How to get rid of hairy knuckles?

Do you have hair on your toes? Most predominantly on your big toe?You may have assumed that it’s leftover from our ancestors and was there originally to keep our shoeless feet warm and protected.

Or maybe you think it’s got something to do with your diet accelerating your hair growth.

Why do you get hair on your toes?

Although those are pretty solid guesses, would you be surprised to know that whether or not you grow hair on your toes – and fingers, for that matter – is hereditary?

If your mum and dad have hair on their knuckles you have a 50% chance of growing it yourself. This is down to the dominant gene you may have inherited from your parents.

If they have bald knuckles, you are much less likely to see any hair growth in this area.

So, you’ve got hair on your toes and you know that you have your genetics to blame, but what do you do about it?

How to get rid of hair on toes

We spoke to Nathalie Eleni, Braun Beauty Expert, to ask advice on the best way to remove hair from your knuckles. This is what she suggested:

‘Many of us have unwanted hair on our knuckles and toes,’ Nathalie explained. ‘The good news is there are some simple hair removal options, such as epilation, which is a fast and effective method that lasts longer – perfect for the Summer when we live in sandals and flip flops.’

‘An easy tip to help you prepare your skin before epilation is to soak the toe and knuckles in warm water. It helps open your pores and weakens the hair strands, meaning they will be much easier to remove. When your skin’s prepped and ready for epilation, be sure to pull the skin taught by bending the finger or toes, so the epilator can cleanly and effectively pluck out your hair from the root, leaving your skin smooth and hair free.’

As well as epilation, you can also shave, wax and pluck knuckle hair. You can also include it in laser hair removal treatment.

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Dare to Ask: To shave or not to shave – your toes

Question

Is it worth shaving my toes for the next 40 years of my life, or do people even notice?
Faye, 17, St. Louis

Replies

People don’t notice. Don’t bother.
Ellen, 47, Mesa, Ariz.

I also have hairy toes. I shave them; it only takes like three seconds to do it. I don’t do it all the time, usually once every other week or so in the summer and less often in the winter.
Trisha H., 27, Flint, Mich.

Expert says

After more than 50,000 submissions to this 11-year project, we can safely say we have now received the most inane, intellect-free, idiotic contribution yet. All in just five little words.

“People don’t notice. Don’t bother.”

Oh … Our … God. And if you don’t understand what we mean — hello, it means OMG but then substitute an O for one of the letters.

!!!

Someone is telling us that during these times we’re in, people aren’t all looking closely at the hairiness of each other’s lowest extremities. Right.

“I would say in a heart-to-heart to this girl that life is too short to worry about it,” said beauty-consultant-to-the-stars Noreen Young. “Look what’s happening in the world, and we’re worrying about hair on our toes.”

Oh.

But Young did say that if this girl lives in a place such as sunshiny Florida and if she wears sandals a lot and if it really bothers her …

“You know, if it’s to the point she feels she can braid it, she might want to do something about it. … She may want to look her finger-licking best, or in this case toe-licking best,” said Young, an internationally known makeup artist whose clients include the Larry King and Nancy Grace shows.

“It’s like a woman in corporate America and all of sudden she’s getting a little bit extra above the lip and doesn’t want to look like a manny-girl.”

So, for the toes, just shave them. No laser treatments, electrolysis, chemical depilatories, waxing or sugaring needed, Young said. A Ladies Bic will do. (Impressed by that list? We didn’t even get into threading, an ancient Middle East form of hair removal that can work on toe and other hairs. Be warned: one Web site says “remember that threading is an intricate art that must be performed only by a skilled practitioner, and that it takes months to achieve proficiency. Nothing is more painful than threading performed by an inexpert hand.” Owie.)

Young lamented a fairly sad state of current affairs in which many people, and especially teens and young adults, seem OK with coughing up hairballs of money to “perfect” their appearance.

“The media and ads play a role,” she said. “You have this beauty trend with teens wanting to remove unwanted body hair. They are shaving not only their arms, but men are shaving their chests, getting waxed and also shaving ‘down that way.’ Girls, too.

“I wish I knew why, but I guess they equate it with a more clean, streamlined look, and they just have to do it.”

