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Every lady has a different maximum heel height that is comfortable. The front and back of the ankle determines the maximum angle the foot will fit into a high heeled shoe and be able to walk comfortably.  Also the length of the foot determines the height of the heel that can be worn to comfortable limits. It is a simple matter of geometry.

Wearing a high heeled shoe moves the forefoot fatty padding to behind your toes instead of under the ball of your foot where it rests naturally in a flat shoe or barefoot. That is why the ball of the foot aches so much when wearing high heels. Also, the weight of the lady wearing a high heeled shoe is a significant factor.  The heavier you are, the more impact on the forefoot and the more painful it will be. 

Stress fractures are common in ladies wearing excessively high heeled shoes and dancing in them such as a wedding. The pain starts in the forefoot about 3-5 days after the initial stress fracture. 

It is much easier to sprain an ankle when wearing high heeled shoes. The ligaments at the sides of ankle relax immediately in high heeled shoes. If the ankle wobbles to the side, it actually leans a great amount before the ankle ligaments start to engage. By that time the ankle is past its critical point of self correcting and the sprain or even break of the ankle will occur. That is why silly competitions for ladies such as sprinting 50 meters race in high heels or weight lifting in high heels for competitions are no laughing matter. They should result in a severe ankle sprain or ankle break and it is sheer luck if it does not occur. 

Wearing high heels can be enjoyable. These are tips to help protect the foot and also help it recover;

  1. I wear high heels to work 2 days a week to show my patients that it is completely possible to wear heels to work. For example, my comfortable ‘workable’ heel height is 55mm. I fit my shoes to the larger foot and wear a heel grip on the smaller foot that feels loose. That way my toes do not get scrunched and corn formation is prevented. 
  2. I use a shoe with an orthotic with a transverse arch lift on the other days. This is to counter-act the affects of the high heeled shoes on the ball of my foot. It helps keep the essential fibro-fatty pad in place. 
  3. I use ‘Beauty and the Bunion’ foot tape to help keep my big toe straight and the forefoot tight so as to reduce the impact on the forefoot bones and reduce bunion formation. This helps keep the foot ligaments tight after they have been strained in high-heeled shoes. 
  4. I use an electro-muscle stimulator called the Footerella EMS, on my foot to keep the muscles strong after wearing shoes. I do this on a Thursday morning when I am preparing my diary for the next week ahead. It helps keep my forefoot slim and tight. 
  5. I wear “Bunny Pads” on the ball of my foot and on my small toes to protect them so that my skin on my feet look perfect without any blemishes on the toes from wearing high heels. It also cushions the ball of my feet if I am going to be standing in my heels rather than sitting. 
Michelle Champlin
Chief Podiatrist
B.Sc. Pod., S.R.Ch., M.Ch.S.,U.K
Tel: 04 3435390
WhatsApp: +971503553024
Dubai Podiatry Centre

  1. Every morning for just 30 seconds I dry file the feet using a flat paddle foot file. It takes much more tough skin away than when it is used with water. I do this every morning like I brush my teeth. It has to be done. 
  2. Every week I use an oscillating electric toothbrush with a soft head for my toenails at the side and underneath to give very shiny and clean toenails. It clears debris, moisturiser build up, dead skin etc and reduces the potential for nail fungus. It also helps keep the cuticle in place without using wooden sticks or instruments to push them back. I use Colgate white toothpaste with mine as menthol is fungicidal and freshens the nails. 
  3. I moisturise my feet before bed with 10% urea cream. It inhibits fungal growth.  Feet naturally have a higher count of fungal spores. Using a normal body moisturiser / lotion can increase these and promote a fungal infection. 
  4. I wear 5 toe socks or 5 toe stockings everyday depending on my outfit. They are more expensive than regular socks as they are more difficult to make. I like Injinji for toe socks and wear Japanese stockings with 5 toes. It prevents fungal infections between the toes. 
  5. Skin protection. If I’m wearing high heels I wear bunny pads on the ball of my foot, 4th and 5th toes and a heel pad on my Achilles to prevent any blisters or skin discolouration. 
  6. Sports shoes, to combat the abuse of high heels, I wear Footerella insoles. I wear 3 types; A mild, medium and high arched insole and swap them around each month to maintain my foot posture. 
  7. Hiking. I wear Thuro hiking socks with my Salomon hiking boots. I wear a 3mm insole in my left boot due to abnormal leg length discrepancy which annoys my left knee and foot arch problem over 20km if I don’t wear it. I wear orthotics to tighten my foot muscles so that my feet are really strong after this activity. 
  8. Walking. I walk 1 hour most mornings and 1 1/2 hours most evenings. I apply a strong mint foot gel made by CCS and then put my socks on. My feet feel alive and the sweat from walking helps the mint to activate the circulation to the skin in my feet. 
  9. Fresh air and no nail polish. I go to the beach every Friday. I expose my nails so that the UV can brighten my nail beds. I also walk along the beach for 50 minutes. This helps to remove dead skin but it also toughens the more sensitive areas of the feet which is important for hiking season. When I come home I shower immediately. I use my electric toothbrush that is exclusively for my toenails with white Colgate toothpaste. Then I put on my silicone bootys and pad around the house for an hour organising and tidying. The silicone soothes the skin and moisturises. 
  10. Every August I take a 1 month course of vitamin A which keeps the skin health strong. It helps to combat the verrucae virus which is common in water sports areas. It’s a preventative step and is also good for my eyes health. 


