Ask the Doctor: Itchy skin, bruises, flat feet

Published: Oct. 11, 2022 at 12:38 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Dr. Bob Cassady from the South Bend Clinic joins us every week on 16 News Now at Noon to answer your medical questions.

Question #1 (from Kara): What do you recommend for dry, itchy skin? I moisturize multiple times a day and it doesn’t seem to help.”

DR. BOB: We need to consider two different questions to improve itchy skin. What is causing the itchy skin? And how can we improve it once it is itching?

If you have itchy skin, it is important to consider whether something may be irritating it such as soaps, detergents, or specific types of clothing. Hot showers are also a common culprit. Try to see if anything has changed that might be contributing.

If you already have itchy skin, it is important to use oil-based moisturizers such as cream or Vaseline. Water-based moisturizers like lotion will not do much.

I would start with a cream such as Cetaphil or Vaseline at least two times a day and make sure nothing else is contributing to make your skin itch.

Question #2 (from Jess): “Do you have tips on healing a bruised tailbone?”

DR. BOB: Let’s talk about bone bruises in general. A bone bruise occurs after some sort of trauma to a bone. This trauma, even though not severe enough to fracture the bone, nonetheless causes damage to the bone.

The body responds to that trauma through inflammation. Inflammation is the process by which the body brings immune cells, nutrients, and fluid to an injured area to help the healing process. This is great in the long-term, but in the short-term it can cause a lot of discomfort.

There really isn’t anything we can do to heal a bruise. The body will go through its process of inflammation and eventually heal the injury. In the meantime, we can try to do things to relieve some of the symptoms of the bruise.

I would recommend icing the area a few times a day for 20 minutes each time. You can use over-the-counter pain medicines. I would also encourage you to stay active as reducing your activity may lead the muscles around the bruised area to tense up and worsen the pain.

Question #3 (from Allison): “Flat feet run on my mom’s side of the family. Do you recommend wearing shoe inserts or gels?”

DR. BOB: This is a tough question to answer because the term “flat feet” actually covers a variety of different situations.

In some people, a flat foot is actually normal and is not a problem. Trying to fix it with an insert can actually cause problems. For other people flat foot is a problem and needs to be treated with inserts or other treatments.

If you don’t have any pain in your feet, you do not necessarily have to do anything about flat feet.

However, if you are having symptoms, I would recommend seeing your primary care doctor or a podiatrist to evaluate your flat feet.