Toenail Problems

ingrown-toenailIngrown Toenails are one of the most common complaints that podiatrists are asked to treat.

It can be very painful condition and because of fear of surgery many people put off seeking treatment until the nail has deteriorated to a chronic state.

Many ingrown toe nails can be treated without the need for surgery, although conservative measures may mean that you have to visit a podiatrist at regular intervals.

If surgery is required, it is very likely that it can be done without the need for admission to hospital. Many ingrown nails can be treated surgically in a podiatrist’s rooms with the procedure taking an hour or less.

Treatment: The procedure carried out by podiatrists is to remove the ingrown part of the nail under a local anesthetic. To stop the offending part from re-growing, a chemical is applied to the tissue from which the nail grows. This method leaves no scar on the skin and leaves most of the nail in place resulting in a good cosmetic appearance. Healing is slightly slower by this method, but there is usually less post-operative pain than with other procedures.

Fungal Nails

fungal-toenail-1A fungal nail infection, referred to in medical terms as onychomycosis, occurs when fungi (a kind of microorganism) infect your nails. You may first notice the infection as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your nail. Symptoms of a fungal infection may include brittleness, discoloration, thickening and crumbling of the nail, as well as debris under the nail itself. In some cases, the nail can detach from the nail bed.

Causes: Fungus live in warm, moist environments, such as swimming pools and showers. They can invade your skin through tiny invisible cuts or through a small separation between your nail and nail bed. They cause problems only if your nails are continually exposed to warmth and moisture — conditions perfect for the growth and spread of fungi.

 

fungal-toenail-2Infection with nail fungus occurs more in toenails than in fingernails because toenails are often confined in a dark, warm, moist environment inside your shoes — where fungi can thrive.

Another reason may be the diminished blood circulation to the toes as compared with the fingers, which makes it harder for your body’s immune system to detect and eliminate the infection.

Treatment: Treatment can range from thinning the nail to topical or oral anti-fungal treatment.

Discuss with Dr. Shumate

It is important to discuss your mobility and foot care problems with Dr. Shumate. He can advise which service or professional support is most appropriate to your needs. Dr. Shumate, after assessing your foot function, may recommend orthoses or insoles to help relieve foot pain and discomfort.