Posts for category: Foot Conditions
How your podiatrists in Concord, NH, can help with an ingrown toenail
If you’ve ever had an ingrown toenail, then you know how painful the issue can be. Walking, standing, and even putting on shoes can be excruciating. Fortunately, your podiatrist can help relieve ingrown toenail pain and help your toes be healthy again.
Here at Affiliates in Podiatry in Concord, and Meredith, NH, your podiatrists offer a wide range of foot care services including treatment for ingrown toenails. Read on to learn more!
What is an ingrown toenail?
An ingrown toenail is a toenail that has grown down into the skin surrounding it.
How do I know if I have an ingrown toenail?
Some common symptoms include toe pain and pressure from fluid building up underneath your toenail, and a toenail that is dark and swollen.
What can cause an ingrown toenail?
Ingrown toenails can be caused by wearing narrow shoes that crush your toes together. They can also be caused by cutting your toenails too short so as your toenail grows, it grows downward into the skin. You are also at greater risk of ingrown toenails if your toenails naturally curve under.
What can I do to treat an ingrown toenail?
You can try a few home remedies including soaking your toe several times during the day, placing dental floss underneath your toenail to gently push the toenail out of your skin, and wearing open shoes or sandals until your toe heals.
How can my podiatrist help with an ingrown toenail?
Your podiatrist can offer several effective treatments for an ingrown toenail including trimming off the ingrown part of your toenail, gently lifting and separating your toenail from the skin around it, or in severe cases, removing the toenail to allow a healthy toenail to grow.
Need relief? Give us a call
These are just a few frequently asked questions about ingrown toenails. To learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of ingrown toenails, call the podiatrists here at Affiliates in Podiatry, with offices in Concord, and Meredith, NH. For Concord, dial (603)-225-5281, and for Meredith, dial (603)-279-0330.
A hammertoe is a common foot deformity that affects the middle joint of the smaller toes. As a result, this causes the toes to bend downward. Since this bend causes the joint to stick out this can put more pressure on the affected joints when wearing shoes, which can also make the deformity worse over time. As with most foot deformities a hammertoe will start out minor and continue to progress over time if left untreated.
During the earlier stages you may not notice much pain and discomfort. In fact the only way you may be able to tell that you have a hammertoe is by examining the foot and noticing that the small toes bend downward like a claw. Of course, at this stage the deformed joint is still flexible enough to be straightened out.
However, if the deformity progresses this can cause the joint to become rigid, which won’t respond effectively to simple conservative treatments. As you might imagine, the sooner you see a podiatrist to treat your hammertoe the better. Early intervention is key, as a hammertoe will not get better without the proper care.
Hammertoes are often the result of an imbalance in the muscle or tendon of the foot. Over time, this leads to structural changes in the foot. Genetics may also play a role in whether your feet are at risk for this deformity. A hammertoe can also be made worse by wearing shoes that are too tight and put too much pressure on the toes.
Along with the structural changes that occur with hammertoes it’s also common to experience redness, inflammation or the development of a corn or callus on the toe. If you are noticing symptoms of a hammertoe see your podiatrist for an evaluation. A simple physical exam is usually all that’s needed to diagnose a hammertoe; however, sometimes an x-ray will be performed in order to determine the extent of the deformity.
If you are dealing with a flexible hammertoe, more often than not simple nonsurgical treatment options are all that’s needed. Following simple treatment options and care can prevent the hammertoes from becoming rigid or painful. Some nonsurgical treatment options include:
- Wearing the appropriate footwear. This means wearing shoes that aren’t pointy or have high heels, which can put more pressure on the toes.
- Placing custom orthotics into your shoes, which can ease discomfort and prevent pain resulting in a muscular imbalance.
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen, which can reduce both pain and inflammation.
- Splinting the toe or toes to keep them straight, which can also reduce stiffness, inflammation and pain.
- Applying protective non-medicated padding over the top of the toe to prevent a corn or callus from developing.
If your hammertoe is painful or rigid then you may need to discuss whether surgery is the best option for alleviating your symptom and correcting the deformity. If you are dealing with a hammertoe turn to a foot specialist for help.
Are you dealing with pain, burning, tingling or numbness between your toes or in the ball of the foot? If you said “yes” then you could be dealing with a neuroma, a pinched nerve or benign tumor of the nerve that is often found between the third and fourth toes.
The classic symptom of a neuroma is pain, particularly when walking—a factor that leads many people to liken the condition to feeling like a pebble is in their shoe. You may find that the pain eases up whenever you aren’t walking or when you rub the pained area with your hands. While neuromas can happen to anyone, they are most commonly found in women.
While the causes of a neuroma are still not clear, there are factors that can increase the likelihood of developing one, such as:
- Extremely high arches
- Flat feet
- Trauma that leads to nerve damage in the feet
- Improper footwear (high heels over two-inches tall; pointed toes)
- Repeated stress placed on the foot
Treating a Neuroma
A neuroma will not go away on its own, so it’s important to see a podiatrist if you are experiencing any of the condition's symptoms. The type of treatment or treatments recommended to you will depend on the severity of the neuroma.
Those with minor neuromas may be able to lessen symptoms by wearing shoes that provide ample room for the toes and offer thick soles that provide more support and cushioning for the toes and balls of the feet. Sometimes a podiatrist may recommend custom orthotics to place inside the shoes, as well.
