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Posts for category: Ingrown Toenails

By Crofton Podiatry
April 19, 2017
Category: Ingrown Toenails

Having ingrown toenails is a common foot problem. Also known as onychocryptosis, it usually occurs on the big toes, although all the toes can be at risk. This is especially the case when it is compounded with other toe problems like hammertoes or curly toes.

Most ingrown toenails develop because of incorrect cutting of the toenails. They should be cut straight across, but if they are cut too short or too round, the toenails can grow into the skin. Another cause or co-cause is excessive external pressure, such as ill-fitting shoes or trauma from injury. Hereditary factors can also affect the shape of toes, which can make them more prone to ingrown toenails. Finally, fungal infections can also harden the toenail forcing the toenail into the skin.

Prevention Tips

  • Trim your toenails straight across, and not too short. Leave a little bit of the white parts to prevent swelling from cutting the toenails too short.

  • Wear shoes that fit well. Footwear should be supportive and roomy enough to wiggle your toes around. However, they should not be so big that your foot slides around in the shoes.

  • Treat fungal and bacterial infections promptly to prevent them from hardening and pushing through the skin.

  • Apply ice to reduce swollen feet and toes from any injuries.

  • If you have hereditary traits that make you more prone to ingrown toenails, speak to your podiatrist to find preventative solutions.

Home Care Tips

  • Use bandages on ingrown toenail areas as cushioning from shoes.

  • Soak your feet in warm water for about 20 minutes a few times a day to relieve pain. Epsom salt may help. When the skin has softened from the soak, try to put some space in between the nail and skin to help the nail grow away from the skin.

  • If you have redness or inflammation from the ingrown toenail, or if your toe has a cut from the ingrown toenail, treat with antibiotic cream.

  • Take NSAIDs to relieve pain.

Have persistent ingrown toenails? Are you diabetic? In these cases, see a podiatrist to help you with ingrown toenails. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll, can help safely treat ingrown toenails, as well as find solutions for recurring ingrown toenail problems. At Crofton Podiatry, we will work with you to find the best treatment. Make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505. Our team is ready to assist you at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.

It seems Bette Midler’s toe has been catching recent attention following a tweet she posted of her toe in a cast with the comment, “New York Toes don’t love Texas Cowboy Boots”. Bette’s tweet was in reference to an ingrown toenail which had been causing her significant pain on her right great toe. While Bette originally blamed the ingrown toenail on her cowboy boots, she later admitted to it actually being the result of an improper pedicure.

However, there isn’t a need to fear the ingrown pain. Ingrown toenails are one of the most common things we see at our Crofton Podiatry clinic just outside of Gambrills and Annapolis, Maryland. Typically, they are the result of shoes that are too small or have received improper trimming. Cutting your nails too short encourages the skin to fold over the nail as it grows in, especially in combination with tight fitting shoes which constrict the toe box. Typically, patients present to us with redness, swelling, and maybe some bleeding or puss noted in their socks. 

Treatments for an ingrown toenail vary depending on the condition, but are very tame. While it may sound scary, surgery to correct an ingrown toenail is a very simple, in-office, procedure to numb the toe and remove the leading edge of the offending nail. In some situations the removal of the entire nail may be necessary, and steps can be taken to ensure that this removal is permanent by removing the nail root and preventing any further nail growth.

According to new sources, Bette ended up having to have her toenail clipped and trimmed back by a Podiatric Specialist in Dallas. While pedicurists may be able to make your nails beautiful, they may not always be doing what is best for your overall health. Ingrown toenails can become a source for infection, something that is especially concerning in the older or diabetic population.  If you notice the start of an ingrown toenail, or have had numerous troubles with them in the past, it is important that you speak with a podiatric specialist in your area to keep your feet healthy, and pain-free!

By Brad Toll.

As the summer and spring training months come upon us, my patients are continually tempted to keep running through their painful and swollen feet to meet their fitness goals. All too often I see patients coming into my office with a red swollen toenail saying, “Dr. Toll – you’ve got to cut it off, it just hurts too much!". But before you get to this level of pain as a result of an ingrown toenail, let’s look at the causes and ways to prevent this common runner’s plight.

Ingrown toenails become painful when the side of the nail pushes into the skin. This irritates the skin, and can cause significant redness, swelling, and breakdown. If left untreated, ingrown toenails can break through the skin causing a passageway for bacteria into the body.  Athletes are more prone to ingrown toenails because of their increased activity, heightened pressures inside the toe box, and as a result of wearing sport specific shoes. However, more often than not, the culprit I see the most often is from ill-fitting shoes (something we’ve talked about in previous blogs).

Attempts to heal ingrown toenails at home can be dangerous. Many people will suggest remedies that may simply prolong the symptoms, or increase the ability of bacteria to enter the broken skin. Taking leftover antibiotics are not only dangerous, but are also not likely to resolve the infected toenail. Additionally, it will continue to push into the skin unless removed by someone with the proper training. Most importantly – I suggest to my patients to not to attempt to remove the offending nail portion themselves. This can cause serious trauma to the nail and nail bed if not done properly, increasing the potential for infection.

If you’ve been training to run through the pain, or have just started to notice new swelling, and redness in any of your toes, call us at Crofton Podiatry today at (410) 721-4505 for prompt resolution.  From simple taping procedures, to more permanent nail removal techniques, we will talk about your options and help you find what’s best to get you back on the courts, tracks and fields.

By Brad Toll.




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2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25
Crofton, MD 21114

Podiatrist - Crofton, Crofton Podiatry, 2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25, Crofton MD, 21114 (410) 721-4505