Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Can I still wear dress shoes/high heels if I have a bunion?

    It depends on your level of pain. If you only have pain with wearing certain shoes, you may have to limit the kind of shoes you wear on a regular basis. If you have a nice pair of shoes you only wear to special events, it is OK for there to be some level of discomfort, as long as it goes away shortly after wearing the shoes.

  • Can bunions be prevented?

    No. Although some people may try orthotics or splint devices, there is no evidence that supports any treatment claiming to prevent bunions.

  • When do I need to seek treatment for bunions?

    This is the most commonly asked question among patients with a bunion deformity. Luckily, there is a simple answer: only if the bunion causes pain!

    If you do not have an pain associated with your bunion, you have to consider that treatment, whether conservative or surgical, may cause some level of discomfort, which would be more htan what you had to begin with. If you only have pain with wearing certain shoes, you may need to consider other shoe options. If your pain is consistent, and you are limited from your activities or desired lifestyle, then treatment is recommended before the conditions worsen.

  • Is it okay to pop my blister?

    In general, it's best to avoid popping or draining a blister. Doing so greatly increases the risk of an infection, so if you're able to leave it intact and wait it out until it goes away on its own, it's your safest option. This goes double if you have diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, or other problems that affect your circulation or immune system—we strongly recommend that you never pop a blister in such circumstances.

    However, in some cases where the blsiter is especially large or painful and making it difficult to even stand or walk, carefully draining and bandaging it may be an appropriate choice, so long as you can do so safely and check regularly for infection or complications. Wash the affected area with soap and water, make a few small holes in the edge of the blister with a sterile needle to drain (leaving the "roof" intact), apply antibiotic ointment, and bandage. Replace the bandage every day, checking for signs of infection.

    If your foot blister needs medical attention, or you're worried about infection, please request an appointment with North Austin Foot & Ankle Institute by completing our online form or calling 512-593-2949.

  • How do you catch athlete's foot?

    Athlete's foot isn't just for athletes! This common skin infection is caused by exposure to fungus and is highly contagious, meaning just about anyone can catch it under the right circumstances.

    Fungi love to live in dark, moist environments such as locker rooms, pool decks, showers, towels, inside shoes—or, more to the point, the spaces between your toes. Transmission occurs through contact with an infected surface, which means walking barefoot through the locker room or sharing shoes or towels is a definite no-no. It also means you should choose moisture-wicking socks and well ventilated shoes, and change both frequently, to avoiding giving fungi the environment and opportunity to populate.

    Keep your feet clean and dry and avoid going barefoot in public to keep your risk of transmission low. If you already have this fungal skin infection, and over-the-counter treatment don't seem to be working, call Keith McSpadden, DPM for professional evaluation and treatment. You can schedule an appointment online, or call us at 512-593-2949.