Items filtered by date: May 2024

Tuesday, 28 May 2024 00:00

Causes And Treatment Of Cracked Heels

Cracked heels often stem from various factors, including obesity, wearing ill-fitting shoes, prolonged standing, and dry skin. When the skin on your feet lacks moisture and becomes stiff, it is more susceptible to cracking, especially under pressure while standing or walking. Certain conditions, such as diabetes, psoriasis, and flat feet, can further dry out the skin and increase the risk of cracked heels or painful fissures. Preventative measures include moisturizing regularly, avoiding harsh soaps, and opting for closed-heeled shoes with ample cushioning. Wearing cotton socks can also help to reduce friction. Mild relief typically involves moisturizers containing ingredients like urea or hyaluronic acid, which help retain moisture and soften the skin. While mild cases can often be managed at home, it is important to see a podiatrist if heel cracks are associated with a medical condition or if they have become infected. Seeking professional advice ensures a proper diagnosis and treatment, leading to quicker healing and long-term foot health. If cracked and painful heels are causing you discomfort, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Patrick Bruton, DPM from Big Country foot and Ankle. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How Do You Get Them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Abilene, and Brownwood, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels

Athlete's foot, a fungal infection affecting the skin of the feet, is not exclusive to adults, as children can also fall prey to this uncomfortable condition. Commonly caused by the same fungi responsible for ringworm and jock itch, athlete's foot thrives in warm, moist environments, making children's sweaty feet particularly susceptible. Symptoms can include itching, burning, and redness, often between the toes or on the soles of the feet. Children can contract athlete's foot by walking barefoot in public areas, such as swimming pools, locker rooms, or communal showers. Sharing towels, socks, or shoes with an infected individual can also facilitate transmission. Teaching children proper foot hygiene, such as keeping feet clean and dry, wearing breathable footwear, and avoiding walking barefoot in public spaces, can help prevent athlete's foot and promote overall foot health. If your child has itchy feet, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat athlete’s foot, which may include prescribed medication.

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is often an uncomfortable condition to experience. Thankfully, podiatrists specialize in treating athlete’s foot and offer the best treatment options. If you have any questions about athlete’s foot, consult with Patrick Bruton, DPM from Big Country foot and Ankle. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a non-serious and common fungal infection of the foot. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be contracted by touching someone who has it or infected surfaces. The most common places contaminated by it are public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Once contracted, it grows on feet that are left inside moist, dark, and warm shoes and socks.


The most effective ways to prevent athlete’s foot include:

  • Thoroughly washing and drying feet
  • Avoid going barefoot in locker rooms and public showers
  • Using shower shoes in public showers
  • Wearing socks that allow the feet to breathe
  • Changing socks and shoes frequently if you sweat a lot


Athlete’s foot initially occurs as a rash between the toes. However, if left undiagnosed, it can spread to the sides and bottom of the feet, toenails, and if touched by hand, the hands themselves. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Scaly and peeling skin

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is quick and easy. Skin samples will be taken and either viewed under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing. Sometimes, a podiatrist can diagnose it based on simply looking at it. Once confirmed, treatment options include oral and topical antifungal medications.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Abilene, and Brownwood, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.


Read more about How to Deal with Athlete's Foot
Tuesday, 14 May 2024 00:00

Walking Development of Children

The process of learning to walk is a significant milestone in a child's foot development, marking the transition from dependency to independence. As infants, babies typically begin to explore their surroundings by lifting their heads, rolling over, and eventually crawling. Over time, they develop the strength and coordination needed to pull themselves up and stand with support. As they gain confidence and stability, they take their first tentative steps, often holding onto furniture or caregivers for balance. With practice and encouragement, children gradually refine their walking skills, progressing from unsteady toddling to confident, independent walking. Along the way, they learn to coordinate their movements, maintain balance, and navigate obstacles in their environment. Walking not only facilitates physical exploration but also fosters cognitive and social development, enabling children to engage more actively with their surroundings and interact with others. If your child is delayed in walking, it is suggested that you confer with a podiatrist who can address any concerns you may have.

The health of a child’s feet is vital to their overall well-being. If you have any questions regarding foot health, contact Patrick Bruton, DPM of Big Country foot and Ankle. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tips for Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

  • Make sure their shoes fit properly
  • Look for any signs of in-toeing or out-toeing
  • Check to see if they have Clubfoot (condition that affects your child’s foot and ankle, twisting the heel and toes inward) which is one of the most common nonmajor birth defects.
  • Lightly cover your baby’s feet (Tight covers may keep your baby from moving their feet freely, and could prevent normal development)
  • Allow your toddler to go shoeless (Shoes can be restricting for a young child’s foot)
  • Cut toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails
  • Keep your child’s foot clean and dry
  • Cover cuts and scrapes. Wash any scratches with soap and water and cover them with a bandage until they’ve healed.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Abilene, and Brownwood, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about How to Care for Your Child's Feet
Tuesday, 07 May 2024 00:00

Causes of Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are noncancerous growths caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV, infecting the outer layer of skin on the soles of the feet. They often appear as small, grainy lesions with black dots embedded within them, causing discomfort or pain, especially when walking or standing. Those individuals with diabetes or compromised immune systems should be particularly watchful of such growths. These warts are contagious and can spread through direct contact with infected surfaces or skin. Treatment options can include salicylic acid to prescription strength treatments such as cryotherapy, laser therapy, or surgical removal. If you have a plantar wart that causes persistent pain, changes in appearance, or interferes with walking, it is suggested that you seek podiatric attention.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact Patrick Bruton, DPM from Big Country foot and Ankle. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.


  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing


  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Abilene, and Brownwood, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Plantar Warts
Friday, 03 May 2024 00:00

Do You Suffer From Painful Feet?

Painful deformities, such as hammertoes, can be treated. Stop living with foot pain, and have beautiful feet again!

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