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Posts for tag: nail care

You try to avoid it, but it happened. You developed fungal nails. This infection occurs from contact with fungus in warm, moist places. Often pools or communal showers can spread fungus and it grows well in dark places like sweaty socks. Improper nail clipping and cuts or abrasions on your feet can give fungus an easy entry. If you develop athlete's foot, it can spread to your nails. Fungal infection of the nail is identified by thick and brittle nails, often with yellow discoloration. You may also experience pain with a severe infection.

READ MORE: Fungal Nails

Traditional treatments for fungal infections include: topical creams, nail lacquer, oral medications, or surgical removal. Your podiatrist may need to identify the strain of fungus before treatment or suggest multiple treatments options in conjunction. If severe infection occurs, the nail may need to be surgically removed which means a long recovery time and no regrowth of the nail. Don't fret! There is a way to avoid all this.

The Foot & Ankle Wellness Center has been treating fungal nails with wild success using the Aerolase laser. We see a 90% success rate in laser treatments; the highest of any treatment option. Our Aerolase laser penetrates through the nail plate to the nail bed where it kills fungal infection with no damage to the surrounding nail. This is a safe and painless treatment. You can reapply nail polish immediately after treatment (we recommend Dr. Remedy's anti-fungal polish). Your nail won't look perfect right away. After the infection is destroyed, the yellowed and thickened nail will need to grow out. This usually takes about 6-12 months. Additional trimming and treatment in our PediCare salon can help make the existing nail look better.

READ MORE: The PediCare Difference

Not all insurances cover laser treatments, but HSA (Healthcare Savings Accounts) may be applicable. Fees for treatment range between $249.00 up to $399.00.  You will receive a written quote prior to treatment including the number of nails requiring treatment and the total price.  Two additional evaluations within 12 months of your original treatment date are included and we will provide laser treatment of any re-infection that occurs at no additional cost.

Call today to schedule your appointment.

During winter time we don’t spend a lot of time looking at our feet, as they are usually bundled up in thick socks and warm shoes, but there are certain things we always need to pay attention to. One of those things is our toenails. Ingrown toenails occur when the toenail grows down into the skin, rather than outward as it’s supposed to. This condition is easily diagnosable since you can clearly see the skin growing over the nail. This may be accompanied by pain, redness, swelling, or even pus if infection is present.

 

Ingrown toenails occur on the big toe in nine out of ten cases, but other toes may be affected or even fingernails. Unfortunately, the majority of ingrown nails occur due to simple genetics. If you have larger-than-average toenails, but average size toes, this can lead to your nails growing down into the skin of your toe. People with particularly thick toenails or naturally curved nails may also be at higher risk of ingrown toenails. Although some ingrown nails may not be bothersome, secondary factors can exacerbate your condition to the point where you need to see a podiatrist.

 

READ MORE: Say Goodbye to Ingrown Toenails

 

One of the most common culprits of painful or infected ingrown toenails is improper nail cutting. Don’t cut your toenails too short, as this increases the chance they will grow into the skin. Nails should always be cut into a straight line, not a curve, to avoid edges progressing into the sides of your toe. Acute nail damage, such as stubbing your toe forcefully, can lead to misshapen nails that become ingrown. Ingrown nails may also develop if your toes are constantly squeezed together, either by tight shoes or conditions such as bunions that turn the toes toward each other.

 

Although cutting your toenail away from the skin might temporarily solve your problem, it will simply grow back the same way unless a surgical correction is made. Surgery is a scary word for most people, but fixing an ingrown toenail is a breeze and the procedure can actually be completed in a single office visit. First, a local anesthetic is applied, numbing the area so you remain blissfully ignorant to any feeling.

 

Next, the nail borders are removed; a fancy way of saying your nail is cut into a narrower shape and the folded skin is disconnected. In some cases, the entire toenail may be removed. Lastly, the nail matrix is chemically cauterized to eliminate the offending nail from growing back improperly. The matrix of your nail is the tissue it forms on and it is responsible for the length, size, and shape of the nail. The “cauterization” is actually just the application of a strong chemical that prevents the nail from growing back.

