Summer and Ingrown Toenails

The last thing you want is an ingrown toenail to prevent you from showing off your feet this spring and summer. The most common toenail disorder is ingrown toenails, in which the side of the toenail grows painfully into the adjacent soft tissue, leading to irritation, redness, swelling, and even infection. If you trim your toenails too short, particularly on the sides of your big toes, you may set the stage for an ingrown toenail. Your big toe is most susceptible to ingrown toenails, but other toenails may be affected as well.

What are Ingrown Toenails?

Ingrown toenails develop due to the penetration of the edges of the nail plate into the soft tissue of the toe. It begins as a painful irritation and often becomes infected. When a toenail is ingrown, it curves and grows into the skin, usually at the borders of the nail. If an ingrown nail causes a break in the skin, bacteria may enter and cause an infection in the area. An infection is often marked by drainage and a foul odor. Even if the toe isn’t painful, red, swollen, or warm, a nail that curves downward into the skin can progress to an infection as well.

Causes of ingrown toenails often include:

* Heredity
* Trauma
* Improper trimming
* Improperly sized footwear
* Nail conditions

Symptoms

When you first develop an ingrown toenail, it may be hard, swollen and tender. As the condition progresses it may get red and infected, as well as feeling very sore. Ingrown toenails are a common and painful condition that is particularly evident among teenagers. Any of your toenails can become ingrown, but the big toe tends to develop an ingrown toenail more often than the others.

An ingrown toenail occurs when the skin on one or both sides of a nail grows over the edges of the nail, or when the nail itself grows into the skin. Redness, pain and swelling at the corner of the nail may result and an infection may follow after. Sometimes a small amount of pus can even be seen draining from the infected area.

Treat Toenail Fungus with PinPointe FootLaser

PinPointe FootLaser is a patented laser that is specially designed to penetrate through your toenail and eradicate the fungal spores in your nail bed that are causing the toenail infection. Your toenail will not become instantly clear because it may take 6 to 9 months for the nail to grow out and take the fungus with it, but it is the beginning to healthy, fungus free feet.

With no effect on your healthy tissue, PinPointe FootLaser treatment is not painful. There is minimal discomfort experienced during the procedure and no painful after effects. After your initial treatment, your nail plate should grow out normally within 6 to 12 months if there is a healthy nail bed. Treating nail fungus safely, PinPointe FootLaser does not require the use of medication and anesthesia.

Prevention

To remain on the right track with foot health, there are some simple precautions you may take to prevent painful ingrown toenails. Many cases of ingrown toenails may be prevented by proper trimming and wearing well-fitted shoes and socks. It is important to cut your 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. When it comes to 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.

After examining your toe, your Houston podiatrist will select the treatment that is best suited for you. If an infection is present, an oral antibiotic may be prescribed. If you suspect that you might have an ingrown toenail, visit your podiatrist in Houston for further treatment. Prevention and treatment of ingrown toenails will allow you to show off your feet this spring and summer

 

Author
Houston Foot and Ankle

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