Your podiatrist may also recommend padding or taping the ball of the foot to improve faulty biomechanics and reduce discomfort. While medication will not eliminate the problem, it can temporarily alleviate symptoms. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can often briefly reduce pain and swelling, but for those dealing with more severe pain, steroid injections may be necessary to ease symptoms.
Surgery for a Neuroma
Surgery only becomes necessary when conservative treatment options have failed to provide relief, or when the neuroma has progressed enough that conservative care won’t be enough. During surgery, the inflamed nerve is removed through a simple outpatient procedure. Afterward, there is a short recovery period of a couple of weeks before patients are able to move about pain-free once again!
Give us a Call!
If you are dealing with new or worsening foot pain it’s important that you turn to a podiatrist that can help give you the answers you need. Schedule an appointment today.
Have a sports injury? Improper gear, poor training practices, or accidents can cause sports injuries. Not warming up or stretching before playing sports or working out can also lead to sports injuries. Affiliates In Podiatry, which has offices in Meredith and Concord, NH, offers treatments for a variety of sports-related foot and ankle injuries.
Common Sports Injuries
Strains and sprains. The most common types of sports injuries are strains and sprains. A strain is a tear or stretch that happens in a tendon or muscle. A sprain is a stretched or torn ligament. Strains and sprains usually occur when you overuse or overstretch a muscle. The worse the strain or sprain, the harder it is to use the affected area. All strains and sprains should be evaluated by a medical professional.
Tendon injuries. Most tendon injuries occur near joints, such as the shoulder, knee, elbow, and ankle. Painful tendon injuries occur due to trauma, vigorous exercise, sprains and muscle imbalances. People who participate in softball, soccer, racquet sports, volleyball, or track and field are particularly susceptible.
Fractures. Fractures, or broken bones, in the ankle or foot are common. Broken bones in the ankle or foot cause pain and swelling. Fractures can result from a direct blow to the foot—such as dropping a heavy object on your toes. They can also occur due to the repetitive stress that comes with participating in high-impact sports like basketball. It is important to seek medical care any time you think you may have broken a bone in your foot or ankle.
Abrasions. Abrasions are wounds consisting of superficial damage to the skin. Abrasions can be caused by accidents, fighting, and sports injuries. Abrasions are less severe than lacerations, and bleeding, if present, is minimal. Mild abrasions, or scrapes, do not bleed or scar, but deep abrasions may lead to the formation of scar tissue.
Dislocations. A dislocation is an injury where a joint is forced out of position. Dislocated joints often are swollen and visibly out of place. A dislocation is painful and immobilizes the joint. Dislocations usually occur due to a fall or accident. Dislocations can be treated in a podiatrist's office.
When to Seek Treatment
You should see a podiatrist if your symptoms don't go away after rest and home treatment. A proper diagnosis is key to treating a sports injury. Your doctor will start with a physical examination, with attention given to the areas of complaint. You will also go through your medical history with your healthcare provider, they may order x-rays or other tests to confirm a diagnosis. Your podiatrist will develop a treatment plan that may combine more than one type of treatment, depending on your specific needs. Call today to make an appointment at Affiliates in Podiatry, PC: (603)-225-5281 for Concord, or (603)-279-0330 for Meredith.
Swelling, reddened flesh, shooting pain, and pus are just some of the incredibly uncomfortable symptoms of having an ingrown toenail. Although this condition can sometimes be successfully treated through home remedies, ingrown toenails often progress to the point of infection, a point that then requires professional treatment. Read on to learn what causes this problem, when it’s right to seek medical help, and how our podiatrists can help get your foot back to a healthy state!
The Causes and Symptoms
Before we cover how to treat ingrown toenails, let’s first review the core causes and symptoms that hallmark this condition…
Ingrown toenails initially develop due to a few different factors, including:
- Cutting the toenail too short
- Rounding the toenail during grooming
- Wearing improperly fitting shoes
- Experiencing toe trauma
If the flesh on the side of the toe has become red, swollen, and tender, you likely have an ingrown toenail. If you have caught this problem while it’s still in its early stages, you can try implementing some of the home remedies listed in the next section. However, if your toe is exhibiting some of the following signs of infection, you should seek professional podiatric help:
- Pervasive shooting or throbbing toe pain
- Regular bleeding
- The presence of a pus-filled blister
- The skin has started growing over the nail
As mentioned above, if an ingrown toenail is caught before infection sets in, there are a few different methods that you can practice at home in order to clear up the issue. Some of these include:
- Around 3 to 4 times a day, submerge your foot into warm water for 15 to 20 minutes. Regularly doing this should reduce swelling and provide pain relief.
- Following each soaking, use cotton to separate the ingrown toenail from the flesh that it is starting to grow under. This should allow the nail to grow above the skin again.
- Avoid snug or constraining shoes.
If these actions fail to clear up the problem in 2 to 3 days, you should pursue professional treatment.
In the case of a severe or recurring infection, there are a few different procedures that your podiatrist can perform to make your toe healthy again. Depending on the specifics of your ingrown toenail, one of the following treatments may be recommended:
- Partial Nail Removal: In the case of a severe ingrown toenail, your doctor can numb your toe before physically removing the ingrown portion of the nail.
- Nail and Tissue Removal: If the same toe is repeatedly experiencing the same ingrown toenail problem, this procedure can be performed to prevent future recurrences. It entails your podiatrist removing a portion of the underlying nail bed, thus preventing the nail from become ingrown again.
Concerned About Your Toe? Give Us a Call!
If your ingrown toenail needs medical attention, call our podiatric office today!