Posts for category: Ingrown Toenails
What to do when you have an ingrown toenail
Do you have a toe that is swollen and looks bruised? Do you feel a pounding pressure right under your toenail? If so, it sounds like you might have an ingrown toenail, a condition which may not get better on its own. You have an ingrown toenail because the corner or side of your toenail has grown into the soft tissue of your toe. Your podiatrists at Foot & Ankle Centers in Nashville, Tennessee want you to know how to take care of your ingrown toenail.
Ingrown toenails can be caused by having curved toenails because they are more likely to grow into your tissue. Trauma or injury to your toenail can also result in your toenail growing into your tissue. There are a few things you should know about preventing an ingrown toenail, such as:
- Wearing supportive shoes with plenty of room for your toes
- Cutting your toenails straight across
- Leave toenails a little long, don’t cut them too short
Your podiatrists at Foot & Ankle Centers want you to know about some treatments you can try at home to relieve your pain from an ingrown toenail. You should try:
- Soaking your toe in warm water 3 times per day
- Cushioning your toe with cotton
- Placing dental floss underneath the ingrown part of your nail
- Taking over-the-counter pain medications like Tylenol, Advil or Aleve
- Applying antibiotic cream to the area and bandaging it
- Wearing open-toed shoes until your toe heals
If home treatments don’t make you feel better, stop in and see your podiatrists at Foot & Ankle Centers. They have many in-office treatments to help you such as:
- Lifting up your toenail from the surrounding skin which lets your toenail grow above the skin
- Trimming or removing the ingrown part of your toenail
- Removing your nail entirely, lessening the chance of another ingrown toenail
If you think you have an ingrown toenail, you don’t need to suffer when help is just a phone call away. Call your podiatrists at Foot & Ankle Centers in Nashville, Tennessee and they can help you take care of your ingrown toenail and get you back on your feet.
An ingrown toenail develops when the nail’s edge grows into the skin of the toe. The skin surrounding the toenail can become infected and is often red, swollen, and very tender. Ingrown toenails can occur on any toe but usually affect the big toes. The tendency to get ingrown toenails is inherited but improperly trimmed nails or poorly fitting shoes can lead to ingrown toenails as well.
In chronic or more severe cases of ingrown toenails an in-office procedure can be performed to make it so that the ingrown portion of the nail will not grow back. Your toe will be numb for the 15-30 minute procedure and you will be able to resume most of your normal activities right away. Feel free to call for an appointment today if you are suffering with an ingrown toenail.
P.S. To prevent ingrown toenails, cut nails straight across without tapering the corners.
An ingrown toenail is when the nail grows into the flesh instead of on top of it. Ouch. They are super painful and can cause bad infections if not taken care of reasonably quickly. If an infection is left untreated for too long it can get into the bone and cause serious problems. Sometimes Dr. Cohen will just trim back the ingrowing part of the nail. However, they tend to re-occur in most people who suffer from them so usually Dr. Cohen will permanently remove the ingrowing part of the nail so that it won't grow back. The toe is numbed (of course!) so most people find lots of relief from having the nail removed.
Ouch! Do I Have An Ingrown Toenail?
When a toenail is ingrown, it is curved and grows into the skin, usually at the nail borders (the sides of the nail). This “digging in” of the nail irritates the skin, often creating pain, redness, swelling, and warmth in the toe. If an ingrown nail causes a break in the skin, bacteria may enter and cause an infection in the area, which is often marked by drainage and a foul odor. However, even if the toe isn’t painful, red, swollen, or warm, a nail that curves downward into the skin can progress to an infection.
Why did I get an ingrown nail? Some causes of ingrown toenails include:
· Heredity - In many people, the tendency for ingrown toenails is inherited.
· Trauma - Sometimes an ingrown toenail is the result of trauma, such as stubbing your toe, having an object fall on your toe, or engaging in activities that involve repeated pressure on the toes, such as kicking or running.
· Improper trimming - The most common cause of ingrown toenails is cutting your nails too short. This encourages the skin next to the nail to fold over the nail.