Water shoes are essential for preventing the verruca virus which causes plantar foot warts to feet.
The virus is prominent around the area where people walk barefoot at the swimming pool, gym showers and at water parks. By wearing water outside of the swimming pool and also inside the swimming pool, this reduces the skin to ground to foot contact which is where the virus can be contracted easily.
The photo of the clear water shoes with holes to allow water in and out are the most practical for swimming pools and water parks.

For stronger activity such as beach running or tougher beaches with coral and sharp rocks water shoes should be worn such as the sportier version in the second photo by adidas.


Michelle Champlin

Chief Podiatrist

A corn on the foot can be painful. With time it comes back faster after every removal. Having a corn removed every 6 months, will soon become 4 months then 1 month and then just a few days of relief. To discover the reason for this we must look at why the corn is coming in the first place. A corn on the side of the 5th toe is purely from a shoe being to narrow. It will be worse on one foot compared to the other due to one foot being slightly wider and longer than the other. The pressure from a shoe, even a soft shoe presses the skin against the bone. This makes the skin toughen. If the pressure continues the concentration of the hard protein called keratin becomes so pure that it is harder than toenail. It creates a hard centre which can be very painful. If the shoe is not changed to a better fitting one for reasons of uniform or fashion, then the corn is expected to return. In warmer months when the foot may be more puffy, the corn will return faster. When the weather is cooler the return will be longer. If you have walked more or become more active, the pressure and friction increases and the corn will return faster. Smoking and weight gain will also increase the rate of return.

A corn under the foot is purely due to a bone being too close to the skin. They are usually found under one or more of the 1,2,3,4,5 metatarsal heads. These are in the forefoot. A patient will often complain that the “corn is now coming back faster” or ” you didn’t remove it all because it’s only been 2 months this time, or two weeks etc”. The patient must understand when the Podiatrist explains the reasons for the corn. A dropped forefoot arch causing the metatarsals to collapse and press through the skin. An insole / orthtoic will help prevent them. If the patient is not willing to change the position of the bones by wearing an insole then they must expect the corn to return at some point. Weight gain will also cause callouses and corns to become bigger, more painful and return faster. The patient may be advised to lose weight but if they do not and the weight stays the same or increases, then understandably the corn will return faster.
Smoking causes small friction areas on the foot to became much more thickened and painful . Corns also are exaggerated and much more painful. They return much faster. Smoking decreases the amount of oxygen that can be carried in the red blood cells. The feet are the most oxygen starved area of the body. If you smoke this makes any repair of the skin much slower. In the case of the feet the body defends itself by growing thicker skin. A smoker that quits smoking will notice in 6 months the skin is much healthier to the feet. Weight loss also reduces hard skin build up and corns. Make an appointment to see a nutritionist for expert advice and to make a plan and approach it as a scientist would a research project and keep a log by charting your progress.

A Podiatrist always explains to a patient with a corn why they have it, it is up to the patient to also help with the plan. If there is no orthotic / insole worn, shoes changed, weight loss achieved, quit smoking then the corn is guaranteed to return. And it will come back more frequently until there is no relief from any removal due to the living tissue becoming damaged.

