Showing posts from October, 2018


A bunion looks like a big bump on the outside of the big toe, but it is actually caused by a deformity of the bones in the foot.  Bunions are created when the big toe leans and pushes against the second toe.  This changes the bone structure of the toes over time, and forms the visible bump at the base of the big toe.  Whether you are experiencing a bunion or hoping to prevent them, the doctors at Mercer-Ocean Podiatry recommend some simple foot care to keep you from getting bummed out by a bunion!
The best proactive measure to take is choosing comfortable and supportive footwear.  This issue is exacerbated by wearing high-heeled or pointy-toed shoes, putting women at a higher risk of developing bunions.  Choose a pair of shoes with enough room in the toe box area for all the toes to fit comfortably.  Strong support in the sole also helps evenly distribute weight and puts less pressure on the toes. 
If you’ve already developed bunions, you may experience symptoms like pain and inflammati…

Choosing Shoes for Children

The doctors at Mercer-Ocean Podiatry get a lot of questions from patients about shoes, and how to choose the best shoes for their families.  Children three and older experience foot growth at the rate of one-half a foot size every four to six months, but a growth spurt can cause a child’s feet can grow up to two sizes in a six month period.   So how can you keep their feet comfy, without going broke from buying new shoes?  Leave room for growth when selecting.  There should always be extra room for a child’s foot to grow in the toe area or ‘box’ of the shoe.  A good measure for this extra wiggle room could be the width of one of your fingers.  From the tip of the child’s big toe to the tip of the shoe, extra space the length of one finger width should do.
As kids age, they put their shoes through a lot, and luckily most shoes are made to withstand some of this wear and tear.  Before tossing every scuffed pair, look around the edge of the sole for wear in the material.  This is a sign t…

Foot Blister Care

If a blister develops on your foot and causes you concern, you should contact Dr. Frank Killian of Mercer-Ocean Podiatry, PC. It’s important that you do not puncture a blister at home unless it is large, painful, or likely to be further irritated. The fluid-filled blister keeps the underlying skin clean, which prevents infection and promotes healing. However, if you can’t wait and need to pop a blister, please follow these care tips.

Use a sterilized needle or razor blade (to sterilize it, put the point or edge in a flame until it is red-hot, or rinse it in alcohol).
Wash your hands and the area thoroughly, then make a small hole and gently squeeze out the clear fluid.
If the fluid is white or yellow, the blister may be infected and needs medical attention.
Do not remove the skin over a broken blister. The new skin underneath needs this protective cover.
Apply an antibiotic ointment or cream.
Look for signs of infection to develop, including pus drainage, red or warm skin surrounding the bl…

Cracked Heels

If you have cracked heels you want to heal, Mercer-Ocean Podiatry is here to help. The skin on heels is thick, but if it splits, it could be more than just a cosmetic issue. If a crack goes deep enough, it may hurt the patient or become home to an infection.
Cracked heels are the result of chafing or dry skin. Chafing could be due to a bad shoe fit and may be helped with orthotics. But dry skin could be due to both the environment and the patient’s lifestyle. While a lack of moisture in the air dries out the skin (making cracked heels common in the winter and summer), so does keeping the feet submerged in water. People who take long, hot baths and showers are especially at risk for cracked heels.
If a patient has extensive dead skin, we can cut it away safely. It is especially recommended that patients visit us for help with cracked heels if they have peripheral neuropathy, which may prevent them from feeling a problem that is more than skin-deep. Preventing the return of cracked heels …