Posts for tag: Ingrown Toenails
An ingrown toenail is a common condition that typically affects the big toe when the toenail is curved and the side or the corner of the nail grows into the surrounding skin. It can be painful, and if left untreated, can cause an infection. With proper foot care, this condition can be prevented.
Dr. Dallin Greene and Dr. Nathan Judd are foot doctors located in Bozeman, MT, at the Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute. They provide Bozeman residents with complete foot care services, including treating ingrown toenails.
Signs and Symptoms of Ingrown Toenails
You will be able to recognize an ingrown toenail by the following signs and symptoms:
- Soreness on one or both sides of your toenail
- Swelling around the edges of the toenail
- Redness and inflammation of the affected toe
- Puss or blisters around the affected toenail
When to See a Foot Doctor
You should see a podiatrist if you:
- Have severe pain in the affected toe
- Notice that the inflammation or infection is spreading
- You have diabetes
If you suffer from diabetes, you are at greater risk of ingrown toenails due to reduced blood flow to your feet. If you have an ingrown toenail and are diabetic, you should talk to a foot doctor as soon as possible to avoid complications.
Causes of Ingrown Toenails
Ingrown toenails can be caused by:
- Injury to the big toe
- Improper nail clipping
- Ill-fitting footwear
- A toenail condition such as a fungal infection
How to Prevent Ingrown Toenails
Following these steps can help you avoid ingrown toenails:
- Cute your toenails straight and evenly.
- Be careful not to cut your toenails too short.
- Wear socks and shoes that fit comfortably.
- Avoid injury to your toes.
If you’re looking for a Bozeman foot doctor, call (406) 782-2278 to make an appointment. Drs. Greene and Judd will be happy to discuss your footcare concerns.
An ingrown toenail is a common foot problem that occurs when the corner of a toenail, usually the big toe, grows into the skin. As you might imagine, this can cause pain and swelling in the affected area. If you are a healthy individual you can often treat the ingrown toenail with simple at-home care; however, patients with diabetes, nerve damage in the feet or signs of a foot infection should always see a podiatrist as soon as possible.
Causes of an Ingrown Toenail
There are several factors that could increase your risk for developing an ingrown toenail. These include:
- Heredity: if your family has a history of ingrown toenails you may be more likely to develop them, too.
- Poorly fitted shoes: shoes that are too tight and cramp up the toes can also cause painful ingrown toenails, particularly in teens whose feet are still growing rapidly
- Improper nail trimming: if you cut your nails too short or if you cut them at an angle rather than cutting them straight across you could be leaving yourself prone to an ingrown toenail
- Injury to the toe: jamming or stubbing the toe can also increase the risk of an ingrown toenail (this is most common in athletes)
Treating an Ingrown Toenail
If there are no signs of an infection (e.g. foul odor; skin that’s hot to the touch) and you are otherwise healthy then you can probably treat the ingrown toenail all by yourself from the comfort of your home. Take frequent Epsom salt soaks and apply an antibiotic cream to the area to prevent infection. Again, if there is no infection you can soak nails for several minutes so that they soften, and then gently clip away the affected area of the nail.
If you are experiencing signs of an infected ingrown toenail or if you have diabetes and develop an ingrown toenail it’s important that you seek a podiatrist’s care right away. A podiatrist can treat the infection while also removing part of or the entire nail so that it grows in properly.
Preventing Ingrown Toenails
While there are certain factors such as heredity that cannot be helped, there are certainly measures you can take to reduce your risk for ingrown toenails. For one, always make sure that you wear properly fitted shoes that do not put pressure on the toes.
Secondly and most importantly, you need to know how to properly trim your toenails. Nails should be level with the tips of your toes. If nails are cut too short or if you trim your nails so they are curved at the edges rather than straight then an ingrown toenail is more likely to develop as the nail grows out.
Athletes should also make sure that they are wearing appropriate footwear for their chosen sport. Not all tennis shoes are created equally so if you have any questions about the footwear that you should wear, don’t hesitate to speak with your foot doctor.
