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Walking Blues

New Yorkers pound more pavement than any other urban population, and we have our own unique foot problems to prove it. Certified foot surgeon Suzanne Levine diagnoses the most common ailments.

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Wall Street Feet.
New York men, particularly trading-floor bankers, are prone to bruised toenails; the trauma can be internal (big toes bump against shoe insides, especially Guccis) or external (getting stepped on).
How To Fix It: If a nail is coming off, drilling is necessary to get the blood out, followed by antibiotics.

The Salon Scratch.
Now here’s a New York epidemic: Regular pedicures at unhygienic salons can lead to itchy foot fungus that discolors nails. HoW TO FIX IT: Bring your own instruments and a vial of bleach to clean out the foot bath.

Stiletto Damage.
The most universal ailment: Blisters in the back caused by the shoe rubbing against the heel, or pain in the ball of the foot as a result of lack of cushioning.
How To Fix It: Infected blisters should be drained and treated with antibiotics. Restylane injections can plump up the ball of the foot and replace the padding lost from repeated impact.

Ailing Arches.
An affliction that affects pregnant women who’ve gained a lot of weight (while still keeping to their hectic schedules), as well as joggers who hit the six-mile Central Park asphalt loop instead of a cushy treadmill.
How To Fix It: One session of shock-wave therapy can get rid of inflammation; new sneakers and orthotics will also help long-term.

Bikram Bromohydrosis.
Otherwise known as extremely stinky feet perpetuated by “hot yoga” classes. Barefoot students plus steamy room equals bacteria growth and the smell of rotten eggs emanating from the soles.
How To Fix It: A deodorant like Arid can help, as can soaking feet in tea bags and warm water (the tannic acid acts as a drying agent). Really serious sufferers can try a few shots of Botox to paralyze the sweat glands.


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