It is hard to feel good if your feet hurt. Dancing, running, playing golf or tennis and many other forms of recreation are no fun if you have painful bunions or plantar fasciitis. So how can you keep your feet happy and healthy? And what can you do about common foot problems?

Ask the Podiatrist:

Our guest, Dr. Jane Andersen, can tell you what the most common foot problems are and how we can avoid them. How should you select shoes that will be good for your feet? Are there special considerations if you have a particular foot condition? Learn about hammertoes, bunions, corns and calluses as well as toenail fungus and athlete’s foot. You’ll also find out how to care for temporary setbacks such as sprains and strains and how chronic conditions such as diabetes or psoriasis can affect the feet.

Your Calls Are Welcome:

If you have a question about how to keep your feet happy and healthy, tune in Saturday, March 10, 2018, from 7 to 8 AM EST. You can call 1-888-472-3366. You can also reach us through email ( or Twitter @peoplespharmacy.

This Week’s Guest:

Jane Andersen, DPM, is a board-certified podiatrist. She practices at InStride Chapel Hill Foot and Ankle Associates. Dr. Andersen is the President of the North Carolina Foot and Ankle Society.


To the state society:

To the American Podiatric Medical Association:

To the APMA Seal program:

Listen to the Podcast:

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

Buy the CD

Download the mp3

Air Date:March 10, 2018

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  1. Susan
    Charlotte, NC

    One of your questions came from someone experiencing neuropathy from chemotherapy. Your guest didn’t address neuropathy secondary to chemo, just in relation to diabetes. Acupuncture may be helpful for chemotherapy induced neuropathy. It is definitely worth a try, with such little risk. We have had good results at our cancer institute, though the sooner the person receives acupuncture treatment to experiencing neuropathic symptoms, the better results they seem to have.

    • Sara

      Does insurance cover this Acupuncture? I could go o Charlotte, as my daughter lives there. Who is the Acupuncturist there? I don’t know of any good ones here.

  2. Julie

    This is a question for Terry, who tantalized us at the end of the show with a story about using banana peel to dissolve a wart. Terry, was it the inside or the outside of the peel that needed to be in contact with the wart? And if either is fine, then would it be just as effective to puree the peel in a cuisinart and apply it as a “mash,” which might let it adhere more easily? Otherwise, I am not sure how one would keep the peel from slipping off its target! Warm regards, julie

    • Terry Graedon

      Julie, I cut a small piece of peel the same size as the wart and taped it to the skin with the inside of the peel right on the wart.

  3. julie

    I’ve had Rheumatoid Arthritis for the past 5 years. My toes are deformed on my right foot, and I am planning on having surgery. Can anybody tell me if: dD you know of somebody that has had this kind of surgery, and did the results turned out for the best?

  4. Barbara

    Very interested in the caller’s solution for toe fungus where he sprayed his toes “often” with the 1/2 and 1/2 solution of Listerine and vinegar. I am wondering how many times of day he did it. Soaking for 30 minutes each day will not work for me.

    Thank you for the show – very helpful.

  5. Will
    Columbia, SC

    I am 70 years old and have had hammer toes for years. About a year ago I was examining my feet and realized that I had no strength to push down with my toes, other than the big toe. So I decided to try to exercise my toes. I wiggle them back an forth with no weight on them and I push down and pull back when I am sitting with feet on the floor. No need to take your shoes off. Within a few months the hammer toe had largely disappeared.

  6. Susan
    Northern PA

    Do you have the link for the list of approved shoes, slippers for people with arch issues. You mentioned it on the podcast but I missed the exact location.

  7. Cari

    I wear Vionic sandals all summer. They are the best for keeping ankles from falling in or out. They are the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever owned. I have them in silver, gold, black and navy. They are a bit pricey, but worth it. My feet never hurt while wearing them. Also, when getting a pedi, I make sure that the place is clean. They hate to see me coming because I check everything. It’s good to get your own equipment for the pedi. Do not let them put chemicals on you to get rid of dead skin. If they don’t like your questions, go someplace else. I am a very assertive patient advocate (RN) and we all have to advocate for ourselves. Pedi’s can give you fungi and worse. Be careful!

  8. c

    I found something else that works on toe nail fungus. Seems to work faster too. Caster oil.

    I also take a nail file and file down the top layer of the toe nail and rub the oil in all the toes.

  9. Carole

    As a British and Australian trained podiatrist, I am always astonished at the ‘doctor’ training required for American podiatrists. We do not do surgery, and those that have done training to allow them to do surgery get into fights with orthopods. But are better at ‘just feet’ by far. There are, last time I looked, only 10 podiatric surgeons in Australia. (I argue the toss with dermatologists).

