A podiatrist is a Foot Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), known also as a podiatric physician or…
What are nail problems such as ingrown nails?
An ingrown nail is the result of a nail growing into the skin that surrounds it. This often occurs at either edge of the big toe. Ingrown nails may be caused by improper trimming, inherited nail deformities, injuries, fungal infections, or pressure.
Ingrown nails may cause pain at the tip of the toe ora ll the way to the base of the toe. The pain is often worse while walking. An ingrown nail may also lead to infection inflammation, or a more serious condition. If it’s infected, you might see pus or redness.
If the nail isn’t infected, your podiatrist may trim the corner of it to help relieve your symptoms. He or she may need to remove one side of your nail back to the cuticle. The base of the nail is then treated with a chemical to keep the ingrown part from growing back. Severe infections or ingrowin nails may require antibiotics and temporary or permanent removal of a portion of the nail. To prevent pain, a local anesthetic may be used in these procedures. This treatment is usually done at your podiatrist’s office.
WHAT ARE THICKENED NAILS?
Abnormally thick or crumbling nails may be caused by injuries, pressure from shoes, fungal infections, or conditions such as diabetes, psoriasis, or vascular disease. Eventually, the nail may loosen and fall off. This is a very common nail problem.
Along with thickening, the nail may appear ridged, brittle, or yellowish. The nail may also feel painful when pressure is puto n it.
If the nail isn’t infected, your podiatrist may be able to thin it by trimming, filing, or grinding. If a fungal infection is present, oral or topical antifungal medications may be needed. This can help prevent ulcerations under the nail while keeping the fungus from spreading to other nails. If pain is still present, the entire nail or part of it can be surgically removed. Do not remove the nail by yourself.
WHAT ARE BLACK-AND-BLUE NAILS?
A black-and-blue nail is usually caused by sudden or repetitive injury to a toe. This might occur during sports that involve running or stopping quickly. The injury may also result from a heavy object falling on a toe. If your toe is black and blue but not injured, see your doctor immediately.
The big toe is most often affected. Bruised, broken blood vessels cause the black-and-blue colors under the nail. If the condition is the result of a sudden injury, pain may be severe.
If pain is severe, the nail may be removed, or a hole may be drilled in the nail to allow drainage, which relieves the pressure. A local anesthetic may be used. Pain may also be relieved with prescription medications, or by soaking or icing the area. If pain is not severe, you may not need treatment. The nail can be thinned or left alone to fall off. A new nail should grow to replace it.