Swapping tips with your close pals on where to get the best bikini wax is nothing new. But if you’ve spotted strays in less openly discussed spots, you’re still in good company.

Never-before-seen body hairs pop up as a result of natural hormonal changes as you age: Estrogen levels dip, and testosterone levels can rise, says Sandy Tsao, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School. This change can trigger hairs to sprout in unusual spots. “My female patients jokingly tell me the world is a cruel place—they’re losing hair on their heads and getting more in areas where they don’t want it,” she says.

If you notice a rapid growth of hair in the following spots, see your doctor to rule out underlying medical issues, like a thyroid condition. But if it’s just a few new strays, you can’t prevent them, but you can remove them, Tsao says. Here’s how to pull it off—without any unsightly evidence that you did.

Chin

Bally Scanlon/Getty Images
It’s not unusual to discover a few darker-than-normal hairs here, thanks to age-related shifting hormone levels.
Remove it: Go ahead and grab the odd hair with a pair of tweezers. For denser growth plucking may be too tedious, so consider seeing a professional for threading. It will gently remove hairs from the area, particularly ones you’d have trouble seeing on your own, like those under your jawline.
Tip: Avoid waxing this spot. Doing so can trigger irritation, particularly in women using the chemical exfoliant Retin-A, whose top layer of skin may come off (ouch!) along with the hair, says Arielle Kauvar, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at New York Laser & Skin Care in New York City. Depilatories are also a no-no, since these hair-dissolving creams can create redness and irritation that will be far more noticeable than a hair or two, says Tsao.

MORE: The Risks Of Laser Hair Removal

Back or décolleté
Because hair growth associated with menopausefollows a “male pattern,” strays can show up on your back and chest, too.
Remove it: Use a depilatory cream, which is ideal for tackling wide swaths of skin and easy to smooth on a hard-to-reach area like your back. If you’re not down to DIY, schedule an appointment for a professional wax—they’ll have a much better vantage point, and it should be relatively pain-free in this tough-skinned area.
Tip: If you can’t keep up with the regrowth, consider a more permanent treatment like laser hair removal, recommends Kauvar. “It’s efficient and effective on larger, dense areas of hair,” she says.

Face
You may have dealt with this peach fuzz all of your life (it’s genetic), particularly around your cheeks and near your hairline, but it can become more noticeable with age-related estrogen dips.
Remove it: Shaving, which causes stubble, isn’t your best bet. Opt for electrolysis, which can give you the smooth skin you want and, unlike laser hair removal, works on hair of all shades, not just super-dark strands. You’ll need several $25 to $150 sessions, depending on how extensive the treatment is (expect anything from 5 minutes for one-off hairs to an hour or more to tackle larger facial sections).
Tip: Facial ingrowns aren’t common, especially if you’re not shaving, but if one does pop up Tsao suggests applying a warm, wet compress to the area two to three times per day. Follow up by dabbing on an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream to encourage the hair to work its way out.

MORE: This Supplement Combo Reduced Hair Loss In 90% Of The Women Who Took It

Nipples
A few rogue hairs here are a run-of-the-mill side effect of shifting hormones.
Remove it: If it’s just an occasional hair, pluck it. Tweezing is a harmless way to remove nipple hair, says Tsao. If you can’t keep up with this strategy, laser hair removal is safe and effective for the areola, says Kauvar. You’ll likely need about 4 to 5 treatments, but the cost to treat the small area should be around $50.
Tip: Don’t tweeze hairs two weeks before a mammogram. It can cause inflammation, which may affect the results, says Tsao.

Abdomen

Image Source/Getty Images
The navel is a common spot for excess hair in women, no matter what your age, says Kauvar.
Remove it: Your best bet is to try waxing—it’s a quick method for removal. If your hair is dark and thick, laser treatments are a more permanent alternative. You’ll need several treatments (about $75 a pop) to completely rid yourself of hair here, though the exact number you’ll need varies from person to person.
Tip: Prevent ingrowns by keeping the hair follicle moisturized with a lotion spiked with gentle exfoliating acids, like Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Body Cream ($8, nipandfab.com). (Get a full body workout and a sexy flat belly, all with Prevention’s new workout!)

