A Step Ahead - Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists Blog

Cracked heels are a common foot problem. In a survey over 20 percent of adults in the United States experience cracked skin on their feet. This can occur in both adults and children, and seems to affect women more often than men. (Women tend to wear less comfortable shoes....Fashion over function, right ladies?)
For most people, having cracked heels isn’t serious. It may cause discomfort when going barefoot, but in some cases, cracks in the heels can become very deep and cause pain. Read on to learn about the best home remedies for treating and preventing cracked heels.
Soak, exfoliate and moisturize your feet
  • Keep your feet in lukewarm water with epsom salt for up to 20 minutes.
  • Use a loofah, foot scrubber or pumice stone to remove any hard, thick skin.
  • Gently pat your feet dry.
  • Apply a heel balm or thick moisturizer to the affected area. These balms contain ingredients to moisturize, soften, and exfoliate dead skin. Look for the following ingredients;
  • Urea
  • Salicylic acid
  • alpha-hydroxy acids
  • saccharide isomerate
We recommend Revitaderm 
and it is available to purchase in our office. 
  • Put on socks to avoid spreading any lotion around. 
*If your cracked heels are painful or bleeding, make an appointment to see one of the doctors at Sole Foot & Ankle Specialists today!
Many people do not think about their feet when applying sunscreen, but did you know that the skin on your feet is highly susceptible to melanoma and other forms of skin cancer? Podiatrists and Dermatologists alike warn that skin cancer of the foot is prevalent and can even be fatal if not caught early. 
While all types of skin cancer, including squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma, can be found on the foot, the most common is the most serious form, melanoma. Symptoms can be as subtle as an abnormal-looking mole or freckle found anywhere on the foot, and often go unnoticed without routine foot exams.
Dr. Larson & Dr. Doyle offer these tips to keep your feet safe this summer:

  • Lather up with sunscreen from head to toe-literally-when at the pool or beach to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun.
  • Check your feet and toes regularly for symptoms such as an abnormal-looking mole or freckle anywhere on the foot - even under toenails and on your soles.
  • Look for moles or freckles that change in size or shape. If you notice anything suspicious, promptly schedule an appointment with your foot and ankle specialist to have the mark examined.
  • Schedule routine foot exams with one of the doctors at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists so they can keep track of suspicious, changing marks. Give us a call today (602) 938-3600.
By Gary N. Friedlander DPM, FACFAS and Jay C. Larson DPM
January 31, 2019
Category: Foot Problems

When asked what the most stable joint is in the leg, most would not respond with the “the ankle joint.” However, this small joint made up of only three bones coming together is extremely stable and can even support up to five times our body weight! Yet, in the United States, the number of ankle sprain injuries per year is in the hundreds of thousands. With as little as a 1 millimeter displacement of the bones, the stability of this joint may drop by 42 percent! This drastically decreases our ability to use this joint to its full-motion capabilities and potentially results in progressive damage and abnormal gait patterns. How do we protect this extremely important joint?

Proper Shoes:

While shoes may be an important fashion statement, they should also serve in protecting your foot and ankle. Finding the right pair of shoes for your daily or athletic needs can prove very challenging. Keeping the 3 rules of stability in mind can help narrow down your choices in finding the best shoe! 

Shoes should only:

■ Bend where the toes bend

■ Have a stiff back and sole 

■ Only slightly twist when you hold the shoe at the heel and at the toes



Stretching is critical to ensure muscle strength and proper alignment and functionality of our extremities. Use it or lose it!

■ Try stretching out your gastrocnemius-soleus complex. Do each of these stretches for at least 60 seconds a few times a day.

