Here’s a statistic that may surprise you: 9 out of 10 women wear shoes that are too small for their feet. At Paul S. DeMarco, DPM, we want patients to know that shoes that are tight can cause several problems:
Ingrown toenails—if shoes are tight in the toe box, toes get squeezed together. This greatly increases the chances of an ingrown toenail. A nail with a jagged edge or one that is cut too short is being pressed for long periods of time into the skin around the nail and can easily start to grow back into the skin. Ingrown toenails are very painful and can also cause an infection if the skin is actually penetrated and bacteria enters.
Athlete’s foot and fungal toenails—do you know the ideal growing conditions for fungi and bacteria: damp, dark places with little or no air circulation. That’s exactly the environment created inside shoes that are too small.
Bunions, hammertoes and other deformities—when the toes are forced repeatedly into an unnatural position, such as compressed together from the sides or pushed up against the front of the shoe, they can eventually start to move out of position. As the displacement progresses, the bones actually become deformed and patients can have permanent disability as the new position of the toe makes it difficult to find comfortably fitting shoes.
Corns, calluses and blisters—all three of these are a reaction to either friction or pressure or both being applied to an area of the foot.
The best way to avoid these problems is to have your foot professionally measured. Feet size can change as we age, during pregnancy and in hot weather. Have both feet measured because it is not unusual for one foot to be larger than the other. Always buy for the bigger foot.
If you have questions about fitting shoes to your feet or are experiencing foot problems due to your shoes, contact our Somers Point office for an appointment with our podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco, by calling: (609) 927-4894.