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By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
May 18, 2017
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Melanoma is on the rise. According to the CDC, the incidence of this form of skin cancer has more than doubled over the last 3 decades. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. It is the leading cause of cancer death in women ages 25-30 and the second leading cause of cancer death in women ages 15-29. Despite these sobering statistics, however, melanoma is highly treatable in its early stages. That’s why we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care want to share some important information on how to protect yourself and your family during Melanoma Awareness Month.

Be Proactive in Protecting Your Skin

It’s estimated that 90% of melanomas are caused by exposure to UV light and sunlight. To help prevent melanomas:

  • Do not use tanning beds. They increase your risk of melanoma by 75%!
  • Wear sunscreen daily. Choose one with an SPF of 30 or higher and protects against UVA and UVB rays. Reapply often, especially after swimming or when you are near reflective surfaces such as snow, water or sand. Don’t forget to apply to the bottoms of feet as well as the tops when you are spending the day at the beach, lake or pool.
  • Be vigilant about reapplying children’s sunscreen. Even one bad sunburn during childhood can significantly increase your risk for melanoma later in life.
  • Avoid outside activities during the midday hours when the sun is at its hottest. Encourage your children’s coaches not to schedule practice in the middle of the day.

It’s essential that you get in the habit of checking the skin on your feet regularly. Oftentimes melanomas on the feet are not diagnosed until late stage just because patients are not usually looking at the skin on their feet. If you notice any moles, growths or freckles that appear to be getting thicker or larger, or that have the following characteristics: irregular borders, asymmetric shape, multi-colored or a diameter bigger than a pencil eraser bring them to the attention of our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah. Don’t delay. Contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
May 12, 2017
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You may not view mowing your lawn as hazardous to your feet but believe it or not, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission estimates that over 37,000 injuries from power mowers occur each year. The grass has definitely greened up on our New Jersey lawns and so we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care want to remind patients of these important tips for preventing lawn mower accidents:

  1. Allow your lawn time to dry after a rain storm before mowing. The number one cause of foot injuries from power mowers is losing control of the mower on slippery wet grass.
  2. Choose heavy shoes or work boots for mowing. With blades whirling at 3,000 revolutions per minute, sneakers will not provide any protection.
  3. No matter how much they beg you, never give children a ride on a running mower. The two age groups most likely to be injured in lawn mower accidents are children under the age of 14 and adults over 44. It’s also a good idea to make it a rule that children don’t come on the lawn at all while you are mowing.
  4. Keep the bag for clippings attached to your mower all through the season. This will catch debris that might otherwise fly up and hit you or someone nearby.
  5. For slope mowing, go from side to side, not up and down.

If you do sustain an injury when mowing your lawn, treat it promptly and follow up with one of our board certified foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah at our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office. Due to the dirt on the blades of a mower even a minor cut has a high risk of becoming infected. More serious injuries that have been treated in the emergency room should be checked by the foot doctor to ensure proper rehabilitation and full recovery. Contact us for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050.

 

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
May 03, 2017
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Did you know that nearly 53 million adults and 300,000 children in America have arthritis? In honor of National Arthritis Awareness Month we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care want to offer some important information about something that can help reduce the pain and stiffness of arthritic joints and increase flexibility: walking.

Arthritis is a term that actually refers to over 100 types of joint inflammation diseases. Each of your feet has 33 joints—a good reason to learn how to protect them! When joints become inflamed, they hurt and can be stiff and difficult to move. Studies have proven that exercise is the most effective non-medicine treatment for arthritis.

What’s Good About Walking?

Walking is one of the easiest exercises to do. In addition to helping relieve arthritis symptoms walking is good for your heart and lungs and can help reduce stress and improve mood. It can be done almost anywhere, alone or with a group. And, it requires hardly any special gear, except a good pair of walking shoes.

