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Posts for tag: fungal toenails

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
October 11, 2018
Category: Fungal infections

When the temperatures get cooler, many patients move their fitness routines inside to gyms and exercise studios. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we begin to see an increase in athlete’s foot, fungal toenails and other fungal conditions. What’s the connection?

Fungal infections are spread by direct contact. And, they love moist places. Places like the gym or a community pool or even the nail salon create a “perfect storm” for fungal infections—lots of barefooted people in damp conditions! You can, however, take steps to avoid athlete’s foot and fungal toenails. Below are some do’s and don’ts to protect your feet:

Do: wear flip-flops or shower shoes at all times when you are at the gym (or any public place where people are walking barefoot).

Don’t: share socks, shoes, towels or any other items that touch someone else’s feet. Fungal infections are highly contagious. If someone in your household has one, it’s important to make sure that the shower is thoroughly cleaned after they use it and that they don’t share a bed with another family member.

Do: bring your clippers, cuticle trimmers, emery board, and other tools to the nail salon. (Always check that proper sanitizing methods are being followed for cleaning whirlpool foot baths too.)

Do: wash your feet every day with soap and water.

Don’t: forget to dry your feet completely and pay particular attention to the spaces between your toes. This is the spot where athlete’s foot most often develops first.

Do: change your socks more than once during the day if your feet tend to sweat excessively. Never let feet sit in damp or wet socks and shoes.

Don’t: wear the same pair of shoes for several days in a row. Shoes can also be a breeding ground for fungi and need to be aired out between uses.

Don’t: wait to seek treatment if you notice signs of athlete’s foot, fungal toenail or other fungal conditions. Rashes, discoloration of the skin or nails, dryness or other unusual symptoms should be reported to our podiatrists, Dr. Ben Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, promptly so they can be treated before they spread. If you think you may have a fungal infection on your feet, contact our New Jersey offices in Linden, Edison, Monroe or Monmouth County today by calling: 732-662-3050.

 

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
March 17, 2017

As the thermometer begins to creep up into the 60’s and fields begin to thaw your children’s minds may be turning to spring sports. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we applaud children being active but at the same time want to see them make the transition from winter activities (or inactivity) to spring sports without injuring their feet.

Caution: Potential Injuries Ahead

If your child has been participating in a winter sport, chances are the spring will bring workouts on very different types of surfaces. If, on the other hand, your child has spent the cold months indoors in front of a screen they will most likely be out of shape. In either case, the solution is the same. Start conditioning slowly and gradually increase practice and playing time. There are many injuries associated with overuse or increasing activity too quickly. Conditions such as Achilles tendon rupture or tendonitis, stress fractures and shin splints can be avoided if young athletes take time to stretch properly before and after exercise and if they follow a sensible program that doesn’t go from “0 to 60” in the first couple of weeks.

Pre-Sport Checklist

Before starting a spring sport, there are a few steps to take to insure a safe season:

  • Make an appointment for a pre-season podiatric check up. Our podiatrists, , Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah will examine your child’s feet to make sure there are no existing injuries or conditions. The foot doctor can also make recommendations about types of shoes that will be most comfortable based on whether your child has a tendency to overpronate or has any foot or toe deformities. The podiatrist may want to take a look at your child’s current sports shoes to evaluate the wear pattern for clues to biomechanical issues.
  • Do a shoe inventory. Chances are if it’s been a year since your child played a spring sport they will need new shoes. Even for teens whose size may be stable it’s important to inspect sports shoes for wear. If new shoes are needed, get your child fitted at a professional sports shoe store.
  • Have a pain agreement. Be clear with your child that his or her foot health is more important to you than winning the game. Insist that they tell you if they are in pain and watch for signs in their technique and play that something is hurting.

If you have additional concerns about your child’s feet and sports activities, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office by calling: 732-662-3050.

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.