Joint pain in the toes, feet and ankles is a common reason patients make an appointment to see one of our board certified podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah. There can be several causes for this complaint but in honor of Psoriasis Awareness Month, we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care want to inform out patients about a particular disorder: Psoriatic Arthritis.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that affects about 750 million Americans. Its telltale symptom is patches of red, scaly skin covered with silvery scales that occur because the body produces new skin cells too rapidly. About 30% of patients with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis. In 85% of these patients, the psoriasis develops first and then the joint disease follows.
What You Need to Know
Early detection of psoriatic arthritis is critical. Studies show that permanent joint damage can occur in as little as 6 months if psoriatic arthritis is not diagnosed and treated. The most common place for psoriatic arthritis to develop is in the distal joints—those closest to the nails on your toes or fingers. In addition to joint pain, symptoms to be on the lookout for include:
If you have any pain and discomfort in the joints of your feet, it is important to make an appointment at our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office to have it evaluated. Be sure to tell the podiatrist if you have been diagnosed with psoriasis. The foot doctor will examine your feet and get a complete medical history. X-rays or other imaging studies may also be ordered. The foot doctor will want to rule out other possible causes of your joint symptoms. Whether your joint pain turns out to be psoriatic arthritis or another problem, early detection and treatment is best for limiting disability. Don’t delay, contact us today by calling: 732-662-3050.
A very serious and debilitating condition, particularly for our diabetic patients is Charcot foot. While you may have never heard of this disease, we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care want to be sure our patients are informed about Charcot foot and how to spot it in its earliest stages so here are some facts you should know:
The most important factor in successful treatment of Charcot foot is early detection. If you are a diabetic patient, you should have regularly scheduled appointments with one of our foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah to check for changes in your feet but daily inspection should be part of your personal care regimen as well. If you have diabetes or another condition that is causing neuropathy in your feet and you have noticed any of the above symptoms, don’t delay: contact our Monmouth Junction, Edison or Monroe office for an appointment.
Your shoes have a big impact on the health of your feet. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care too often our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah treat common foot conditions such as bunions, Haglund’s deformity and plantar fasciitis that are caused or made worse by the patient wearing improperly fitting shoes. To protect the health of your feet, here are some shoe shopping do’s and don’ts:
Do: choose flat shoes with a heel of 1 inch or less. High heels cause many toe and other foot problems. If you must wear them, try to limit your time in heels to 3 hours.
Don’t: buy shoes that have seams or bumps on the inside, especially if they are near a bunion, on the heel or any area where you are already experiencing pain.
Do: pick shoes with laces if you use orthotics, insoles or a brace. Shoes with laces are better able to fit these accommodative devices and also provide a more stable fit overall.
Do: look for shock absorbent, skid resistant soles with a tread, rather than smooth soles. This will help prevent slips and falls and also provide cushioning to protect the heel and ball of your foot when you walk.
Do: wear shoes made of natural materials that breathe and have some flexibility.
Do: get both of your feet professionally measured. Most people have one foot that is bigger than the other. That’s why it’s important to try on both shoes to be sure the larger foot is comfortable.
Do: replace shoes when they are worn out. Older shoes don’t offer appropriate support and if they’ve lost their shape they may become a tripping hazard. Sport shoes have a known life span based on the number of hours you play. Check at the store where you buy them.
Do: ask the podiatrist to recommend specific types of shoes to accommodate a foot deformity or chronic foot condition
Don’t: buy any shoes that don’t feel comfortable when you try them on in the store. Thinking that shoes will “loosen up” when you where them is a mistake that can lead to injury and disability down the road.
Did you know that there are about 3,000 sweat glands per square inch in your feet? But sweat on its own doesn’t have a foul odor. It’s when the perspiration interacts with bacteria found in socks and shoes that smelly feet happen. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we know that stinky feet can be an embarrassing problem. Here are some steps you can take to help prevent this problem:
Lastly, check your feet regularly for dry patches, redness or scaling. These could indicate a fungal or bacterial condition which can also be a source of a foul foot odor. If you do notice these symptoms, especially if accompanied by itching or burning, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office for an appointment. One of our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah, will examine your feet and help get to the bottom of what’s causing your foot odor problem. The foot doctor can then prescribe appropriate treatment and preventive measures to put an end to this condition.
It’s summer vacation time and while you’re packing for your getaway, Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care wants to remind you to pack a little bag for your feet. No matter where your vacation will be, there are a few items that will protect your feet and make them more comfortable:
Band aids and antibiotic ointment—in case you get a cut or scrape on your foot or a blister that bursts. If you do get a cut, don’t swim in lakes or oceans with it uncovered as bacteria from the water may cause an infection.
Moleskin—new sandals, long hikes or sweaty feet can all lead to blisters developing on your feet. Place a small piece of moleskin over any irritations before a blister develops and try not to wear the same pair of shoes again the next day
Nail clippers and emery board—keep nails trimmed straight across and smooth any rough edges when you first notice them to avoid ingrown toenails.
Water bottle—believe it or not, drinking plenty of fluids is one way to help keep your feet and ankles from swelling up on hot days. Drinking lots of water will actually help flush excess fluid from your body.
It’s important to seek professional medical care if you have a problem with your feet or ankles while you are away. If you have an injury or notice any signs of infection—fever, red streaks, an area of the foot that swells and is hot to the touch—get a doctor where you are to check it. When you return, our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah will want to see you so contact us for a follow up appointment at our Monmouth Junction, Edison or Monroe office as soon as possible. Wishing all our patients happy travels this summer!
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