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
At New England Foot & Ankle Specialists we treat a wide variety of toe, foot and ankle disorders. What we find is that one of the best “treatments” is prevention. Here are some basic guidelines for caring for your feet:
Practice good hygiene. Wash your feet daily and dry them completely, especially between your toes.
Wear the right shoe for the activity you are doing. If you are a serious athlete, buy shoes designed for your specific sport. Limit time in high heels.
Be sure all your shoes fit well. One of the biggest causes of foot problems is improperly fitting shoes. There should be at least a half inch between you longest toe and the inside of your shoe. Be sure shoes fit snugly in the heel and also that there are no places where the shoe rubs on your foot. Tip: shop for shoes at the end of the day—that’s when your foot tends to be at its largest. Do not wear shoes that are worn out and have lost their shape.
Keep toenails trimmed straight across. Don’t round or cut in the corners as this can lead to ingrown nails.
Limit the amount of time you walk barefoot to greatly reduce your risk of injury and infection. Be sure to wear flip flops or shower shoes in public places like gym showers and community pools to avoid athlete’s foot.
Apply sun block to your feet just as you would the rest of your body.
Try not to wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row.
Look your feet over regularly. If you notice changes in size, shape or color of your feet or nails or skin issues such as rashes, cracks, peeling or cuts that don’t seem to be healing or anything else unusual, make an appointment to see one of our podiatrists: Dr. George A. Abboud, Dr. Brian D. Tedesco, Dr. Carl Conui, or Dr. Kimberly Thurmond.
You only get one set of feet! Take care of them and they’ll take you where you want to go for many years to come.
Parents ought to be aware of the fact their kids can be at risk of developing ingrown toenails in their feet. These ingrown toenails can happen for a variety of reasons, including cutting the nails too short. Children should have their nails to be cut evenly. Ingrown nails can also occur if a child wears socks and shoes that aren’t big enough for his or her feet.
Another cause of ingrown toenails in kids may just be a genetic predisposition to having curved nails. No matter what the cause, never attempt to treat this condition at home. Removing a young one’s ingrown nail with a “bathroom surgery” can lead to a bacterial infection.
Ingrown toenails are terribly uncomfortable, and in the worst cases surgery might be required to get rid of them. If you think you have an ingrown toenail, consult podiatrist Dr. Brian Tedesco of Complete Foot & Ankle Care. Dr. Tedesco will confirm your diagnosis and do everything she can to treat your problem.
Ingrown Toenails Causes
Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.
There are a number of risk factors for ingrown toenails. Some include cutting your nails too short, participating in strenuous sports, diabetes, obesity, and fungal infection. Some are genetically predisposed to ingrown nails, although wearing ill-fitting or damp shoes can exacerbate the problem.
There are a number of steps you can take to treat ingrown nails:
-Let your toenails grow out
-Soak the toes in hot water with antibiotic soap or Epsom salts
-Placing a piece of cotton under the affected nail may allow the toe to grow up instead of into the nail bed
-Rest with your feet up
If however, your pain is severe, or you see red streaks running up your leg, you should see a podiatrist. Your podiatrist may make a small incision and remove part of the toe nail to relieve the pressure. A local anesthetic may be used to lessen the discomfort of the operation. Topical medication may also be prescribed to prevent the regrowth of the problem nail.
If you have any questions, please contact one of our offices in Reading, MA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.
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