Ingrown Toenails Disorders and Treatment Options for Southfield and Wyandotte Patients.
What is Ingrown Toenails?
Ingrown Toenails is a condition characterized by the growth of the corners or edges of the toenails into the skin next to the nail. It happens mostly with the big toe.
Ingrown toenails can be treated with a podiatrist. You can also care for it at home. Sometimes, they may develop some complications which would require treatment by a podiatrist. The risk of complications rises if you are diabetic or you have other medical conditions that cause poor flow of blood.
What is the Cause Ingrown Toenails?
Ingrown toenails are prevalent in both genders. This means that both men and women are affected. A report by the National Health Services says that ingrown toenails occur more commonly in people who have sweaty feet, like teenagers. The condition also occurs in the elderly because the toenails thicken as one gets older. Ingrown toenails occur in both men and women.
There are many factors that contribute to the development of an ingrown toenail. They include:
- Cutting your toenails the wrong way.
- Having curved or irregular toenails
- Wearing shoes that cause much pressure on the big toes. These include tight stockings and socks, or shoes that are very narrow, flat or too tight for your feet.
- Injury to the toenail
- Poor posture
- Poor foot hygiene, for instance, not cleaning, or drying your foot.
- Genetic predisposition
Extensive use of the feet during athletic events can also increase the risk of ingrown toenails. Activities that require frequent kicking can cause damage to the toenails, and thus, increase the risk of ingrown toenails. Such activities include:
What are the Symptoms of Ingrown Toenails?
Symptoms of Athlete's foot include:
- Stinging, itching and burning sensations on the soles of the feet and between the toes.
- Itching blisters on the feet
- Cracking of the skin of the feet which often leads to skin peeling. Mostly between the toes.
- The skin on the sides or the soles of the feet dries and falls off.
- Some raw skin on bottoms of the feet.
- Toenails become crumbly, thick and discolored.
- Toenails are easily pulled from the nail bed.
What are Ingrown Toenails Treatment Options
If the toenails are not infected, then you can have it treated at home. However, if the nail has pierced through the skin, or if it is infected in any form, then you need to get medical treatment from a podiatrist specialiszing in treatment of ingrown toenails near you. The Signs of infection include:
- Redness and swelling
Home treatment for ingrown toenails include:
- Soaking the feet for 20 minutes in warm water. This may be done three times daily. Ensure that your feet are kept dry at other times.
- Soak a cotton ball in olive oil and use it to push the skin away from the toenail.
- Treat the accompanying pain with acetaminophen
- Infection can be prevented through the application of a topical antibiotic such as neomycin and polymyxin.
You may try treating the ingrown toenail at home for a few days. If it doesn’t get better, or you encounter difficulties while performing your daily activities, then you need to see a foot and ankle doctor in Southfield.
You should also see your doctor if the toenail becomes infected.
There are various surgical remedies for ingrown toenails. The doctor may do a partial nail removal. This involves only the part of the nail that is piercing through your skin. The podiatrist will numb your toe before narrowing the nail. A study by the NHS shows that partial nail removal is very effective and helps to prevent future ingrown toenails.
During a partial nail removal, the sides of the nail will be cut off, leaving the edges completely straight. Some cotton will then be placed under the leftover part of the nail to prevent a recurrence. Your doctor will also treat your toenail with phenol. Phenol prevents the regrowth of the nail.
Removal of the toenail may be done if the ingrown nail is as a result of thickening. The podiatrist will inject you with a local pain injection and then does a matrixectomy.
How to prevent Ingrown Toenails
You can prevent ingrown toenails by adopting a number of lifestyle changes. These include 7:
- Trimming your toenails and ensuring that the edges do not curve in.
- Do not cut your toenails extremely short
- Ensure that your footwear fits you well
- If working in hazardous conditions, ensure that you put on steel-toe-boots
- If you have thick or curved toenails, then you may undergo surgery to prevent future ingrown nails.