diabetic foot

Does it feel like your feet are burning or tingling like pins and needles?
You’ve been suffering foot pain for years but don’t know what to do about it?
Neuromas – The Symptoms
This may be something called Morton’s Neuroma or Intermetatarsal Neuroma. Patients also often speak about an intense pain either in the ball of the foot or into the toes or in both areas. Patients also can complain in some instances of a numbness or a “fuzzy” sensation in the toes. Along with these descriptions patients also mention a sense of ‘fullness’ or cramping in the toes especially with activity. Some relate that the pain moves from the sole of the ball of the foot into the toes or even radiating into the arch or up the leg. Dress shoes or running in athletic shoes tends to increase the severity of these symptoms. In most instances, patients do report that removal of the shoes and massaging the ball of the foot and the toes gives immediate relief of symptoms. However, in some instances, walking barefoot on hard surfaces can also cause extreme discomfort and duplicate the symptoms.
What is a Neuroma?
Morton’s Neuroma or Intermetatarsal Neuroma is caused by an entrapment or pinching of the nerves, or repeated micro-traumas which result in a degeneration of the nerve branches. The condition is most commonly found between the 3rd & 4th toes and is much more common in women than in men, possibly due to women’s footwear being more pointed / higher heeled causing the forefoot to be a bit ‘squashed’. These neuromas can most often be found in flattened foot arch types, but also in the normal as well as the high arched foot.
What Should You Do?
At Dubai Podiatry Centre, we can correct the flattened forefoot arch by using a custom orthotic to lift the transverse arch. This enables the metatarsals to align normally and prevent further trauma to the nerves. The transvere arch runs across the forefoot and is different to the most commonly known arch along the instep of the foot. Call Dubai Podiatry Centre on +971 4 3435390 for an appointment with the Podiatrist – we’re here to help!

Children with strong, healthy feet often avoid many kinds of lower extremity problems later in life. Contact our office to have your children’s feet and lower extremities examined.


The size and shape of your baby’s feet change quickly during their first year. Because a baby’s feet are flexible, too much pressure or strain can affect their feet’s shape. It’s important to allow your baby to kick and stretch his or her feet. Also, make sure shoes and socks do not squeeze the toes.


Try not to force your toddler to walk before she is ready. Carefully watch her gait once she begins to walk. If your toddler’s toe touches down instead of the heel, or she always sits while others play, contact our office. Many toddlers have a pigeon-toe gait, and this is normal. Most children outgrow the problem.

When foot care is needed

To help with flatfeet, special shoes or custom-made shoe inserts may be prescribed. To correct mild intoeing, your toddler may need to sit in a different position while playing or watching TV. If you child’s feet turn in or out a lot, corrective shoes, splints, or night braces may be prescribed.

The foot’s bone structure is well-formed by the time your child reaches age 7 or 8, but if a growth plate (the area where bone growth begins) is injured, the damaged plate may cause the bone to grow oddly. With a doctor’s care, however, the risk of future bone problems is reduced.

Remember to check your child’s shoe size often. Make sure there is space between the toes and the end of the shoe, Make sure their shoes are roomy enough to allow the toes to move freely. Don’t let your child wear hand-me-downs.

Written by Michelle Champlin BSc Pod., M.Ch.S., S.R., Ch., (UK)
Neuromas can be one source of pain to the ball of your foot (as well as sesamoiditis and bunions, for example). Neuromas are enlarged benign growths of nerves, most commonly between the third and fourth toes. They are caused by tissue rubbing against and irritating the nerves. Pressure from tightly-fitting shoes, high heels or abnormal bone structure can create the condition as well. Treatments include custom orthotics, padding within your forefoot to lift your transverse arches and/or cortisone injections, but surgical removal of the growth is sometimes necessary.
If you are worried about possibly having a Morton’S Neuroma, make the foot experts at Dubai Podiatry Centre your first stop. Arrange a convenient appointment on +971 4 3435390

Onychocryptosis is otherwise known as an ingrown toenail. It occurs when part of the nail penetrates or increases pressure on the skin which causes pain, inflammation, hyper granulated tissue and commonly infections.

The many causes of developing onychocryptosis including:
€¢ Improper cutting of the nail €“ too short, leaving sharp edges, cutting down the sides
€¢ Pronation of the hallux and Hallux Valgus Deformity €“ causing skin to €˜bulge€™ on one side of the nail leading to an increase in pressure
€¢ Involuted nails €“ where the nail is curved at each edge rather than lying straight across the nail bed
€¢ Ill fitting footwear €“ tight shoes causing increased pressure on the nail and skin
€¢ Trauma – deforming the nail growth will increase the chances of developing into an ingrown nail
€¢ Swollen toes €“ chubby digits or during pregnancy can increase the skin bulging around the nail leading to an ingrown nail
€¢ Fungal nail infections €“ deformed, brittle or thick nails increase the chances of developing an ingrown nail

