March 24, 2016

Top 10 Myths About Your Feet Exposed


top 10 foot myths

  1. Soaking your feet in vinegar treats toenail fungus

The myth: The pH level of vinegar can cure fungal infection in toenails

The fact: Like most topical treatments for nail fungus (onychomycosis), vinegar will have a difficult time penetrating your hard nail plate to reach the active fungus which lies underneath in the nail bed…. So you can put that one back in the cupboard for now.


  1. Cutting a ‘V’ in the top of your nail will stop ingrown toenails

The myth: A classic old wives tale in which we are led to believe that cutting a ‘V’ in the nail will bring the two sides together to form a narrower nail plate, thus fixing ingrown toenails

The fact: Because nails grow from the base, this will do nothing except make you look ridiculous, and possibly even worsen ingrown toenails due to deforming the nail plate


  1. Wearing flat shoes or going barefoot are best for the feet

The myth: Going barefoot or wearing dead flat shoes are best for your feet, because heels are the devil

The fact: While wearing stilettos for a 10 hour day on your feet is likely to cause you problems, so is wearing dead flat shoes for most people. In fact, podiatrists often recommend a small to moderate heel pitch, depending on the person’s individual foot structure and function


  1. An ‘acid pad’ is the best treatment for a corn

The myth: Using a medicated or acid corn pad from the chemist is the best way to treat a corn

The fact: Using these pads correctly is likely to take the top layer of callous away and may even temporarily relieve discomfort; however proper treatment of a corn requires careful assessment and debridement by a podiatrist, to remove the deep nucleus. Not to mention, acid corn pads can have disastrous consequences for those with poor circulation, with diabetes and those who apply them too often or incorrectly. We’re talking layers of skin burnt off your foot…. Not cute.


  1. Urinating on your feet will cure Athlete’s Foot

The myth: We can thank Madonna for making this one popular (yes really), when she famously boasted on David Letterman that the urea in her pee cured her foot fungus

The fact: The concentration of urea in your urine is not enough to remedy tinea pedis (Athlete’s Foot). Also, YUCK.


  1. Bunions are abnormal growths on the side of the foot

The myth: Bunions are a tumour like growth on the side of the foot which can simply be cut off

The fact: Bunions (hallux abducto valgus) are in fact a malalignment or dislocation of the underlying joint between the toe and metatarsal, caused by functional issues, footwear and in some cases genetics. Their diagnosis and treatment is therefore more complex than simply removing a growth… If only it was that easy!


  1. Antibiotics fix ingrown toenails

The myth: A course of oral antibiotics will fix ingrown toenails

The fact: What the antibiotics are doing is treating the infection secondary to the ingrown toenail…. which unfortunately will still be sitting pretty (read: ugly) after a course of tablets is finished. Although never fear, we’ve set up The Ingrown Toenail Centre in Brisbane to nip this pesky problem in the bud, once and for all.


  1. If you need orthotics you will have to wear ‘grandma shoes’

The myth: Orthotics only fit into orthopaedic looking grandma shoes

The fact: Don’t worry ladies, orthotics these days can be made to fit in all sorts of shoes including heels, ballet flats and so on. While initially some (fashionable) footwear change may be required to treat your injury, once this is under control we can now be a lot more flexible with how we support your feet. In fact, at The Podiatry Practice in Brisbane, we quite enjoy this sort of challenge.


  1. Nail salons and pedicurist sterilise their basins and instruments

The myth: Nail salons and pedicurists are safe because they sterilise their basins and instruments

The fact: Unfortunately 9 times out of 10, the salon you are going to uses antiseptic cleaning methods rather than sterilising. While this sounds okay, the reality is that these cleaning agents and methods rarely kill all infective organisms and you will probably leave with a nice dash of fungus to match your killer pink polish. The safest option? Have your nails cut and callous reduced by a podiatrist using sterile instruments, and then take your own nail polish to the salon to have them painted.


  1. You can tell a man’s biggest secret from his foot or shoe size……

The myth: You can get some, errrrm, decent intel on a man’s “assets” via his foot or shoe size

The fact: …….. Hate to break it to you, but no. Sorry! However recent research has correlated that finger length ratio’s may have more in common with this piece of anatomy, as they could be related to testosterone exposure in utero.