 

Almost all of our ingrown toenail treatments are done right in our office in a single visit (even if it’s your first visit). With a proper dressing and a loose (though protective!) shoe, most patients are able to resume normal activity within 24 hours, though extra care should be taken for several weeks while the toe heals. These procedures boast a 99% success rate with no ingrown toenail reoccurrence. Stop cutting away your painful ingrown nail and come see your podiatrist for a lasting solution. It’s really as simple as that.

 

READ MORE: Choosing Shoes to Avoid Foot Issues

While it may not feel like it, summer is just around the corner and that means it’s sandals weather. We want our feet to look their best so we need to make sure they are healthy. One unsightly (and painful) condition we should take care of is our ingrown toenails. An ingrown toenail occurs when the edges of your toenail grow down into your skin rather than straight out. This usually affects the big toe, although it can happen to any toe, and is quite painful.

How do I know if I have an ingrown toenail?

Ingrown toenails are not fun. If you experience pain, redness, swelling, or unusual warmth in your toe, it could be an ingrown toenail. Some people may only experience slight discomfort and tenderness at the edges of the toenails. Even if your condition doesn’t seem that bad, the digging nail can cause ruptures in the skin through which bacteria can enter and lead to infection. Signs of an infection include spreading redness, changes in skin temperature, swelling, and pus around or leaking from the ingrown area. Some ingrown toenails can be treated at home, but it is still important that you see a podiatrist, especially if you see signs of infection or if you have other conditions such as diabetes.

Why did I get an ingrown toenail?

There are many causes of ingrown nails.

  • Improper trimming of the toenails. Nails should be cut straight across using a proper pair of nail clippers. Do not round the edges of the nails or if you do, do so only slightly with a nail file.
  • Wearing tight fitting or pointed toe shoes will press the toes together and put pressure on the nails. This can bend the nails, causing them to grow down into the skin.
  • Acute injuries or repetitive trauma to the toes can cause ingrown toenails. This is common among athletes such as soccer players.
  • Ingrown toenails also run in the family. Some families have more naturally rounded toenails and/or more upturned bones. These characteristics can lead to ingrown toenails.

What are my homecare options?

There are plenty of online tutorials that tell you how to deal with ingrown toenails. The fact is, while some of these remedies may help alleviate symptoms for a time, they will not solve an ingrown toenail and can actually make things worse. Take an over the counter pain reliever if needed to reduce swelling and discomfort. Another easy thing to do is to soak your feet in warm water. This can soften the skin around the nail, making it possible for you to gently massage the edge of the nail away from the skin. Do this several times a day, wrap the toe in fresh gauze, and make sure to wear shoes that give your toes plenty of room.

Do not try to cut your toenail! Repeated cutting of the nail will make things worse. Remember, when you see your podiatrist cutting your ingrown toenail, they are using specialized sterile tools and have years of training and experience. Doing it yourself in your bathroom at home is not the same thing. If you are a diabetic or have a circulatory disorder, do not attempt any home remedy. Make an appointment with your podiatrist right away.

What will my podiatrist do?

First, your podiatrist will evaluate your ingrown toenail and ask about the causes and symptoms. If the ingrown toenail is not infected and not severely ingrown, your doctor may be able to simply cut a small portion of the nail away and prescribe a topical treatment to avoid infection. A process called Partial Nail Plate Avulsion may also be recommended for those with chronic ingrown toenails. During this procedure, the doctor will inject the toe with an anesthetic and fully remove the side of the nail that is ingrown.

I just can’t stress it enough; your feet are a very important part of your overall health. Caring for them properly is essential. This means paying attention to them and treating any conditions that may arise. Even if an ingrown toenail seems like a little matter, it can lead to more serious health problems and put a damper on our summer sandal wearing. If you think you have an ingrown toenail, call to make an appointment today and we can get your feet looking pretty in no time!