    I agree with everything said on Plantar fasciitis, and add: do the stretching before you actually get out of bed. The minute you step on the floor and put your body weight on the foot, it is too late. Even with the best treatment, it can take up to 18 months to not feel any more pain.

    The ‘losing 10 pounds’ comment is so true, and as we say ‘losing 10 kilos,’ that is 22 pounds LOL. I remember being told, er…like …40 years ago, that if you lose 10 pounds or kilos off your body, it is 15 pounds / kilos at the hips, 20 at the knees but has the value of 40 at the ankles and feet. Practice makes me think this is so right. Here in Australia, all kinds of foot fungi outstrip PF by far. It’s Florida on heat! And we are the only white (not so white, very tanned) people who regularly go barefoot. Can I plug urea creams for hard skin? It is the best treatment for emerging calluses.

    My best advice for recurring fungal infections is to burn all your socks every 6 months, even every 3 months, and buy all new, and in between HOT WATER wash them, and spray inside shoes with a fungicide or Apple Cider Vinegar, and dry in sunshine. I hate the cold, eco wash cycle! You need to hit 70C/158F to kill fungi in socks and bed linen. I agree with walking in the ocean. Aussies do it all the time.

    Nail fungi are subject to patient compliance. You need to stick with the programme, drug or topical or listerine/Vicks or just clean freakery, for a whole year. I agree with the Listerine and Vick’s vapour rub. There are peer reviewed papers that have proved they work. The active agent in both is Thymol. Boil up thyme and soak in this 2 or 3 times a week. The Urea cream at 20% is the ‘nail softening agent’. Works for smelly feet too. I have heard the tea treatment, but never seen it done. Also tea tree oil is also used extensively here. It’s hit and miss and some people are allergic to it.

    Dyshidrosis is my favorite condition. This is the allergy to a foot fungus. My fights with dermatologists is they say it’s incurable/auto-immune, I cure it all the time with anti-fungal meds for 90 days and Nystatin for 28 days, as this is also caused by Candida or other dermatophytes in the lower bowel or in the genitals, both of which are outside my brief.

    The boy with high arches, would benefit from ballet classes, but good luck with making a boy do that! Ballet is the perfect combination of stretch and strength, and adds overall height.

    • Julie
      Virginia, USA

      Thank you to Carole from Australia: Best, most helpful, no-nonsense health advice/email I have seen in years! Bless you and your wonderful, sunny country! Let me add that I have found plain castor oil to be the best foot medicine in the arsenal. Keep a bottle next to where you put your socks and shoes on, and rub some between your toes before you put your socks on. You will be amazed at the results. If you hate the smell of castor oil, mix in some lavender and thyme oil.

  10. Essay

    ” Be cautious if you do get athlete’s foot, because it is contagious and if someone comes in direct contact with a wet towel, shoes, or even the floor you walked on, they may contract it. Jock itch and athlete’s foot can be treated with over-the-counter medicated creams, but if the condition persists, or if you develop a fever, you need to see your physician for further treatment.

  11. Sharon
    Milwaukee WI

    I’ve had great success with eliminating toe nail fungus by soaking feet in a tea made from the herb, thyme. Soak everyday for 30 days and it will go away for good.

    • Al

      How many Thyme tea bags and for how long per daily soaks?

  12. Paul R.

    Great show. I wonder what to expect of my feet as I get older. I heard that one cause of hammer toe is do to our tendons pulling back as we age.

  13. Terri
    Winchester, Va.

    I can’t grow toe nails or finger nails as a matter of fact. I have tried Keratin and biotin. I eat fairly healthy, mostly organically. What can I do to help grow toe nails? They seem to be very thin and split.

    • Carole
      Sydney, Australia

      Try the Atkins diet. Really high protein diet, lots of meat and fish. This also cures pitted nails and white spots on nails.

  14. Joe

    Wear Crocs to cure plantar problems. It is that easy.

    • ebm


    • Carole
      Sydney, Australia

      Also Birkenstocks.

    • Sally

      No way, too ugly. Did my physical therapy, kept up with the stretches and no more problems.

  15. Linda

    I have been dealing with bladder cancer going on 12 years now, and I tend to be low in vitamin D. I do take supplements for vitamin D and try to get some sun when it’s out. Right now I have no signs of cancer. I am checked every 3 to 4 months. Next year if there are no signs of cancer I will have checkups every six months. I had a surgery last year to remove a couple of cancerous areas and received two chemo drugs, only into the bladder for about an hour, and that procedure seems to help keep my bladder healthy. There were no side affects from this procedure, as the chemicals were only in the bladder and not my whole system, and it was evacuated from my bladder after approximately one hour. I want to remain healthy now, and I have a superb Doctor.

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