Tips for Choosing Walking Shoes

This one piece of equipment—your shoes—should be carefully chosen. Improperly fitting shoes or designs that don’t accommodate your particular foot shape or conditions can harm your feet and negate the exercise benefits. A consultation with our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah can alert you to any particular concerns you need to be aware of when purchasing walking shoes. Some good tips to know are:

  • Have your feet measured professionally. In most people, one foot is slightly larger than the other—buy shoes to fit the bigger foot.
  • Shop for walking shoes at the end of the day. That’s when your feet are their most swollen and largest.
  • Try to wear the same type of socks you would wear when you are walking to ensure the best fit.
  • Be sure there is a half inch of wiggle room between your longest toe and the front of the shoe.
  • Make sure the heel fits well in the shoe and is not slipping out when you walk.
  • Take your time and walk around the store with both shoes on to be sure there are not areas that rub or pinch—shoes should feel good from the moment you leave the store.

If you have more questions about arthritis in your feet and ankles and whether walking is a good plan for you, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
April 26, 2017
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April is National Alcohol Awareness Month and at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we think it’s a good time to bring up this sometimes sensitive subject. Patients who overuse alcohol can suffer from neuropathy or nerve damage in their feet. The symptoms and risk are the same as for those patients who have peripheral neuropathy associated with diabetes. Often times, however, alcoholic neuropathy can be difficult to diagnose because patients are not forthcoming about their use of alcohol. We urge our patients and family members of patients who suffer from the disease of alcoholism to be honest with our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah and share this information. Without it, the foot doctor will not be able to make an accurate diagnosis and develop an effective treatment plan. As healthcare professionals, we know that alcoholism is a disease and will work with any patients who are afflicted with it to get help and relief from medical symptoms caused by the disease.

Dangers of Neuropathy

The alcoholic component in beverages is ethanol which is toxic to nerve tissue. Over time, patients who overuse alcohol may notice changes in their feet and hands such as loss of sensation, burning or tingling feelings, muscles weakness and reduced muscle function and muscle spasms. Neuropathy can be very painful. It can also make you less likely to notice injuries or skin conditions that can lead to serious infections. Finally, loss of proper muscle function can make you more likely to trip or fall.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The foot doctor will want to rule out other possible causes of nerve damage. There are several nerve and laboratory tests that can be done to help make an accurate diagnosis and confirm the source of the neuropathy. Once the podiatrist has done this, a treatment plan can be developed. Although nerve damage due to alcoholism is usually permanent, if the patient stops drinking and/or catches the neuropathy early enough, treatment can lessen the symptoms. Treatment options include: Vitamin B-12 injections, oral medications to ease any burning pain, topical ointments, magnetic therapy, galvanic stimulation (which is the therapeutic use of electric current, particularly for stimulation of nerves and muscle) and orthotic inserts for footwear.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of nerve damage contact our Edison, Monroe, or Monmouth Junction office for an appointment as soon as possible by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
April 20, 2017
Category: Diabetic Foot Care
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At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we know that for our patients that have diabetes one of the most important goals of foot health care is avoiding ulcers and wounds. Fortunately there are a number of actions you can take that will make you significantly less prone to developing an ulcer which can be slow to heal and lead to serious health consequences:

  • Improve your circulation. Good circulation helps healing of minor injuries. Don’t sit for long periods with your legs crossed. Be sure to get up and stretch at regular intervals if you are doing something that requires you to be seated for long stretches. Also, don’t smoke. Smoking is damaging to your circulation.
  • Stay vigilant. Check your feet daily for changes. If you notice any difference in temperature, skin color, size/shape of the foot or if you see bruising, bumps, or swelling be sure to notify your podiatrist.
  • Partner with your doctors. Our foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah will help you develop a care regimen for the health of your feet. Regular appointments will allow for careful monitoring of foot conditions and potential issues that could result in foot ulcers. Following your physician’s treatment plan for keeping your sugar under control and managing all aspects of diabetes is one of the most important steps diabetic patients can take.
  • Choose shoes wisely. Shoes that are too tight or high heels that force toes to be squeezed together and pushed into the front of the shoe can create pressure points on the foot. The areas receiving excessive pressure may start to form a callus or corn. Feel around the inside of your shoes before putting them on. Loose stitching or rough patches of fabric can cause friction rubbing against the skin on your foot and create a blister.
  • Don’t walk around barefoot. Athlete’s foot and other fungal infections are transmitted by direct contact. You will also be protecting your foot from stepping on sharp objects that can cut or puncture skin.

You can take control of your foot health if you have diabetes. To learn more, make an appointment at our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office at your earliest convenience by calling: 732-662-3050.





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