By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
July 18, 2018
Category: Pedicures

Remember that game they used to have in children’s magazines—what’s wrong with this picture? At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we want our clients who like to get professional pedicures to use those same skills when visiting the nail salon. Fungal toenails, athlete’s foot, and warts are all easily spread by direct contact. A nail salon can be a high-risk zone due to the fact that there are many people there with bare feet. Before getting a pedicure, take a look around the salon to see if you spot any of the following which may be a red flag for an unsafe pedicure:

Nail technicians don’t get up between clients—there are a few reasons why this is a problem. First, nail technicians should wash their hands each time before starting a new pedicure. More importantly, however, you want to be sure the tools being used for your pedicure have not touched someone else’s feet. That means you should see tools coming out of an autoclave (a sterilizing machine that looks like a toaster oven) or a liquid sanitizing solution. The only good possibility if nail technicians don’t get up to get clean tools is that they are using one-time disposable tools that come in a sealed package.

The only thing decorating the walls is pictures from old calendars—no we’re not being snobby about the décor. What should be prominently displayed in the salon is a license from the state cosmetology or health department. This means that the salon meets certain standards for cleanliness and follows safe sanitizing procedures.

There are no flip-flops for sale—no one should be walking barefoot in the salon. If you forget to bring a pair, a salon that is concerned with not spreading fungal infections should either sell flip-flops or have some type of disposable foot covering for clients.

The magazines in the waiting area are a mess—seems minor but if being sanitary and clean are important to a salon, it should show overall. This means the restrooms, floor, mirrors, and workstations should all be neat and tidy. If it just doesn’t feel clean, look elsewhere for you a place for your pedicure.

If you suspect you may have already contracted a fungal nail or foot infection, make an appointment at our New Jersey offices in Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction by calling: 732-662-3050 so that our podiatrists, Dr. Varun (Ben) Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, can examine your feet and determine if an infection is present.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
July 11, 2018
Category: toe deformities
Tags: hammertoe   corns   orthotic  

At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, when a patient comes in with the early signs of a hammertoe we sometimes have to convince them that this is not merely a cosmetic issue. Hammertoe is a progressive condition most often caused by a muscle/tendon imbalance. As time goes on, the bend in the toe becomes more severe and increasingly rigid. Pain, inflammation and a burning sensation may develop in the affected toe. In addition, wearing shoes becomes difficult due to the fact that the bent toe is constantly being pressed up against the front of the shoe. Secondary conditions, such as corns, calluses and even open sores on the hammertoe are also a possibility.

Creating a Treatment Plan

Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun (Ben) Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, will want to monitor the progression of your hammertoe. As part of the initial diagnosis, the foot doctor will most likely take an x-ray of the hammertoe. This can be used as a reference point going forward that will show when and how the deformity is changing. Depending on the severity and rate of progression, the foot doctor will determine the best treatment options for you.

If you are in pain, getting relief will be a top priority. The podiatrist may recommend using a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or undergoing corticosteroid injections. If you’re suffering from corns or calluses, padding can help protect those areas and prevent them from worsening.

Modifying your footwear can also relieve pain and help correct the muscle/tendon problem. Avoiding high heels (over two inches) and choosing styles that have roomy toe boxes will definitely be more comfortable. The foot doctor may also order a custom orthotic device to wear inside your shoe.

Another approach to correcting a hammertoe is trying to straighten out the toe and properly realign it. The can be done with splints or straps that help move and keep the toe in the correct position.

It’s important to realize that hammertoe will only get worse and not better without some treatment measures. If you have noticed a bend in one of your toes, contact our New Jersey offices in Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction by calling 732-662-3050 to learn if you have a hammertoe and what is the best way to proceed.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
July 03, 2018
Category: Foot Pain
Tags: podiatrist  

It occurs to you one day that your foot has been hurting for a while. At first, you thought you might have slept on it funny or a pair of shoes bothered you, but now it appears to be pretty consistent day after day. You don’t recall injuring your foot and or see any overt reason for the pain. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we hear this scenario more often than you’d expect. When the source of foot pain isn’t obvious, that’s when our podiatrists, Dr. Varun (Ben) Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, have to do some digging. What they find may surprise you.

  1. You’ve injured your back (or knee or hip). Pain or injury in your back or anywhere in the lower half of your leg may alter the way you walk as your body tries to subconsciously shift away from the pain. This, in turn, can cause pain in your feet.
  2. Kicking your shoes off. A reason that comes up more commonly in the summer months is going barefoot. Wearing no shoes (or flip-flops) more frequently can result in a flattening of the arch, which leads to arch and heel pain. Without shoes, you’re also depriving your feet of the shock absorbing power of soles which means your foot is getting the full impact of every step which can lead to foot pain.
  3. You’re buying the wrong size shoes. If you’ve been wearing the same size for a decade or more and don’t even bother trying on the shoes you buy, there’s a good chance that you’re wearing shoes that are too tight. Your feet can get larger with age. Get your feet professionally measured. Try shoes on and walk around for a while before purchasing. Remember, a “breaking in” period is a myth—shoes should fit properly from the onset.
  4. An intensive exercise program has caused a hidden injury. If you started your new exercise program a few months back and are just starting to experience foot pain now, you may not make the connection, but stress fractures are generally caused by overuse. Swelling is another sign of a possible stress fracture. Pain may only be present during and immediately after exercise and then subside.
  5. Scale creep. If you gain 3 or 4 pounds you may not notice it in the mirror or even the fit of your favorite jeans, but it can have a large effect on your feet. Your feet experience the impact of 2 to 3 times your body weight when you walk, so every pound gained delivers a double or triple whammy to your feet.

