“Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground” said Theodore Roosevelt. Well, he didn’t live in Puerto Vallarta where one has to maneuver cobblestones and high curbs, rushing water in the rainy season or rampant humidity. Our feet take a beating around here! Luckily, we have a stellar foot specialist, Paty Villanueva.
I have worked with Paty and her crew for many years having her treat patients and their feet and the wide variety of foot issues involved. Whether it is someone who has a big blister on a toe to an ingrown toenail, a hot and angry wound on a diabetic patient to a toenail fungus, she goes that extra mile with her patients. As well, until one has had a “medical pedicure” one has not had a real pedicure (IMHO) but that is for another article! Paty also does a vast amount of “pro-bono” work for those in outlying areas and who cannot afford proper treatment, especially with diabetic patients.
I asked Paty a few questions:
What is a corn? A growth of a callus that our skin creates in an area where there is constant friction. It can cause tenderness or pain under your skin. They can appear from wearing ill-fitting shoes. Excess skin can be trimmed/rubbed away with a pumice stone.
What are bunions? This is a bone growth in the first metatarsal head and in the fifth metatarsal head (Taylors Bunion). Genetics is the number one cause of this affliction. Increased risk factors are high heels, rheumatoid arthritis. Conservative treatment is changing shoes, taping or splinting the toes, shoe inserts (orthotics) but oftentimes, if these do not work, then surgery is the next step.
What is the best thing that we can do for our feet here in Vallarta, with the cobblestones and humidity? It is very important to use a shoe with good support while walking the streets. Ankle sprains are very common around here! Use a good sandal with a strap on the back, tennis shoes and no high heels. For foot care with the humidity, it is important not to use the same pair of shoes every day. Plastic shoes will make your feet warmer but with the rain, a plastic shoe is better because a leather one, with the humidity, can cause a fungal infection. Shower twice a day to keep your feet clean and healthy.
What are orthotics? Orthotics are a support that go into your shoes or sandals that give more stability to your entire body. There are different kinds, depending on the problem that you have. They are very helpful for foot pain, a sore back and poor knee alignment. It is very important to have a thorough examination prior to prescribing an orthotic and they should be custom made for the best results.
I am always in awe of many women that I work with, as well as women I see on the street, who are able to run up and downstairs at break-neck speed and clear the cobblestones in gorgeous high heels. I would not only need Paty to repair my toes but probably someone to fix a broken hip!
Every month we do our “Foot Clinic” with Paty at a discounted price and offer a special price for those participating for a medical pedicure.
We hope that you have a wonderful and a very pink week and we look forward to seeing you at our Breast Cancer Awareness events this month!