Knuckles and toes
Many women begin to notice hair on their knuckles and toes around puberty, but age-related hormonal changes can cause hair to grow in thicker and darker.
Remove it: If the hair is light, try waxing or plucking (shaving will leave you with sandal-unfriendly stubble). Dark, thick, curly hairs are more susceptible to ingrowns, says Kauvar, so if you frequently suffer hair removal side effects, consider laser removal, which is perfect for targeting dark hair.
Tip: To avoid ingrowns, exfoliate with a foot scrub, like Neal’s Yard Remedies Pumice Foot Scrub ($22, nealsyardremedies.com), and moisturize the area the day or night before you plan to wax or shave.

Nose Hair
Men are more likely to deal with this than women, but if you do notice longer hairs in your nostrils, don’t stress—it’s one of the easiest hair issues to fix.
Remove it: Use a nose hair trimmer to clean up nostrils. It’s easy, quick, and, because the hair is in your nose and you’re not removing it from your skin, you don’t have to worry as much about visible regrowth.
Tip: Women aren’t often saddled with ear hair, but if you see a few, know that most ear trimmers work in the nose, too—we like Remington’s Nose, Ear & Brow Trimmer ($14, ulta.com).

MORE: Hair Removal Tips For Every Body Part

Jessica Migala Jessica Migala is a health writer specializing in general wellness, fitness, nutrition, and skincare, with work published in Women’s Health, Glamour, Health, Men’s Health, and more.

Why Are My Toes Hairy?

People with hairy toes or feet sometimes refer — with self-deprecating humor — to their feet as hobbit feet. Hobbits are likable characters with large, hairy feet and toes from J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy novels.

Although you’re probably not as furry footed as a hobbit, here are some reasons why you might have more hair than most on your toes:

  • heredity
  • medication
  • ovarian disorder
  • adrenal disorder

Talk to a doctor if you’re concerned you may have any of these conditions, which are described in more detail below. A doctor can provide a firm diagnosis for why your toes are hairy and recommend removal options, if that’s something you’re considering.

Heredity

Genetics can determine how much or how little hair you have, as well as its:

  • color
  • texture
  • location

If you have hairy toes, chances are you inherited the trait from either of your parents.

Medication

Certain medications have side effects that include increased body hair. Although this increase in hair growth will most likely be focused in areas other than those below your ankles, it could be a reason for your hairy toes.

Medications that could result in body hair increases include:

  • danazol (Danocrine)
  • fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • anabolic steroids (synthetic or natural), including testosterone
  • corticosteroids, including prednisone (Rayos)

Ovarian disorders

With your ovaries contributing to hormone level balance in your body, some conditions affecting them could result in an increase in body hair. These conditions include:

  • ovarian hyperthecosis
  • ovarian tumors
  • polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)

Adrenal disorders

Your adrenal glands produce hormones, including those called androgens, that can trigger body hair growth for both males and females.

Body hair growth could be a symptom of one of the following adrenal disorders:

  • adrenal tumors
  • congenital adrenal hyperplasia
  • Cushing syndrome

Is Toe Hair Normal? You Shouldn’t Be Worrying About How Your Feet Look This Summer

The sun has got his hat on and you’re probably looking forward to soaking up some rays soon. However, you may be struggling with body hair issues, in particular, wondering if your toe hair is normal. If Western society was a person, they’d probably be a total ass most of the time. Amongst the shocking things that would come out of their mouth, there might be a plethora of beauty rules for gals and guys alike to follow. But, during the summer months, there’d probably be a huge focus on body hair.

The stereotypical (but totally unimportant) body hair commandments we have all come to know and hate are lengthy. For men these include: Either totally hairless or very hairy chests with no in-between, shiny shoulders, no monobrows, no hairy ears or noses, and zero hairy backs. That list is not exhaustive, but in Western society, they’re probably the main offenders. For women, the list is endless; we’re told we basically have to look like bald, newborn rats with not a hair on our bods from the eyelashes down. Thankfully, many folks are rebelling against this ridiculous beauty ideal; some ladies rock rainbow colored armpit hair to show how beautiful their body hair is, while others flat out refuse to shave anymore.

You’d think a body part as tiny as a toe would fly under the radar of most folks, however, even these small foot phalanges have to live up to a crazy beauty ideal. Remember that insane scene from Shallow Hal, when Hal tells his friend how he ditched a girl because her second toe was longer than her big toe? Of course, this is an exaggeration, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some extremely vain people out there in the world like Hal.

