Posts for: April, 2019
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!
Learn about some of the most effective ways to get your bunion pain under control.
Has one of the podiatrists at our Reading, MA, office recently told you that the foot pain you’re experiencing is due to a bunion? A bunion is a common deformity that often affects the joint at the base of the big toe, causing it to protrude. Here’s what you can do to manage your bunion symptoms!
How can I treat my bunion?
Caring for your bunion is actually quite simple. In fact, unless you are dealing with severe pain and discomfort, minor and occasional bunion symptoms can often be addressed and reduced with simple at-home care. Common lifestyle modifications and at-home care include,
- Wearing supportive and properly fitted shoes that don’t put pressure on the bunions or bunch up the toes (also avoid high heels and shoes with a pointed toe)
- Placing a non-medicated bunion pad over the bunion prior to wearing shoes to prevent a callus from forming
- Wearing custom orthotics in your shoes to redistribute the weight evenly on the foot, thus reducing pressure from being placed on the deformed joint
- Icing the bunion for 10-15 minutes at a time to reduce pain and swelling
- Taking over-the-counter NSAID pain relievers like ibuprofen to temporarily alleviate inflammation and discomfort
- Performing stretches and foot exercises that could help strengthen the ligaments, muscles, and tissues around the joint
- Wearing a brace or splint at night to realign the joint to reduce morning pain and stiffness
If you don’t notice any changes in your symptoms after at-home care, then it’s time to visit our Reading office to speak with an expert. Sometimes prescription medications, steroid injections, and other treatment options may be recommended to manage your bunion symptoms.
When is it time to consider bunion surgery?
Bunion surgery is usually the very last resort and only recommended when all other treatment options and lifestyle changes have not been successful. Surgery is usually not the first treatment option to consider, as most people are able to get their symptoms under control with non-surgical options. Of course, if your bunion pain is persistent, severe, and doesn’t respond to other treatments then it’s time to consider getting bunion surgery to correct the deformity.
Need relief? Give us a call!
Here at our Reading office, we are always here to address your foot and ankle concerns. If you suspect that you might have a bunion, call us today at (781) 944-4044 for an evaluation!
- 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