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Houston, TX 77043





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By Dr. Jeffrey N. Bowman
April 24, 2014
Category: Nail Problems
Tags: Infection   Fungal Nails  

There are certain things in life that might seem FUN, but actually turn out to be quite the opposite. For instance, you might think the newest rollercoaster at your favorite amusement park would be FUN.  What you don’t realize is that the G-forces are greater than you are accustomed to and you vomit and pass out during your first ride.  Although Fungi has the word FUN within, it anything but that.  What makes a fungal infection, especially of the nail, so difficult to treat? 

  • Tough Skin – the keratin layer of the nail is very thick and pretty much impossible to penetrate with topical medications.  I would liken the nail plate as Fort Knox of the human body……… Impenetrable.   You compound the toughness of the normal nail and add 10x the thickness and you have hard shell to crack.  Some will recommend roughing the nail with an Emory board prior to application of any topical antifungal.
  • Master of Hiding –if you were to look at your nail under a microscope you would see multiple ridges.  The fungal organism takes advantage of these ridges and finds them to be a great hiding place from the agents sent to destroy them. 
  • Brook NOT River – blood flow at the toes is not the Aorta of the body.  Toe vascularity is the garden trickle NOT the South American Amazon.  I’m not saying that blood flow is not existent.  My point is that oral medications take a long time to truly have an effect due to the small vascular flow.

I am by no means telling you that it is hopeless and you should just have all your nails removed.  I am only telling you that treatment is difficult because the Fungi is extremely good at survival.  Please keep in mind that treatment takes a long time and you will not see nail changes of the current nail.  You will see the changes in the new nail as it grows out.  Please be patient.

If you are in need of foot or ankle care, please contact Dr. Bowman at713-467-8886 or visit www.houstonfootspecialists.com.

By Dr. Jeffrey N. Bowman
April 21, 2014
Category: Footwear

Another Easter holiday has come and gone.  The hubbub of Easter bunnies, eggs, candy, Sunday’s best, and religious beliefs has once again swirled around each of us like a hurricane.  Families have united and celebrated in their own special and time honored ways.  But let’s take a deeper look at a long lost time when life moved at a different pace, and traditions and customs have changed dramatically, at least in our country. 

Whether you believe in Jesus or not, the time period he is credited for being a part of did exist. That world was much different than today.  For one, America’s team, the Dallas Cowboys, did not exist.  If you aren’t a Cowboys fan, you can rejoice, but your Texans or Patriots were also, nonexistent.  Another big difference was that Nike was not the fashionable shoe of choice.  The Nile Croc’s, or their version of them, was the popular and to die for shoe style.  If you haven’t picked up on the humor, please reread as many times as necessary.  Thank you.  As I was saying, a sandal, or some variation of them, was en vogue.  If you didn’t have sandals, you went barefoot. 

Walking barefootWe have discussed before the dangers of walking barefoot in prior blogs, so please refer to them for a refresher.  Are the perils with sandals any less,  maybe not.  Yes, your risk of introducing a foreign body into the bottom of your foot is reduced, but depending on the style of sandal your toes or heel are in just as much a risk.  A similar disadvantage to walking barefoot vs. sandals is that your feet still become very dirty.  How many times have you walked around outside barefoot OR in sandals, proceeded to enter your parents house, and was stopped by your mother to wash your feet before stepping foot on her clean carpet?  If you grew up with me, it was all the time.   

There was an ancient custom concerning the washing of feet.  In many cultures who wore sandals, it was custom to provide water to house guests, not just for yourself, for them to wash their feet before entering the house.  Shoe gear was not typically worn inside the house and so the washing of the feet was a way of keeping everything cleaner.  If you can imagine what the feet must have looked like, smelled like, or felt like, you would agree that their feet needed a good cleaning.  To ignore this custom was a sign of unfriendliness.  It was also customary to wash your feet prior to meals and before going to bed.  Sometimes the host would offer to wash their guest’s feet.  This was a deep act of service and humility for it was not considered to be the job of anyone but the servant or the guest. 

Now I’m not saying to start washing your house guest’s feet.  First of all, in our culture you might be considered very odd for even mentioning it.  But let me spin it for you just a bit.  If it was an ancient custom to wash and care for the feet of others, don’t you think you should also wash and care for your own feet? If you took the time daily to wash your feet, inspect your feet, and care for your feet, you might be surprised at how less your dogs would bark.  After all, they are only as good as the care they get.

If you are in need of a public servant who is dedicated to the care and health of your feet, please contact Dr. Bowman at 713-467-8886 or visit www.houstonfootspecialists.com.