· Improperly sized footwear - Ingrown toenails can result from wearing socks and shoes that are tight or short.
· Nail Conditions - Ingrown toenails can be caused by nail problems, such as fungal infections or losing a nail due to trauma.
Sometimes initial treatment for ingrown toenails can be safely performed at home. However, home treatment is strongly discouraged if an infection is suspected, or for those who have medical conditions that put feet at high risk, such as diabetes, nerve damage in the foot, or poor circulation. If you don’t have an infection or any of the above medical conditions, you can soak your foot in room-temperature water with Epsom’s salt and gently massage the side of the nail fold to help reduce the inflammation. Avoid attempting “bathroom surgery.” Repeated cutting of the nail can cause the condition to worsen over time. If your symptoms fail to improve, it’s time to call Foot & Ankle Centers to make an appointment with Dr. Cohen at our Nashville office.
What You Should Know About Home Treatment
Don’t cut a notch in the nail - Contrary to what some people believe, this does not reduce the tendency for the nail to curve downward.
Don’t repeatedly trim nail borders - Repeated trimming does not change the way the nail grows, and can make the condition worse.
Don’t place cotton under the nail - Not only does this not relieve the pain, it provides a place for harmful bacteria to grow, resulting in infection.
Over-the-counter medications are ineffective - Topical medications may mask the pain, but they don’t correct the underlying problem.
After examining the toe, Dr. Cohen will select the treatment best suited for you. If an infection is present, an oral antibiotic may be prescribed. Sometimes a minor surgical procedure, often performed in the office on the same day, will ease the pain and remove the offending nail. After applying a local anesthetic, Dr. Cohen removes part of the nail’s side border. If this has been a persistent problem Dr. Cohen will likely permanently remove the nail root. Following the nail procedure, a light bandage will be applied. Most people experience minor pain after surgery and you may resume normal activity the next day. If Dr. Cohen has prescribed an oral antibiotic, be sure to take all the medication, even if your symptoms have improved.
Preventing Ingrown Toenails
Many cases of ingrown toenails may be prevented by:
Proper trimming - Cut toenails in a fairly straight line, and don’t cut them too short. You should be able to get your fingernail under the sides and end of the nail.
Well-fitted shoes and socks - Don’t wear shoes that are short or tight in the toe area. Avoid shoes that are loose, because they too cause pressure on the toes, especially when running or walking briskly.
Remember, there is no need to suffer unnecessarily. If your ingrown toenail doesn’t go away quickly call Foot & Ankle Centers for an appointment at our Saint Thomas Hospital office at 662-6676 to get relief from your foot pain.
Is the skin around one of your toenails swollen and tender? If so, there’s a good chance you have an ingrown nail. When you first have an ingrown toenail they can become very tender. Later, it may get red and infected, and feel very sore. Ingrown toenails are a very common, painful condition that affect people of all ages.
Ingrown nails may develop for many reasons. Most ingrown nails are caused by a person’s natural curvature of their toenail. However, trauma, like stubbing your toe or having your toe stepped on, may also cause an ingrown nail. Tight fitting shoes or not trimming your nails properly can also cause the nail to grow inward.
Ingrown toenails should be treated as soon as you recognize you have one. If they are recognized early (and aren’t infected), treating them at home may prevent the need for further treatment. Home care may include soaking the footin warm water 3-4 times/day, wearing comfortable shoes with adequate room for the toes, and something over the counter for pain relief.
If excessive redness, inflammation, swelling, pain, and/or discharge are present, the toenail is probably infected and should be treated by one of the Foot and Ankle physicians right away. You can have a same-day in office procedure that is effective in eliminating the nail edge from growing back. Dr. William Cohen, at his St. Thomas Hospital office in Nashville says, “The procedure permanently removes the nail border so it is no longer a chronic problem. Many patients who have suffered with ingrown nails for a long time tell me they wish they had done it years ago.”
Call us today at 662-6676 to schedule an appointment if you think you may be suffering with an ingrown nail … You’ll be glad you did!