So with all that in mind, where does this leave us ladies with hairy toes? According to a study, reported on by The Daily Mail, out of the Top 20 Beauty Secrets Women Hide From Men, the number one spot was, “Pluck / shave hair from toes” which speaks volumes about how totally common toe hair is. My guess would be that it depends on how hairy you are as a person, to how sparse or thick your toe hair is. IMO, you should treat your toe hair as you do the hair on the rest of your body; if it bothers you get rid of it, if you’re okay with it leave it alone.

In this day and age nobody should feel pressured to get rid of any hair on their body, so don’t let other people pressure you into doing so. If someone’s giving you some grief about your foresty feet, they’re probably not worth knowing, because nobody has the right to shame anyone else’s body parts, no matter how big or small. So, embrace your Hobbit feet this summer, invest in a Barbie comb to neaten up your toe knuckles, and don’t be held back by body hair insecurities – toe hair is perfectly normal.

Images: Imani Clovis/Unsplash; RyanMcGuire, tookapic, shelley_shang/

Remember that time you donned a hot new pair of gladiator sandals, only to look down and see a three-inch strand of ankle hair blowing in the wind?

Come on, ladies. I know it’s not just me. We are all dealing with slightly unsexy body hair issues. Unless, of course, you’re one of those lucky women who likes her armpit hair. (In which case, yes, you are totally sexy and enjoy.)

According to Dr. Garrett Gause, Director of Medical Affairs for Ideal Image, women head to hair removal facilities in secretive, flocculent droves. “The most common complaint seems to be facial hair,” he says. This was relieving news to me, since I spend time each week plucking four persistent whiskers from my right cheek and left neck-chin. “Other common problem areas are the bikini line, full bikini including nether parts, the lower abdomen, underarms and legs,” he says. It’s also common for women to seek help for their woolly feet, hands and toes.

More: 6 Wacky (but amazing) face masks you have to try

Upon discovering that my ankle hair is totally normal, I will probably just let it grow out. Strength in numbers, right? In honor of all those body hair issues that we usually don’t discuss, here are the top 10 I’ve heard about in conversations with my best girlfriends. Women, unite.

1. The lady mustache. It is a thing of mystery. Shadow? Food particles? Or your own glorious facial hair?

2. Big toe hair tufts. These curly beauties are certainly the topic of conversation every time you seek a professional pedicure.

3. Sasquatch arms. You keep the arm hair for warmth, because you’re a practical kind of woman.

4. The happy trail. Gotta love that dark arrow of hair growing between your belly button and your pubic bone.

5. Swaths of invisible pubes. These are the pubes that are invisible to the human eye until you’re laying out in a bikini in the light of day.

6. Windblown behind the knees. Your legs are so smooth. So perfect. Until you step outside in a sundress and feel the wind blowing through your knee-pit hair.

7. The uni-brow. It lends an air of intrigue, don’t you think?

More: It’s actually a good idea to shave your face if you’re a woman

8. Prickly whiskers. At least that one stubborn cheek whisker grows in at the same place every few days. And at 37-times the thickness of a normal whisker.

9. Ankle hair curls. These are similar to the hair that blows behind the knees. Only more curly, and more pube-like.

10. The lady-glove. Is it a demure Victorian-style glove, or is it a downy layer of finger hair? A lady will never tell.

These are normal issues, and you’re not alone. If you’re concerned with your body hair, Dr. Gause said that most issues are easy to troubleshoot. Try a razor for a quick fix — or a depilatory cream or waxing for longer-lasting results. A professional laser treatment, however, is the only solution if you want a permanent fix. “Utilizing well-trained medical professionals with state of the art lasers is going to be your best bet for any type of unwanted body hair,” Gause said.

6 Surprising Things The Hair On Your Toes Can Tell You About Your Health

You’ve probably noticed that hair can grow on your body and face in places where you might least expect (or want) it. And while some hair has specific purposes for as to why it might exist (or, at least, it’s somewhat useful), like eyebrows and eyelashes keeping dirt, dust, pollutants, and sweat from getting in your eyes, other body hair might not have as clear-cut a purpose. But that doesn’t mean that it’s totally and completely useless. There are some surprising things the hair on your toes can tell you about your health that you might not have ever realized it could. From chronic conditions to hormones and more, the look, and even presence of it at all, can give you some hints about what’s going on within your body.