Photo Credit: Sura Nualpradid via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

By Dr. Jeffrey N. Bowman
April 17, 2014
Category: Heel Pain

Plantar fasciitis is a very common problem and can become very debilitating.  As discussed in previous blogs, the majority of cases can be adequately and effectively treated by conservative measures.  These conservative measures as you might remember are:Footwear for heel pain

The key to conservative measurement is all dependent on the 3 D’s:  Dedication, Determination, and Deliberation.  Unlike the 4 D’s of dodge ball (Dodge, Duck, Dive, and Dodge), these require a bit more fortitude and self-motivation.

Dedication – in order for the conservative measures to truly be effective, you need to be completely dedicated to the requirements.  You need to truly believe what your physician is telling you and give yourself over to the plan.

Determination – you may become discouraged because you may not be improving as fast as you would like.  Please do not give up.  These methods have tested and tried and have documented proof of their reliability. 

Deliberation – for these treatment measures to be truly helpful, you must be deliberate in performing them.  Half-hearted attempts OR occasional practice can prolong the treatment or render it useless.  The power is truly in your hands.

Unfortunately, there is a small percentage when these methods alone are not 100% effective and more aggressive therapy is required.

If you have any need of a foot/ankle specialist please contact Dr. Bowman at 713-467-8886 or visit www.houstonfootspecialists.com.

By Dr. Jeffrey N. Bowman
April 14, 2014
Category: Footwear
Tags: shoes   Golf   Footpain  

Bubba Watson just won his 2nd Masters in 3 years.  Although it was a disappointment not to see Tiger Woods out in the field, it was an amazing competition with some truly awe inspiring golf shots.  Jordan Spieth made a great run for the title, but Watson was not to be deterred.  My biggest question is how are their feet not killing them by the third day?  I play golf one day and by day's end my dogs are begging me to sit and prop my feet up.  So will the right shoes help?  What should I look for in a golf shoe?

  • Proper fit.  It is okay to wear a half size too big in regular shoe gear, but not for golf. If the shoes are too big they will slide during your swing and can increase your risk of injury, not to mention blisters.  Shoes that are too small will be just as tortuous.  Exact size is the way to go.
  • Flexibility is a must.  Flexibility will help your mobility as well as the life expectancy of the shoe itself.
  • Comfort is of course a main requirement.  There are many types of ways shoe makers are increasing comfort.  For instance, some products offer foam in the midsole while others are tinkering more with the sole and tread patterns.  In the end, it is what you find comfortable so try them on and take your feet on an adventure.
  • Breathable materials will help keep the sweat down and reduce friction.
  • Some shoes even offer waterproof uppers.

Now I’m not telling to go and buy the top of the line product, but if you are going to play on a regular basis then I would recommend spending time finding a proper shoe.  Some of the best brands on the market are: Foot Joy, Nike, Adidas, Ecco, and Puma. 

If you are in need of foot or ankle care, please contact Dr. Bowman at 713-467-8886 or visit www.houstonfootspecialists.com.

Photo Credit: Gualberto107 via freedigitalphotos.net

By Dr. Jeffrey N. Bowman
April 10, 2014
Tags: Children Foot Care   Walk   Gait  

There are countless objects and events in this world that can officially carry the classification of cute/precious.  However, in my humble opinion, there is nothing more precious/cute than watching a child learn to walk and then progress.  We will look at the differences in the gait pattern of a 1 yr old to a 3 year old.  Before we get started it is important to note that most children begin to walk independently at about 12 months of age.  Another thing of note is that there are 3 stages of gait:  heel contact, stance, and toe off.

1 Year Old:

  • The biggest difference at this age is that there is NO heel strike.  Initial contact is with the foot firmly planted.
  • To maintain balance, the elbows are nearly fully extended with the arms out.
  • There is NO arm swing during gait.
  • Their walk almost as if they are high stepping because they don’t have the dorsiflexion power at the ankle to clear the foot for the next step.  In fact, their foot is actually in a more plantarflexed position.
  • They have a broad based gait with feet typically pointing out.

2 Year Old:

  • It is during this age that a true, clear heel contact develops.
  • The beginnings of reciprocal arm swing appear.
  • Stride length increases while the base of gait itself decreases.

3 Year Old:

  • Not much different from that of a 2 year old.
  • Stride length continues to increase as their legs lengthen.

With continued aging and growing, the gait will quickly resemble that of an adult.

NOTE:  Toe walking is never considered normal.  So if you notice your child, especially as they age, has a toe walking gait, please consult your family practitioner or podiatrist.  Early walking may appear to be toe walking due to the fact there is not heel strike in a 1 year old.  If you have any questions or concerns, please see your local Podiatrist.

If you have a child, or you yourself are in need of someone to care for your feet, please contact Dr. Bowman at 713-467-8886 or visit www.houstonfootspecialists.com.

Photo Credit: Daniel St.Pierre via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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1140 Business Center Drive
Houston, TX 77043

Podiatrist - Houston, Houston Foot Specialists, 1140 Business Center Drive, Houston TX, 77043 713-467-8886