Posts for tag: Ingrown Toenail
Painful ingrown toenails affect most people at some time. In fact, 18 percent of people over 21 develop the condition in the course of a year, according to the Institute for Preventive Foot Health. Your Columbus, OH, podiatrists Dr. Steventon Wagner and Dr. Lynette Mehl treat ingrown toenails and many other foot and ankle conditions.
What causes ingrown toenails?
Ingrown toenails happen so gradually that you may not be aware that there's a problem until you notice a pain in your toe one day. The toenail cutting method you use may be responsible for your ingrown nail. If you round the nails instead of cutting them straight across, it's much easier for the edges to grow into the skin.
Other causes of ingrown toenails include:
- Fungal Infections: Fungal infections thicken your nails, increasingly the likelihood that they'll grow into the skin.
- Thick Nails: Thicker nails can be caused by reasons other than fungal infections. You may have naturally thick nails or may notice that your nails have thickened as you've gotten older.
- Curved Nails: If your nails curve downward, they're more likely to become ingrown.
- Tight Shoes and Socks: Constant pressure on your toes from tight shoes and socks can drive the nails into the skin.
- Injuries: Did you first notice ingrown toenail symptoms after you dropped a heavy can on your foot or stubbed your toe? Your injury may be responsible for your condition.
How are ingrown toenails treated?
You may be able to free your nail at home if you spot the problem soon enough. Soak your foot in warm soapy water three or four times per day, then gently insert a piece of cotton or waxed dental floss under the nail to lift it out of the skin. Keep floss or cotton under the nail until it grows out.
If the nail won't budge, don't force it. If you do, you may injure your toe and increase the risk of infection. Call your Columbus foot doctor if you can't free your nail yourself, you have diabetes, or you've noticed signs of an infection, such as redness, warmth, pus or red streaks on your skin.
Your podiatrist will use a topical anesthetic to numb your toe, then remove the part of the nail that's trapped. You may also need to take an antibiotic if your nail is infected. If ingrown toenails are a frequent problem, permanent removal of the nail may be recommended.
Are you concerned about an ingrown toenail? Make an appointment with your Columbus, OH, podiatrists Dr. Steventon Wagner and Dr. Lynette Mehl at (614) 488-9478 to make an appointment.
An ingrown toenail may seem like a minor annoyance, but the problem can lead to a serious infection if you aren't successful in treating it at home. Our Columbus, OH, podiatrists, Dr. Steventon Wagner and Dr. Lynette Mehl of University Foot Center, share information about ingrown toenails and explain when it's time to call the foot doctor.
What causes ingrown toenails?
The way you cut your toenails can increase your risk of the condition. Some people prefer to round the edges of their nails to improve the appearance and prevent the nails from snagging on sheets and socks. Unfortunately, rounding the edges of your nails makes it easy for them to grow into the skin. Cutting your toenails straight across can help prevent the condition.
Ingrown toenails are more likely to occur if you wear tight shoes or socks that exert pressure on your toes, driving the nails into the surrounding skin. If your toenails are highly curved, they may tend to grow into the skin no matter how carefully you cut them.
When can I treat an ingrown toenail at home?
Ingrown toenails can often be freed from the skin during the earliest stages. If you notice that your nail is growing into your skin, soak your foot in warm water for about 15 minutes, then place a small piece of cotton under the nail. The cotton will lift the nail out of the skin. Keep a piece of cotton under the nail while it grows out.
If you can't free your nail using the cotton method, don't try to force it. Call the podiatrist instead. If you do try to rip the edge of the nail from the skin, you may develop an infection in your toe.
People who have diabetes should never attempt to treat an ingrown toenail at home. Because the disease increases your risk of serious foot infections, it's important to receive medical treatment to prevent complications.
If you notice any signs of infection, whether you have diabetes or not, call our Columbus office as soon as possible. Signs of infection include severe pain, pus and red streaks on the toe.
How do foot doctors treat ingrown toenails?
In many cases, the problem can be treated with a minor, in-office procedure that involves cutting and removing the section at the edge of the nail. If you have frequent ingrown toenails, you may benefit from a nail removal procedure.
Worried about an ingrown toenail or other foot or ankle problem? Call our Columbus, OH, podiatrists, Dr. Wagner and Dr. Mehl, of University Foot Center at (614) 488-9478 to schedule an appointment.