There are tons of ways that certain features on your body, like body hair or the arch of your feet, can give you clues about parts of your health. And not only can they give you an inkling about what’s going on inside, but they can also help your doctor know if anything is up or if everything is as it should be. When it comes to toe hair and your health, some of the clues it might give are subtle, but potentially important things to know.

1. Your Circulation Isn’t Super

stokkete/Fotolia

Though most people have some fine hair on their toes, if your toes are naturally hairless or you’re losing your toe hair relatively rapidly, it could be a sign that your circulation isn’t all that great, Everyday Health reported. You typically should have some fine, soft hair unless you actively remove it. If your toes don’t have any hair (or you’re losing it), talk to your doctor because, in some cases, the poor circulation could actually mean that there’s something else going on.

2. You’re Dealing With Natural Hormone Changes

Mat Hayward/Fotolia

In an interview with Self, Dr. Sejal Shah, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, said that as you go through natural hormonal changes over the course of your life, the hair on your toes might get coarser or darker in color. So just because your toe hair was blond and relatively invisible when you were younger doesn’t mean that it won’t get dark and very noticeable as you age. It doesn’t mean that there’s something terribly wrong.

3. You Have PCOS

Artem/Fotolia

Polycystic ovarian syndrome can cause unwanted facial and body hair to grow due to the levels of androgens in your body. Teenspeak noted that excess hair on your toes could be due to PCOS. If you’re concerned about the hair on your toes as it’s related to your PCOS, using common hair removal treatments or some medications might help.

4. There’s Something Going On With Your Genes

zinkevych/Fotolia

How much hair that you have on your toes, as well as how it changes might also have to do with your genes, as Shah told Self in the aforementioned article. So if your parents or extended family members have a lot of hair on their toes or it gets a lot darker or thicker as they get older, your toe hair might do the same.

5. You Have Peripheral Vascular Disease

s_l/Fotolia

One of the causes of poor circulation is peripheral vascular disease. Cleveland Clinic noted that if you have diabetes, it might affect your feet through peripheral vascular disease, which, again, will likely result in bald toes.

6. You Have Great Circulation

Кирилл Рыжов/Fotolia

Just like having no hair on your toes or experiencing hair loss can mean that your circulation isn’t so great, having a lot of hair on your toes (and legs) might indicate that you actually have pretty good circulation. In a blog post she wrote for Lexington Podiatry’s website, Dr. Nicole G. Freels wrote that though you may not love the hair on your toes, it can, in fact, mean that the circulation in your feet is good, which is a positive thing.

If you’re worried about the hair on your toes (or lack thereof) or are embarrassed by it, talking to your doctor or seeing your esthetician to have it removed (or both) can make you feel better about things and make sure that everything is A-OK.

Hair — it gets everywhere. But for one man in Brazil, a fallen strand of hair became more than a nuisance when it got embedded in his foot, essentially causing a “hair splinter,” according to a new report of the case.

The 35-year-old man went to the emergency room after he experienced a mysterious pain in his right heel that got worse when he walked, according to the report, published June 20 in The Journal of Emergency Medicine.

He hadn’t experienced any recent foot or ankle injuries, and when doctors looked at his foot, they couldn’t see anything wrong initially.

After doctors had the man walk on his tiptoes and then his heels, he again reported pain when walking on his right heel.

After it was removed, the hair measured 0.4 inches (10 millimeters) long. (Image credit: Reprinted with permission of Elsevier (2019).)

A closer look at the heel revealed a single strand of hair seemingly attached to his foot, according to the authors, from the University of São Paulo.

Indeed, an examination with a magnifying lens showed a tiny hair penetrating the man’s skin. Doctors removed the hair, measuring 0.4 inches (10 millimeters) long, using tweezers.

The man was diagnosed with cutaneous pili migrans, a rare condition in which a hair shaft or hair fragment becomes embedded in the skin’s surface. Only about 26 cases of cutaneous pili migrans have been reported in the last 60 years, according to a 2016 report on the condition published in the Medical Journal Armed Forces India.