These two muscles are incredibly important, because the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles connect and become your achilles tendon; a major component of both ankle and foot integrity.  To see more stretches visit our At Home Video page here or our YouTube page here


Ankle injuries are common and are one of the most common problems addressed by podiatrist.  If you experience an ankle injury we recommend P.R.I.C.E. :

Protection: boot or ankle brace with limited weight bearing

Rest: Decreased activity and stress on the ankle

Ice: cold therapy helps reduce swelling and pain

Compression: Ace bandage, compression sleeve, or compression stockings help reduce swelling and decreases healing time

Elevation: Reduces pooling of fluid in the injured ankle. Reduced swelling and pain

If you experience an ankle injury or have recurrent ankle pain and/or swelling consider making an appointment with Dr. Jay C. Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists.  It is much better to properly evaluate and treat an ankle injury to reduce recurrence and help prevent further damage.

Have you ever experienced pain so bad you cannot even stand to put on a pair of socks without agonizing pain? Did you recently have surgery or endure a traumatic injury? If so, you may be experiencing symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).

About CRPS

CRPS is a debilitating condition that is characterized by having pain that is out-of-proportion, along with several other features. While it is not entirely clear why CRPS develops, it is  seen in people who have recently suffered a traumatic event prior to surgery. It is believed the pain experienced is due to an impaired processing pattern in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) that ultimately causes an inflammatory response, and leads to vessel spasm, swelling, and increased pain. As a result, people experience burning pain, redness, and swelling.

Signs and Symptoms to Watch For

  • Swelling and redness
  • Pain-out-of-proportion – Often experience extreme pain during something that normally would not cause pain (i.e. being brushed with a cotton swab)
  • Increased skin temperature – the foot will appear warm compared to the other foot
  • Increased or decreased sweating – this will depend on the stage of the CRPS and is due to an increase or decrease in sympathetic activity
  • Brittle or clubbed toe nails
  • Muscle changes and atrophy


Diagnosing CRPS is very difficult since the previously mentioned signs and symptoms are commonly seen in other conditions. It is important to rule out other possible causes before jumping to CRPS. These can include: compartment syndrome, diabetic neuropathy, gout, fibromyalgia, nerve entrapment, cellulitis, or even psychological. While there are numerous conditions that look similar to CRPS, recognizing CRPS is critical to prevent progression and improving the outcome, and a doctor should be seen right away if you suspect it.

Treating CRPS

There is currently no definite treatment for CRPS since everyone responds differently to treatments. However, there are several options available to people who suffer from CRPS. These include:

  • Medication and nerve blocks
  • Nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Physical and occupational therapy


If you have been experiencing excruciating pain in your feet, please do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jay C. Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists in Glendale, Arizona. We will explain all your treatments options to available to you to ensure you maintain healthy feet.

The holiday season is done, and you have probably forgotten about your feet. Maybe you wore heels to different holiday parties or wore shoes with little to no support for shopping and walking around.   Now that it is 2019, most of us have made a resolution to exercise more. The increase for demand on our feet should come with an increase in awareness on how to keep them healthy. Here are a few tips to keep feet happy and healthy this 2019 year.

Ease into new exercise plans: If you decide to increase your activity this year, ease into it.  Too much too soon will have an impact on not only the body, but the feet as well. The last thing you want to do is start 2019 out with an overuse injury.

Find proper footwear: Whether the activity is basketball, walking, or trail running make sure you find the correct footwear that will provide the correct support and comfort for the activity.  Too often, injuries could have been prevented by altering footwear. Think about arch support, size and the insole when considering what shoes are appropriate for the activity.

Take care of your feet: It is vital to take care of your feet. Daily activities can even be unbearable when your feet are uncomfortable. Simple tasks such as proper nail care and moisturizer can prevent various issues including ingrown toenails or dry cracking calluses.  Other options could be stretching and massaging your feet especially with an increase in demand with a New Year resolution.

Listen to your feet: After a busy holiday season or the addition of an exercise plan make sure to listen to your feet.  If a pain starts and is not relieved with rest, do not push though and cause the injury to become more severe.

The holiday season along with New Year Resolutions is a very exciting time that can also be strenous on your feet.  If you or someone you know has any foot issues, please consider making an appointment with Dr. Jay C. Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists


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