Finding the reason for unexplained foot pain is important in order to prevent a minor problem from developing into a debilitating and chronic condition. Contact our Monroe, Edison or Monmouth Junction office in New Jersey today by calling: 732-662-3050 if you are experiencing any podiatric discomfort. 

By contactus@footandanklenj.com
June 26, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Little feet require special care to stay healthy during the summer months. Here at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care our podiatrists, Dr. Varun (Ben) Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, want parents to know that many summer foot mishaps can be prevented. Below are three of the more frequent foot problems they see in young patients during the summer months and what can be done to avoid them:

Wounds—puncture wounds, deep cuts, items embedded in the foot, and jellyfish stings are all common reasons children come into our Edison, Monroe and Monmouth Junction offices during June, July, and August. The easiest way to reduce or eliminate these risks is by keeping feet covered. Sturdy sneakers for yard games and water shoes for the beach can keep the fun going without the interruption of an injury.

 Fungal infectionswarts, athlete’s foot, and fungal toenails are all more prevalent in children than adults. Why? Children are more careless about avoiding coming in contact with surfaces that may have been touched or walked on by someone with a viral, fungal or bacterial infection. Teach your children to not share socks, shoes, towels, flip-flops or other items that touch someone else’s feet. Make sure children wear flip-flops or shower shoes when walking around a town pool or going to use the restrooms at the lake or beach. Fungi love warm, moist places and public venues where people walk barefoot are prime breeding grounds. Washing your children’s feet every night with soap and water can also reduce the risk of infections. If a child does get an infection on his or her feet, be sure to sterilize the shower floor before other family members use it and don’t share bedding. Encourage your child not scratch even if it itches and to wash his or her hands immediately if they do touch an infected area. This will help prevent the infection from spreading to other parts of the body.

Ankle sprains—flip-flops are so easy to slip on and make a quick exit to go out and play but the few minutes saved by not putting on the sneakers could result in days sidelined from summer fun because of an ankle sprain. Running and playing in flip-flops is dangerous. The shoes provide no support to any part of the feet and are also difficult to keep on. Another cause of ankle sprains is sneakers that are stretched out and worn and no longer hold the ankle snugly in place.

If your child does complain of foot pain over the summer, whether the cause is obvious or not, contact our New Jersey offices for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Carel
June 20, 2018
Category: Diabetes
Tags: Diabetes  

This month, we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care are turning the spotlight on our male patients in honor of Men’s Health Month. Research has shown some common factors in the way that men deal with illness and treatment that can lead to increased risk and a greater number of complications. One area in particular that this has been shown to be true is in dealing with diabetes.

Diabetes is a condition that can have a serious impact on the health of your feet. Decreased circulation and neuropathy (or nerve damage)—two conditions commonly associated with diabetes—can result in injury to your feet and even amputation due to infections that are difficult to heal. If you are a man (or a woman who loves one), overcome the myths below and get the treatment you need to stay healthy and active for many years to come.

“I’m afraid of getting bad news.”

This is the number one reason men give for not bringing unusual symptoms to the doctor. It is estimated that 1.5 million Americans will be diagnosed with diabetes this year. Knowing the signs and seeking evaluation and treatment early will greatly decrease your risk of debilitating complications. It’s a good idea to get in the habit of inspecting your feet regularly and bringing anything unusual to the attention of our podiatrists, Dr. Varun (Ben) Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah. Some signs to look for include:

  • Sores or cuts on your feet that don’t seem to be healing
  • Swelling, bruising or pain in your feet
  • Loss of sensation and/or burning or tingling in your feet
  • Extreme thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Blurred vision

“I have too many obligations to fit in doctor’s appointments and treatments.”

One study showed that for men and women who had equal access to health care for diabetes, women had better outcomes due to fewer missed appointments and adhered to treatment instructions better than men. Your family, your job, and your other commitments will suffer more if you become incapacitated from complications of diabetes. It’s an investment in yourself and the people you love to make the time for treatment and monitoring if you have diabetes.

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

You may feel embarrassed about talking about symptoms of diabetes. For example, erectile dysfunction is sometimes caused by this disease, but many men are not aware of that fact. Avoiding discussing symptoms or concerns won’t make them go away! If you have questions about your risk of diabetes or any unusual foot symptoms, contact our New Jersey offices in Monmouth Junction, Edison or Monroe office by calling: 732-662-3050. You and your loved ones will be glad you did!

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