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By Dr. Jade Gittens
July 03, 2017
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Toenail Fungus  

Also known as onychomycosis, toenail fungus can be painful, irritating and embarrassing. When you experience trauma to your nail, the nail bed is lifted, allowing fungus to invade. Without treatment, this fungus can grow and spread, particularly in dark, warm, moist environments, such as socks and shoes.

Common signs and symptoms of toenail fungus include:

  • Discoloring or yellowing of the nail
  • Thickening or crumbling of the nail
  • Swelling around the nail
  • Disfigured nails
  • Streaks or spots down the side of the nail
  • Foul-smelling debris under the nail
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Complete nail loss

Prevention is Key

Fungal infections can affect the fingernails as well as the toenails, but toenail fungus is more difficult to treat because toenails grow more slowly. Because removal of the fungus is challenging, prevention plays an important role in treatment.

  • Keep nails neatly trimmed.
  • Practice good foot hygiene, including daily washing with soap and water, drying feet and toes, carefully, and changing shoes regularly.
  • Always wear shoes in public areas, such as showers, locker rooms and pools.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that aren't too tight.
  • Avoid wearing nail polish for long periods, as it prevents the nail from breathing and can seal in fungus.

Treatment of Toenail Fungus

If you do develop toenail fungus, especially if the infection has become painful, visit our office. People with a chronic illness like diabetes should always see a podiatrist if they notice any changes in their nails, as it may be an indication of a more serious issue.

To eliminate the fungus, a podiatrist may remove as much of the infected nail as possible by trimming, filing or dissolving it. Oral or topical antifungal medications may also be prescribed to treat the infection. Laser treatment options are also sometimes available.

It’s only for severe, chronic infections that surgical removal of the nail might be recommended. Our office can help diagnose the cause of your toenail troubles, and make the best recommendation for treatment.

By Dr. Jade Gittens
June 27, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: heel pain  

Heel pain often develops gradually, but as the pain progresses it becomes almost impossible to ignore. This is especially true if you spend a lot Heel Painof time on your feet due to work or athletics. Every step you take requires adequate support from your heels, so this isn’t a problem to take lightly. Get help with your heel pain from a foot doctor at Premier Foot & Ankle Center in Somerset, NJ.

Heel Pain Causes
There are several possible reasons why you may be experiencing heel pain. One of the most common causes is the type of shoes that you choose to wear each day. For instance, people who wear flip flops for long periods of time can develop an irritation of the plantar fascia ligament, which affects the heel. Someone who is flat-footed can also have this problem. Some women who wear high heels often have heel pain due to friction from the back of their shoes. Another possible cause is an injury from jumping and landing on the heels while playing sports.

Relief from Suffering
The more you continue with your same habits, the worse the heel pain will become. That’s why it’s important that you seek treatment from a foot doctor in Somerset ASAP to reverse the symptoms. Common solutions include:

- Stretching exercises to help heal ligaments
- Orthotic inserts to improve the shape and form of the foot
- Ice therapy and medications to ease pain
- Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment (a laser stimulates healing)

Better Choices for Your Feet
After your foot doctor helps relieve your heel pain, there are actions you can take going forward to ensure that it doesn’t reoccur. Observe these simple tips:

- Change your footwear. If you like to wear high heels, avoid wearing them every day and use heel cushions recommended by your foot doctor
- Use custom orthotics created by your podiatrist every day
- Exercise your feet even when you’re not walking. Flexing and stretching while resting can help restore health to the plantar fascia ligament

Call for a Heel Consultation
It’s time to give your heels some relief and see a foot doctor. Call Dr. Jade Gittens at (732) 412-1282 today to schedule an appointment at her office in Somerset, NJ.

By Dr. Jade Gittens
June 05, 2017
Category: Foot Condition

Maybe you've heard of carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition in the wrist that occurs when swelling or a change in position of the tissue within the carpal tunnel squeezes and irritates the median nerve. Similar to carpal tunnel syndrome is tarsal tunnel syndrome, an ankle condition that occurs from the compression of a nerve in a confined space.

What is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

The tarsal tunnel is a narrow space located on the inside of the ankle next to the ankle bones. Protected by the tarsal tunnel are many arteries, veins, tendons and nerves, one of which is the posterior tibial nerve - the main focus of tarsal tunnel syndrome.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is caused from a compression on the posterior tibial nerve. Causes include:

  • Injury to the ankle, which may produce swelling near the nerve.
  • Abnormal blood vessels or cysts that occupy space within the tunnel.
  • Scar tissue that press against the nerve.
  • Foot deformities, such as flat feet, which increase strain on the nerve.
  • Systematic diseases, such as diabetes or arthritis.

