Posts for: February, 2016

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
February 21, 2016
Tags: fungal toenails  

At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care patients frequently come to us with fungal toenail infections. This common condition is caused most frequently by a dermatophyte fungus, but can be also be brought on by yeasts and molds. Our experienced podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah can diagnose a fungal infection by examining your toenails. Infected nails will be discolored and appear thick and brittle. They are usually crumbling and may have ragged edges. They are often dull and in some cases, what looks like black dirt will be visible under the nail.

Although a variety of antifungal medications exist, fungal toenail infections can be difficult to get rid of. Even after successful treatment, they will often reoccur. The best treatment for this unattractive condition is prevention. Follow these 7 steps for greatly reducing your chance of getting fungal toenail infection:

  1. Practice good foot hygiene: wash feet daily and dry completely. Apply antifungal powder or spray to your feet before putting on socks.
  2. Since the fungus that causes the toenail infection is spread by direct contact, do not share socks, shoes, nail clippers or anything else that touches someone else’s feet.
  3. Fungi thrive in warm, moist places. Never go barefoot in public places that are damp, such as community pools, gym locker rooms and showers, changing areas.
  4. Wear absorbent cotton socks and if your feet sweat profusely, change your socks often.
  5. If you have had a fungal infection, spray the insides of your shoes with an antifungal spray before wearing again.
  6. If you get professional pedicures, be sure your nail salon follows the proper sanitizing procedures for tools and foot baths. Consider bringing your own clippers and other nail tools and sanitizing yourself after each visit.
  7. Keep toenails trimmed short and straight across. Avoid picking at the skin around your nails as they may open up tiny cuts that will allow fungi to penetrate the skin.

If you believe you have a fungal toenail infection, make an appointment at our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office sooner rather than later. If you don’t treat fungal nail infections, they can spread to the rest of your feet and also to other body parts. Contact us today by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
February 17, 2016
Tags: Athlete's Foot  

Winter time is prime time for that irritating foot problem, athlete’s foot (or, as it’s known in the medical world, tinea pedis), and one that we treat often at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care. Keeping your feet in heavy socks and shoes may keep them warm and toasty, but it’s also creating the perfect breeding ground for the fungus that causes this disorder.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Athlete’s foot is characterized by dry, red, itchy skin and the infection usually starts between the toes. As it progresses, it can spread to the soles and toenails of the feet and blisters may even develop. Left untreated, athlete’s foot can travel and affect other parts of the body as well. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah will examine your feet and take a complete medical history. Often, the foot doctor can diagnose athlete’s foot by sight. Sometimes, a scraping from the skin will be sent to the lab for analysis. Treatment consists of topical or oral antifungal drugs, which the podiatrist prescribes.

Preventing Athlete’s Foot

Of course the best treatment is prevention. The fungus that causes athlete’s foot is spread by direct contact. There are several steps you can take to prevent athlete’s foot. These include:

  • Always wear shower shoes or flip flops in damp, public places such as swimming pools, gym locker rooms and showers
  • Wash feet daily and dry completely, especially between the toes. Use a talcum based powder to help keep feet dry.
  • Do not share socks, shoes or towels (or anything that comes in contact with someone’s feet)
  • Wear shoes that allow for air circulation around your feet
  • Choose socks that keep your feet dry and don’t cause excessive perspiration; if socks become damp, change them
  • Don’t wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row; allow them to air and dry

If you are experiencing signs of athlete’s foot, don’t delay. Contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office by calling: 732-662-3050 or request an appointment online.