If you’ve ever had a problem with your toenail you know how uncomfortable it can be to walk, wear shoes, or do any activity that involves your feet. While these nail conditions aren’t usually life-threatening, if left untreated they can quickly turn into even bigger problems. If you’re experiencing a painful or otherwise uncomfortable nail condition, you’ll want to keep reading to learn what you can do to fix it.
Ingrown toenails are extremely common but can be very painful. An ingrown toenail is typically the result of improper grooming of the toes and ill-fitted footwear. Chances are if you have an ingrown toenail, it can be treated at home and easily preventable.
Ingrown toenails can occur when your toenail gets clipped curved, causing the nail to grow into the skin. This can also happen if you don’t cut your toenails at all, causing the nail to start growing in odd ways. If you wear shoes that don’t fit your feet your toenails can also suffer and grow into the skin. Overall, cutting your nails correctly and wearing proper shoes can prevent ingrown toenails altogether.
Treating an ingrown toenail can be done at home depending on the severity. You’ll first want to start by soaking your feet in warm water for roughly 20 minutes to soften the skin and nails. Then, you can run dental floss or a cotton swab under the nail to encourage the nail to grow above the skin. You can apply some antibiotic creams and keep it wrapped. Once you’ve done this it’s important to wear good-fitting shoes so the toenail can grow normally again.
If the home remedies don’t work you’ll want to see a Podiatrist to take care of the nail. Your Podiatrist will lift the nail and cut it to an appropriate length so it can grow in a normal fashion. In some serious cases, a Podiatrist might remove the whole nail. If the Podiatrist goes this route, you’ll receive a numbing shot to help with any discomfort.
Toenail fungus is an infection that gets in through the cracks in your nails or cuts in your skin. The infection can make your toenail change color or get thicker. Because toenails are often warm or damp, this can also lead to the growth of bacteria that has the potential to spread to other parts of your body.
Preventing toenail fungus is similar to the same methods for preventing stinky feet. You should start by getting in the habit of washing your feet daily with soap and water. Spend time cleaning between your toes and on the bottoms of your feet. Wear socks that help prevent moisture and if necessary you can use foot powder to prevent sweating. Good-fitting shoes will help minimize sweating, which is a breeding ground for bacteria. You’ll also want to cut your toenails properly, so straight across without cutting too short. Discard any old shoes with existing smells and bacteria or treat them with antifungals and disinfectant if you can’t get rid of them.
The type of treatment you use for toenail fungus depends on the type of fungus you have growing. Most treatment methods are a topical cream or antifungal prescription pill. In some situations when toenail fungus went untreated, your Podiatrist might recommend a laser treatment that removes the damaged area of the nail or skin. They could also recommend removing the nail altogether.
Other Nail-Related Conditions
Most nail-related conditions are caused by improper footwear and poor hygiene. If you want to prevent painful nail-related conditions, you should adopt a strict footcare routine and make it a habit to take care of your feet. You can also see a Podiatrist to treat any existing conditions that might make you more prone to nail-related conditions.
If you’re ready to take care of your feet and treat nail-related conditions, schedule an appointment with one of our Podiatrists today!