When patients visit us at our office with tarsal tunnel syndrome, they often experience one or more symptoms, usually felt on the bottom of the foot or the inside of the ankle. In some cases, the pain may extend to the heel, arch, toes and calf. Symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Burning or tingling sensation

We Can Help

If you experience pain, burning and tingling in your feet or toes, make an appointment with our office. Left untreated, tarsal tunnel syndrome could result in permanent nerve damage. Treatment for tarsal tunnel syndrome varies depending on the severity of your condition. Anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, immobilization, rest and modifications in footwear are a few methods used to treat the damaged nerve and reduce the pain. When non-surgical treatments are unsuccessful, surgery may be recommended.

By Dr. Jade Gittens
May 24, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Toenail Fungus   foot fungus  

Developing a fungal infection on the toenails is a common problem. However, many people do not immediately realize they have an foot fungusinfection. Unfortunately, leaving toenail fungus untreated can lead to other health problems. Therefore, it is important to seek treatment as soon as you suspect a possible infection. In Somerset, NJ, toenail fungus treatment options are available from experienced podiatrist Dr. Jade Gittens.

Symptoms & Causes of Toenail Fungus

One of the signs of a toenail fungal infection is a change in the color of the toenails. Nails can appear yellowish in color or have white spots when infected. The toenails can also become brittle, thicker, loose or oddly shaped. Toenail fungus can develop for a variety of reasons, including injury to the nail plate. Individuals with diabetes, circulatory problems, a history of athlete’s foot, or a weakened immune system are more likely to develop a fungal infection in the toenails.

Treatments Options

Several possible treatment options are available for treating toenail fungus. The type of treatment applied will depend on the specific type of fungus on the nails. Treatments can include topical creams and nail lacquers, anti-fungal pills and removal of infected nails. A podiatrist can examine your toenails and determine which type of treatment is needed, which might be a combination of treatments. See a podiatrist in Somerset for the treatment of your toenail fungus as soon as possible to prevent the infection from spreading.

Preventing Toenail Fungus

There are several things you can do to prevent toenail fungus from developing. Preventive measures include:

  • Keeping the feet clean and dry.
  • Maintaining good hygiene.
  • Regularly checking the feet and toes for signs of fungal infection.
  • Wearing flip-flops when using public showers, such as at the gym.
  • Wearing flip flops when walking around public pool areas.
  • Using a talcum foot powder to keep the feet dry.
  • Wearing properly fitting footwear with room for the toes to move.
  • Wearing socks made from moisture wicking materials.
  • Regularly disinfecting home pedicure tools, including nail clippers.

Untreated toenail fungus can lead to the development of other problems so it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. For treatment of toenail fungus in Somerset, NJ, contact the office of Dr. Gittens by calling (732) 412-1282.

By Dr. Jade Gittens
April 26, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Shin Splints  

Although a shin splint is commonly used to describe various pains between the ankle and the knee, it actually refers to a specific inflammatory condition of the tibia -- a condition called medial tibial stress syndrome.

A type of "overuse injury" to the legs, the most common causes of shin splints include excessive running, poor conditioning and over-pronation (flattening of the arch). The result is pain in the front or inside of the lower leg that usually gets worse with a sudden increase in distance or intensity of training. Shin splints are a common problem for many runners and athletes. Muscle weakness, non-supportive shoes and overtraining are also contributing factors.

To prevent shin splints, warm up and stretch muscles before starting any workout activity and choose supportive footwear. Begin workouts gradually and avoid over-training. All of these methods will go a long way in helping to prevent many lower leg problems. Conservative treatment for most shin splint pain includes rest, ice, compression and elevation. Strengthening exercises, anti-inflammatory agents and custom foot orthotics may also be recommended to reduce symptoms.

Shin pain isn't always indicative of a shin splint. Lower leg pain may actually signal a more serious problem, including a stress fracture, partial muscle tear and tendonitis, all of which require special treatment. Always seek the professional care of a podiatrist if:

  • You have severe pain in your shin following an injury.
  • Your shin is hot and inflamed.
  • Swelling in your shin increases.
  • Shin pain persists during rest.

Proper diagnosis of the cause of pain is necessary in order to administer the most appropriate treatment. If you suffer from shin pain, visit your podiatrist for an evaluation and proper treatment.

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