Posts for tag: Ingrown Toenails
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.
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendinitis
- Heel pain
- Ankle sprains and fractures
- Foot fractures
- Sports-related injuries
- Bunions and hammertoes
- Corns and calluses
- Diabetic foot care
- Fungal infections
- Ingrown toenails
- Heel spurs
Ingrown toenails, also known as onychocryptosis, can be annoying and painful. This common condition occurs when the surrounding skin on one or both sides of the nail grows over the edges of the nail, or when the nail itself penetrates the skin. As the nail digs into the skin, redness, swelling, and pain are often the result.
People develop ingrown toenails for various reasons. Poor nail-trimming is the most common cause, as this encourages the skin to fold over the nail. Other causes include trauma, such as stubbing a toe, or skin conditions, such as fungal infections or nails that are simply too large. In some cases, the condition may even be inherited. Poor fitting shoes generally aggravate the condition, making it worse.
Many cases of ingrown toenails may be prevented by:
- Wearing well-fitted shoes and socks
- Protecting feet from trauma when possible
- Trimming toenails straight across and avoiding repeated trimming of the nail borders
- Keeping feet clean and dry to prevent infection
If an infection is not suspected of your ingrown, it can usually be safely treated from home by soaking your foot in warm water. Avoid "bathroom surgery" and repeated cutting of the nail as this will only make the condition worse.
When attempts to reduce your symptoms from home fail, or when pain, inflammation, swelling or discharge accompany your ingrown, the toenail is most likely infected and should be treated by a podiatrist at our office. People with diabetes, nerve damage or poor circulation should always seek care immediately if an ingrown nail is detected, regardless of the severity.
A podiatrist can examine the affected toe and determine the best treatment for your condition. For an infection, an antibiotic may be prescribed. Other treatments may involve trimming or removing the infected nail with a minor in-office surgical procedure.
Ingrown toenails may be annoying, but rest assured that they can easily be prevented and treated with the help of your podiatrist. If you think you have an ingrown toenail, visit our practice for quick and easy treatment.
One of the most common problems we see here at Advanced Foot and Ankle Care are ingrown toenails. They can happen to anyone and some people are more prone to getting them. An ingrown toenail occurs when the nail is unable to grow upward, for a number reason, and instead starts to grown into the skin. They can be painful and due to the breaking of skin, they can get infected.
Ingrowns can cause the skin to become red and irritated. Since they are painful, many people try to dig or cut them out themselves. While this does work for some people, those who are diabetic or have compromised immune systems would be best to leave it to a doctor to remove the ingrown nail. Once an ingrown toenail becomes infected though, it is best to leave it alone all together, and call a doctor.
There are several reasons you do not want to pick at an ingrown toenail that is showing signs of infections. First of all, you can make the infection worse. There are many different types of infection and opening the area up can welcome more bacteria, viruses or fungi into the wound. Picking at the site can also push the infection deeper into the tissue, and eventually bone. Having an infection in the skin and tissue is bad enough, but a bone infection can comprise the entirety of your health. If you think you have an ingrown, the best thing to do is call the doctor and have a professional remove it. This can save you pain, money and time.
What causes them?
Ingrown toenails are most common in the big toe, and occur most often from poor-fitting footwear. This is because tight shoes can put pressure on the nail, and force them to grow downwards instead of growing outwards.
They can also occur from direct trauma, such as in dropping a heavy object on your toe. Some people are more prone to getting ingrown toenails simply because their nails tend to grow in curved.
One of the best ways you can prevent ingrown toenails is cut your toenails straight across, without rounding out the corners. When cutting your toenails, it is important to make sure that you do not cut your toenails too short, as this can also increase the chance of developing an ingrown toenail.
Wearing appropriate-fitting shoes, like those with a wide toe box, will also help prevent ingrown toenails by preventing the deforming pressure on the nails that can lead to ingrown toenails.
Most patients with ingrown toenails report pain on the sides of the toenail where it digs into the skin. This may be accompanied by swelling, redness, and discharge if infected.
Treatment for ingrown toenails depends on its severity. For some patients, simply removing a portion of the offending nail will solve the problem. This must be done correctly, however, or it will likely come back. For this reason, when toenails are ingrown it is best to leave this to a professional. For more severe cases, more of the nail might have to be removed and a chemical can be used to make sure that portion of nail will not grow back.
If left untreated, ingrown toenails will usually not resolve on their own, and can lead to infection; for this reason, if you think you might have an ingrown toenail, make an appointment with myself or any of our doctors at Advanced Foot and Ankle Care in Sidney OH, Piqua OH, Troy OH and Huber Heights OH, to have it evaluated.