Posts for tag: Ingrown Toenail
What is an ingrown toenail?
An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of the nail grows into the skin, causing redness, swelling, and pain. While this can happen to any toenail, it more commonly affects the big toe. While a minor ingrown toenail for an otherwise healthy individual may not be a cause for concern, some situations warrant turning to a podiatrist for care.
When should I see a podiatrist?
If you notice any of these signs of an infected ingrown toenail it’s time to visit a foot doctor:
- Increased pain, swelling, or redness
- Skin that’s hard to the touch
- Pus or drainage coming from the nail
Can you prevent ingrown toenails?
There are things you can do to reduce your risk of developing an ingrown toenail. Some of these steps include:
- Not picking, pulling, or tearing your toenails (especially torn edges)
- Making sure that you are trimming your nails straight across (never curved) and that you keep them level with the tips of your toes
- Wearing shoes that have a large toe box and don’t bunch up your toes (shoes with a pointed toe will put too much pressure on the toenails)
- Wearing the appropriate footwear for certain activities, such as construction work or sports, to prevent injuries
If you have ever had an ingrown nail, you know how much of a bother it can be. It causes minor discomfort at first and soon becomes more painful if it isn’t removed. When a toenail is ingrown, it can get much worse since you have to wear shoes every day. Some patients get ingrown toenails regularly, making it a more urgent foot condition that could interfere with their foot health. Read below to learn how the doctors at Affiliates in Podiatry, PC in Concord and Meredith, NH can help you with your ingrown toenails.
Causes of Ingrown Toenails
Nails normally grow about a couple of millimeters each month. They should grow over the surface of the skin, but in some cases, the nail pushes into the skin instead. The result is an ingrown toenail. The possible causes include:
- Wearing shoes that fit tightly around the toes.
- Trimming the nails too short.
- Fungal infections on the toes.
- Having a foot deformity that puts pressure on the toenails.
- A family history of ingrown toenails, as this problem may be an inherited trait.
Problems Caused by Ingrown Toenails
An ingrown toenail can seem like a minor issue that goes away eventually on its own, but for some patients, it can be a more difficult problem to manage. For anyone, they can be painful andmake it hard to walk comfortably. Diabetic patients, in particular, however, have to prevent and fix ingrown toenails before they break the skin and cause injuries. Wounds on their lower extremities, don't always heal as quickly as they should.
How a Foot Doctor Can Help
Ingrown toenails are a chronic problem for some patients, but a foot doctor can help to reduce the chance that they’ll form or worsen as time goes on. These are some ways a Concord and Meredith, NH podiatrist can help:
- Toenail trimming in the office.
- Orthotic supports and shoes.
- Safe removal of ingrown nails and wound care as needed.
- Medication to prevent and eliminate the presence of foot fungi.
- A surgical procedure to fix foot deformities (if needed).
Get Help with Ingrown Toenails
Seek the assistance of a podiatrist if you have a recurring or obstinate issue with ingrown toenails. Call today to schedule an appointment at Affiliates in Podiatry, PC: (603)-225-5281 for Concord, or (603)-279-0330 for Meredith.
Ingrown toenails may begin mildly but can quickly go from bad to worse. This frustrating and painful condition can affect anyone and cause significant issues. Unlike other foot-related conditions, which are often due to genetics or underlying conditions, ingrown toenails are almost always preventable and often come from lifestyle choices like the type of shoes you wear or the way you trim your toenails.
Do I have an ingrown toenail?
Ingrown toenails are easy to spot if you know what to look for. The nail begins to grow inward, curling in on one or both sides of the toenail and digging into the skin. An ingrown nail may begin with mild pain and discomfort and end up advancing quickly, producing symptoms like severe pain, difficulty walking, or even infection — which produces its own set of symptoms such as pus drainage or fever.
How can I prevent an ingrown toenail?
Preventing an ingrown toenail often boils down to the way you trim your nails and care for your feet. Always cut the nail straight across the top and never round off the corners to ensure that the nail grows straight. Wearing too-tight or narrow shoes which place pressure onto the toe can also contribute an ingrown toenail. Additionally, always keep your feet dry and clean and wear fresh socks daily.
Treating Ingrown Toenails
There are home remedies that may help stop the pain caused by ingrown toenails, such as soaking the foot in a warm foot bath and wearing better fitting footwear. Your podiatrist may be able to prescribe antibiotics to help avoid infection. In some cases, surgery by your podiatrist may be necessary. It's important to consult your doctor to see which method is best for you.
If you think you have an ingrown toenail or need help learning to better prevent them, a podiatrist can help you determine the best plan to healthier feet. Consulting with your foot doctor at regular foot examinations can help ensure that your feet stay healthy and pain-free for years to come.