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendinitis
- Heel pain
- Ankle sprains and fractures
- Foot fractures
- Sports-related injuries
- Bunions and hammertoes
- Corns and calluses
- Diabetic foot care
- Fungal infections
- Ingrown toenails
- Heel spurs
Sure, ingrown toenails may not seem like a big deal…until you get one.
An ingrown toenail might not sound like such a serious foot problem, but it can cause some rather nasty complications for the health of your toenail and foot if you aren’t careful. From pain and swelling to the potential for an infection, ingrown toenails come with a host of issues. Why put up with it if you don’t have to? Our Butte and Bozeman, MT, podiatrists, Dr. Dallin Greene and Dr. Nathan Judd, are here to tell you what you can do to prevent ingrown toenails from happening.
Examine Your Shoes
Take a look at the shoes you wear on a regular basis. Are these shoes that allow your toes room to wiggle and move, or do they bunch toes together and put pressure on them? If it’s the latter, then you may just want to swap out those poorly fitted shoes for shoes that provide better comfort for your feet. If you are someone who is prone to ingrown toenails, it’s also a good idea to consider buying shoes that offer more breathable, natural materials, as they are less likely to cause ingrown toenail complications (e.g. an infection).
Be Careful When You Trim
A lot of people make this mistake when it comes to trimming their nails. There is a right and wrong way to cut your toenails. It’s a good rule of thumb to trim nails so that they are level with the tips of your toes. If you cut nails too low, you risk an ingrown toenail. The same goes for the shape. If you trim your nails at a curved angle, it’s time to stop. Curved nails are prone to ingrown toenails. Trim nails straight across and you shouldn’t have any issues.
Don’t Cut Your Cuticles
Whether you get your toes done professionally at your local nail salon or you like to give yourself a little pampering pedicure, it’s important that you just say no to trimming or cutting your cuticles. Just leave the cuticles alone and you’ll be fine.
While many people can treat ingrown toenails on their own, if you are developing signs of an infection (e.g. redness, skin that is warm to the touch or pus/drainage coming from the nail) or if you have also been diagnosed with diabetes or nerve damage, it’s important that you seek care right away from the foot specialists at Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute in Bozeman and Butte, MT.
Ingrown toenails, also known as onychocryptosis, can be annoying and painful. This common condition occurs when the surrounding skin on one or both sides of the nail grows over the edges of the nail, or when the nail itself penetrates the skin. As the nail digs into the skin, redness, swelling, and pain are often the result.
People develop ingrown toenails for various reasons. Poor nail-trimming is the most common cause, as this encourages the skin to fold over the nail. Other causes include trauma, such as stubbing a toe, or skin conditions, such as fungal infections or nails that are simply too large. In some cases, the condition may even be inherited. Poor fitting shoes generally aggravate the condition, making it worse.
Many cases of ingrown toenails may be prevented by:
- Wearing well-fitted shoes and socks
- Protecting feet from trauma when possible
- Trimming toenails straight across and avoiding repeated trimming of the nail borders
- Keeping feet clean and dry to prevent infection
If an infection is not suspected of your ingrown, it can usually be safely treated from home by soaking your foot in warm water. Avoid "bathroom surgery" and repeated cutting of the nail as this will only make the condition worse.
When attempts to reduce your symptoms from home fail, or when pain, inflammation, swelling or discharge accompany your ingrown, the toenail is most likely infected and should be treated by a podiatrist at our office. People with diabetes, nerve damage or poor circulation should always seek care immediately if an ingrown nail is detected, regardless of the severity.
A podiatrist can examine the affected toe and determine the best treatment for your condition. For an infection, an antibiotic may be prescribed. Other treatments may involve trimming or removing the infected nail with a minor in-office surgical procedure.
Ingrown toenails may be annoying, but rest assured that they can easily be prevented and treated with the help of your podiatrist. If you think you have an ingrown toenail, visit our practice for quick and easy treatment.