedies include:  antibiotics, removal of a small part of the nail that is impacting the skin, or a partial toenail removal.  Although these procedures sound serious, they are performed in the office with a local anesthesia.  There are no incisions or stitches, and the nail will have a normal appearance once the wound has healed. 

At Markham Foot Care Clinic, your feet are the stars.  Chiropodist Brian Cragg understands the importance of good foot health, and looks forward to serving you.  Call our Markham, ON office today to schedule an appointment.  You can reach us at (905) 294-8087, or set an appointment at our website.  

photo credit: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas via photopin cc

By Brian Cragg
February 07, 2013
Category: Winter Foot Care

Icy ConditionsThe Canadian Institute for Health Information reported that falling on ice was the most common cause of serious winter-time injuries during a 2010-2011 reporting period.*  Over 7,000 admissions to the hospital were the result.  Age and gender seemed to play a factor in who literally fell victim to icy, wintry conditions.  Fifty percent of the cases reported involved those over age 60, and over half of the injured were women.  Most people understand that falling on the ice can be dangerous, causing foot and ankle injuries.  However, many don’t take proactive steps to keep themselves safe.  

A common sense approach is important when selecting footwear for icy weather.  The most important part of the shoe, in this case, is the sole.  It stands between you and the ice, so look for shoes that have a rubber sole and raised treads.  Avoid shoes that are smooth on the bottom, or those with heels.  If you need dress shoes for work, pack them in a bag, and change into them at the office.  

Other footwear features to consider are:  support, cushion, waterproofing and warmth.  Finding ice appropriate shoes may require a visit to a store that specializes in outdoor wear, but the extra effort is worth your safety!  As with any shoe, fit is important.  If your foot isn’t stable inside the shoe, you won’t be stable on the ice.

Walk this way-- don’t rush; walk slowly.  Also, keep your arms and hands free to help with balance.  Take firm, small steps, and look ahead at your path.  Ankle sprains and fractures as well as other foot injuries can occur due to falling on the ice, so taking precautions is wise.

The friendly and knowledgeable staff at Markham Foot Care Clinic wishes you a safe, fall-free winter.  If you have any questions about your foot health, please call our office at (905)294-8087, or visit our website to schedule an appointment.  Chiropodist Brian Cragg will address your concerns, and have you on your way to better foot health.

*This number does not include motor vehicle crashes.

photo credit: OliBac via photopin cc

By Brian Cragg
January 21, 2013
Category: Kid's Footcare


Healthy Feet and HockeyHockey season is in full swing for the Markham Ontario Hockey League.  According to Podiatry Today, 11% of hockey injuries affect the feet.  As our children hit the ice, it’s important to understand how to protect their feet.  No one wants to be sidelined by a foot injury.

First, examine your child’s feet before the season begins.  Ask if he or she has been experiencing any pain or discomfort.  Any current issues will be worsened by time in skates, so it is best to address concerns prior to the first practice.  

Next, make sure that your child’s skates fit properly.   Toes should have plenty of wiggle-room, and the sides of the feet should not be pressed into the side of the skate.  Remember, such friction can cause blisters, corns, and calluses.  Also, your child’s heel should stay in place.  While it may be tempting to buy a larger size skate for your child, it is unwise.  Proper fit is vital for pain-free feet.

Another consideration is to make sure that your child’s skates are laced properly.  If skates are too loose, they won’t provide the necessary ankle support.  If they are too tight, your child might suffer from “Lace Bite” which can lead to tendonitis.

Finally, listen to your child.  If he or she is complaining that the skates are causing pain, you should check them out.  The solution may be as simple as re-lacing, but foot pain should never be ignored.  If you are unsure if the skates are the culprit, consider visiting a store that specializes in hockey equipment.  

 Do you have concerns about your child’s foot health?  Call Chiropodist Brian Cragg, and get the answers you need for peace of mind.  The friendly staff at Markham Foot Care Clinic is happy to set an appointment.  Call (905) 294-8087, or visit the website.

photo credit: notanartist via photopin cc

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