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Posts for tag: Ingrown nail

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. 

By contactus
May 07, 2012
Category: Ingrown Toenails

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.

Treatment
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.

By contactus
March 24, 2011
Category: Ingrown Toenails

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!