Posts for: December, 2019
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.
An ingrown toenail is a common foot problem that occurs when the corner of a toenail, usually the big toe, grows into the skin. As you might imagine, this can cause pain and swelling in the affected area. If you are a healthy individual you can often treat the ingrown toenail with simple at-home care; however, patients with diabetes, nerve damage in the feet or signs of a foot infection should always see a podiatrist as soon as possible.
Causes of an Ingrown Toenail
There are several factors that could increase your risk for developing an ingrown toenail. These include:
- Heredity: if your family has a history of ingrown toenails you may be more likely to develop them, too.
- Poorly fitted shoes: shoes that are too tight and cramp up the toes can also cause painful ingrown toenails, particularly in teens whose feet are still growing rapidly
- Improper nail trimming: if you cut your nails too short or if you cut them at an angle rather than cutting them straight across you could be leaving yourself prone to an ingrown toenail
- Injury to the toe: jamming or stubbing the toe can also increase the risk of an ingrown toenail (this is most common in athletes)
Treating an Ingrown Toenail
If there are no signs of an infection (e.g. foul odor; skin that’s hot to the touch) and you are otherwise healthy then you can probably treat the ingrown toenail all by yourself from the comfort of your home. Take frequent Epsom salt soaks and apply an antibiotic cream to the area to prevent infection. Again, if there is no infection you can soak nails for several minutes so that they soften, and then gently clip away the affected area of the nail.
If you are experiencing signs of an infected ingrown toenail or if you have diabetes and develop an ingrown toenail it’s important that you seek a podiatrist’s care right away. A podiatrist can treat the infection while also removing part of or the entire nail so that it grows in properly.
Preventing Ingrown Toenails
While there are certain factors such as heredity that cannot be helped, there are certainly measures you can take to reduce your risk for ingrown toenails. For one, always make sure that you wear properly fitted shoes that do not put pressure on the toes.
Secondly and most importantly, you need to know how to properly trim your toenails. Nails should be level with the tips of your toes. If nails are cut too short or if you trim your nails so they are curved at the edges rather than straight then an ingrown toenail is more likely to develop as the nail grows out.
Athletes should also make sure that they are wearing appropriate footwear for their chosen sport. Not all tennis shoes are created equally so if you have any questions about the footwear that you should wear, don’t hesitate to speak with your foot doctor.