Cracked Heels, Swollen Feet, Corns or Blisters?

April 17, 2014

David Dowell,DPM

Mercy Clinic Podiatry

Do you have cracked heels? Or swollen feet? Corns or blisters? Some of these conditions can be indicators of disorders such as heart, kidney or thyroid problems. Hi, I am Dr. David Dowell, a doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM). April is National Foot Health Awareness Month set aside by podiatrists to increase awareness of the important role that foot health plays in overall health. In order to recognize foot health month, a FREE foot screen will be held April 28 from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Mercy Hospital Carthage.

As a podiatrist I strive to improve the overall health of my patients by focusing on diagnosing, and treating conditions associated with the foot and ankle. I treat a variety of conditions and use some innovative treatments to improve the well-being of my patients.

Your feet often provide the first sign of more serious health issues such as diabetes. It is important that people with diabetes see a podiatrist regularly or have your primary care physician or family doctor check your feet at every checkup. Persons with diabetes need to pay special attention to their feet and watch carefully for any complications. Here is an interesting statistic: Regular foot examinations can help reduce the risk of amputation in people with diabetes by 45 to 85 percent.”

I have some advice to help you take care of your feet at home. Here is my check list of Do’s and Don’ts for persons with diabetes:


  • Inspect feet daily for cuts, blisters, scratches, redness and swelling.
  • Remember to inform every doctor you visit that you have diabetes.
  • Wash feet daily; always dry carefully between the toes.
  • Powder feet, lightly after bathing Cut toenails straight across.
  • Keep feet warm and dry.
  • Use a good skin lotion to protect your feet from cracking and drying, but not between toes.
  • Wear loose-fitting socks to bed if feet are cold; never use heating pads or hot water bottles.
  • Wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes.
  • Inspect the inside of shoes for foreign objects and torn lining each time you put them on.


  • Don’t walk barefoot, even indoors!
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking reduces blood circulation this can lead to the loss of a leg.
  • Don’t cut corns or calluses yourself.
  • Don’t use caustic chemical agents or any other irritants for the removal of corns or calluses.
  • Don’t wear open-toed shoes, particularly sandals with thongs between toes.

No appointment is necessary for the FREE foot screen on April 28; first come, first served basis. Participants are asked to use the main hospital entrance. For more information, call 417-359-1351. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Media Contacts