How a Podiatrist can help?
Pending on any nail deformity, severity or presence of infection to the ingrown nail we can help by:
€¢ Referring to a Doctor for treatment if an infection is present – antibiotics
€¢ Corrective trimming of the nail €“ cutting straight across
€¢ Packing the nail sulci with gauze and antiseptic solution – will allow the nail & skin to be separated so inflammation can reduce
€¢ Removing the nail spike €“ if it is too painful we can administer a local anesthetic. If this nail spike is not removed, the infection will likely continue with the irritant still in place
€¢ Nail Braces €“ clear small strips are applied across the nail which then acts as a €˜spring back€™ to lift up the sides of the nail creating a nail that lies straight across the nail bed. This is a painless procedure but can only be applied to certain nails once infection has been removed. The nail brace is worn for a few weeks to insure the nail sides do not fall back down
€¢ Persistent occurrences of ingrown nails €“ A Partial Nail Avulsion will be needed. Where the digit is under local anesthetic and only a part of the nail, the irritating side is removed from the nail root. No skin is cut, so no stitches are required. We can administer Phenol Acid to the nail bed to ensure re-growth does not occur if the problem lies at the nail bed. Patients can continue with their normal lives that same day but rest and foot elevation is advised. We ask that constrictive footwear or sporting activities are not carried out for at least 10 days while the toe is healing.
€¢ Patient information €“ corrective self trimming, not wearing tight footwear or socks, check digits daily, keep feet clean, treat fungi infections.
€¢ It is advised if patients have poor circulation or Diabetes that they get their nails trimmed by a Podiatrist to ensure corrective trimming and lessens the chances of cutting the skin, ingrown nails and infections.
€¢ Assess foot alignment for deformities such as Hallux Valgus – correct this with Orthoses Devices which will offload the pressure being exerted from the nail into the skin

An Intermetatarsal (Mortons) Neuroma is a thickening of nerve sheath/tissue located between the metatarsal bones of the foot. Most commonly located between the 3rd and 4th interspace as this is where the Medial and Lateral Plantar Nerves combine making it an already larger nerve. This location is known as Mortons Neuroma.
Causes of developing an Intermetatarsal Neuroma include:
€¢ Compression and irritation of the nerve
€¢ Ill fitting footwear €“ Shoes that are too small, have a tight/narrow toe box or high heel shoes that increase pressure onto the metatarsal heads
€¢ Foot deformities €“ Bunions, flat feet, over pronation, hammer digits, collapsed transverse arches will all increase the susceptibility of compression to the nerve sheath and thus may develop a neuroma.
€¢ Sporting Activities €“ Sports such as; running, tennis, ballet and Irish dancing require extra load/time on the ball€™s of the feet
€¢ Localized pain intermetatarsally that can be sharp or dull
€¢ Tingling, burning or numbness may be present
€¢ Symptoms can radiate along the foot distally or/and proximally
€¢ The associated digits may be numb
€¢ Pain usually increases with wearing footwear
€¢ Pain can increase with palpation of the metatarsal interspace
€¢ Pain can increase with testing €œMulders Sign€ and a €˜click€™ may be heard

How a Podiatrist can help?
€¢ Diagnosing and treating any occurring foot deformities with orthoses devices
€¢ Pain can increase with testing €œMulders Sign€ and a €˜click€™ may be heard
€¢ Applying a metatarsal arch pad to footwear to reduce the compression forces on the nerve
€¢ Advising activity modification €“ Rest and icing the area
€¢ Non Steroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs can help minimise pain and inflammation
€¢ Footwear advise €“ wear shoes with wide toe boxes and avoid high heel or narrow shoes
€¢ An X-ray may need to be taken to rule out differential diagnosis such as stress fractures
€¢ Doctor or Orthopaedic referral for corticosteroid injection or reconstructing bone alignment through surgery

Diabetes and good footwear
Diabetes can lead to poor blood circulation. This decreases the circulation getting to the legs and feet which can cause injuries in the feet to heal poorly and can create ulcers, changes in shape of the feet, and loss of feeling.
Be careful when buying new shoes.
This can lead to rubbing of the skin and development of a foot ulcer.
Buy new shoes in the afternoon/evening when your feet are at their largest size.
Have your feet accurately measured by the store staff. Be aware that your foot size and shape will change with age!
Most commonly due to decreased sensation €“ Neuropathic Diabetics buy shoes that are too small as they are unable to feel the sides
Going bare foot increases your chances of damaging your skin
Wearing cushioned, supportive footwear with good quality socks is essential for all Diabetics

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