Once it penetrates the skin, the hair can migrate in a “creeping pattern” due to movements of the patient’s foot, the authors of the new report said. Interestingly, this creeping pattern can resemble the snake-like rash seen in people with so-called cutaneous larva migrans, a skin condition caused by hookworms. But unlike the hookworm rash, which appears red and raised, the hair in this condition typically appears as a black, thread-like line under the skin.

In the current case, the authors speculated that the patient trampled on the hair shaft with his bare feet, causing the hair to become embedded and stimulate nerve endings in the top layer of skin, resulting in pain.

After the hair was removed, the man immediately felt relief from the pain, the report said.

“Physicians should be aware of this unusual foreign-body reaction in patients with discomfort on the soles of the feet,” the authors concluded.

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Originally published on Live Science.

Many of us really do not love our feet (believe me, I’m one of them). However, if they say that your eyes are the window to your soul, then your feet are the window to your circulatory system, nervous system, and thyroid. Although we often ignore the hairy little eye sores that carry us throughout the day, it’s time we started looking down to see what’s really going on with our bodies.

HAIRLESS FEET AND TOES

What it might mean: Serious circulation problems

There is nothing worse than hairy toes during sandal season. However, as unattractive as you may think it is, it’s a sign of good health. Sudden baldness can be a sign that your feet aren’t getting enough blood flow to sustain hair growth. Expect your doctor to check for a pulse in your feet, which is another indication that your heart may not be pumping enough blood down south.

HEEL PAIN

What it might mean: Plantar Fasciitis

A runner’s worst nightmare… You can’t mistake it. It’s that sharp pain in the bottom of the heel when you get out of bed or stand up from a chair. It’s a strain of the plantar fascia. Your podiatrist will probably tell you to ease up on your workout at first, rethink your footwear, and get a great pair of orthotics. Wiivv’s custom arch and heel pad have been seen to help alleviate symptoms of plantar fasciitis.

FREQUENT FOOT CRAMPING

What it might mean: Dehydration and nutritional deficiencies

I don’t think anyone is a stranger to cramps. We’ve all had them, and yes they are a pain in your foot. However, if they’re reoccurring and isolated to your feet, they can be as serious as a circulation and nerve problem, or as harmless as dehydration. If they persist, you might want to try upping your intake of potassium, magnesium, and calcium. If the cramps don’t let up, see your doctor for testing to rule out circulation issues or nerve damage.

NUMBNESS

What it might mean: Pinched nerve

Numbness in your feet is most commonly caused by diabetes, chronic alcoholism, or a side effect of chemotherapy. If you’re experiencing neuroma, or numbness in only one foot, it could be due to a pinched nerve in the foot, ankle or back. A pinched nerve is most likely caused by years of wearing tight shoes or misalignment in your feet, knees, hips, and back. Although Wiivv orthotics can’t help a pinched nerve in your foot, it can help with your alignment, helping to reduce the pressure and getting you back up and running in no time.

A SORE THAT WON’T HEAL

What it might mean: Diabetes or skin cancer

That stubborn sore that won’t go away is actually a red flag for diabetes. Uncontrolled glucose levels in the blood can lead to nerve damage. This nerve damage can travel all the way down to your feet, which means any cut, sore, or scrape can come and go without you even knowing. Some orthotics have been seen to assist diabetic feet by helping to alleviate pain and keep you going.

PERPETUALLY COLD FEET

What it might mean: Hypothyroidism

If you’re over 40, you could be living with a sluggish thyroid without even knowing it. Unfortunately, cold feet are the least of your problems… Hypothyroidism can also cause hair loss, fatigue, weight gain, and depression. Get your feet feeling toasty again by heading to your doc for a simple blood test, and you’ll start warming up shortly after starting the daily medication.

BUNIONS

What it might mean: Inherited faulty foot structure

Thought your bunions were caused by your shoes? Stop blaming your favorite boutique, because bunions are actually a sign of a flawed foot structure. It’s caused by the first bone driving towards the middle of the body, causing the ungodly, and sometimes painful bump. Unfortunately the only way to really correct it is with surgery. However, custom orthotics can help to realign your foot and alleviate pain.

*If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please consult your local physician.