Posts for tag: Ingrown Toenails
Ingrown toenails are one of the most common podiatric conditions. At Family Foot and Ankle Center in Fairfax, Ashburn, McLean, and Reston, VA, your team of seven podiatrists have the experience and skills to help your nails be healthy and pain-free.
What causes ingrown toenails?
Occurring mostly with the big toes, ingrown toenails happen when the corners of a nail invade the surrounding skin, often becoming infected. They sometimes respond to home treatment, but more severe cases require intervention by your foot doctor.
In general, ingrown toenails are a mechanical issue. Constant friction from overly tight shoes and/or socks, trauma to the nail and simply cutting nails too short or at an angle are among the causes.
Ingrown toenails present with pain, redness and swelling. Additionally, many people have a co-existing fungal infection of the toenail or skin of the foot.
Finally, people inherit their foot structure, says the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. People with toes which tend to curve upward seem to develop nail fungus and ingrown toenails more easily.
Treating ingrown toenails
Of course, your Fairfax, Ashburn, McLean, and Reston, VA, podiatrist wants your feet to feel better quickly. They may recommend simple warm soaks at home (adding some Epsom salts to the water if you like) and massaging the sore area. Mild cases respond well to these simple interventions.
However, you should come to the Family Foot and Ankle Center for an examination and treatment if your ingrown toenail persists, gets worse, or shows signs of infection. In that case, your podiatrist may prescribe an oral antibiotic to clear the infection and as necessary may remove part of the toenail. This in-office procedure is called partial nail avulsion.
Preventing ingrown toenails
To keep your toenails healthy, trim them straight across with clean clippers. Wear well-fitting shoes and socks, and wash and dry your feet daily. These simple preventatives encourage healthy nail growth and fungus-free skin and nails.
We can help
If you have any concerns about the health or function of your feet and ankles, don't hesitate to call one of the four Family Foot and Ankle locations. We have ample office hours and a friendly, competent staff to help you. Call (703) 273-9818 for the Fairfax, VA, office, (703) 723-9267 for the Ashburn, VA, office, (703) 556-8637 for the McLean, VA, office or (703) 723-2719 for the Reston, VA, office to schedule an appointment today!
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendinitis
- Heel pain
- Ankle sprains and fractures
- Foot fractures
- Sports-related injuries
- Bunions and hammertoes
- Corns and calluses
- Diabetic foot care
- Fungal infections
- Ingrown toenails
- Heel spurs
Ingrown toenails are among the most common foot problems. Although they are generally not serious, they can become infected and lead to potentially serious complications for people with diabetic foot problems. The podiatrists at Family Foot and Ankle Center, serving the Ashburn/Leesburg, Fairfax/Burke, Reston/Herndon, and McLean/Great Falls, VA, area, recommend that you schedule an appointment if your ingrown toenail symptoms do not improve on their own within a few days, show signs of infection, or if you suffer from diabetes.
Ingrown Toenail Treatment
There are a few factors that can cause an ingrown toenail. One of the most common culprits is cutting or filing your toenails too short or at an angle, which can cause a jagged edge of the nail to grow into the skin of the toe. A toenail can technically become ingrown in any toe, but they are generally most common in the big toes. Wearing tight, narrow and uncomfortable shoes that squeeze the toes can also increase the risk of developing an ingrown toenail. Other risk factors include:
- Heredity (they can run in families)
- Shape of your toenails/foot anatomy
- Complication from prior foot surgery or treatment
What You Can Do to Protect Your Feet from Ingrown Toenails
Although they may not be 100% avoidable, there are a number of precautions that you can take to avoid the pain and discomfort of ingrown toenails:
- Keep your feet and the space between your toes clean and dry
- Trim toenails straight across and avoid sharp or jagged edges that can grow into the skin
- Wear comfortable, supportive shoes that do not squeeze or crowd the toes
- If you are diabetic, schedule regular visits to a podiatrist for diabetic foot care and check your feet regularly for any issues
Find a Podiatrist in Ashburn/Leesburg, Fairfax/Burke, Reston/Herndon, and McLean/Great Falls
For more information on how to prevent and treat ingrown toenails or other foot and ankle injuries, contact the Family Foot and Ankle Center at 703-723-9267 for Ashburn/Leesburg, 703-273-9818 for Fairfax/Burke, 703-556-8637 for McLean/Great Falls, and 703-723-2719 for Reston/Herndon to schedule an appointment today.
Toenails look fairly harmless, but they can cause extreme pain if they become ingrown. Ingrown nails can be so painful that it's difficult to wear shoes or walk comfortably. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to prevent them. Family Foot and Ankle Center, your podiatrists in Reston, Fairfax, Ashburn and Mclean, share some important information on ingrown toenail prevention.
What are ingrown toenails?
Ingrown toenails occur when the edge of a nail grows into the skin surrounding it. They often occur on big toes, but can happen on any of your toenails. If the nail continues to grow into the skin, pain, redness and infection can occur.
What causes the problem?
Ingrown toenails can occur due to the following reasons:
- Wearing shoes that are too tight
- Cutting toenails too short or not cutting them in a straight line
- Nail injuries
- Fungal infections that thicken toenails
- A family history of ingrown toenails (Curved toenails tend to run in some families.)
How can I prevent ingrown toenails?
Clipping toenails in a straight line is the most important step you can take to prevent ingrown toenail pain. When you round the corners of the nails, it's much easier for them to grow into your skin. It's also important to wear comfortable shoes, treat toenail fungus as soon as you notice it, and examine your feet every day for signs of ingrown nails. If you find any problems, call your Reston, Fairfax, Ashburn and Mclean podiatrists right away!
What do I do if I have an ingrown toenail?
Ingrown toenails can be treated at home in the early stages. If you notice that your toenail has started to grow into your skin, use a nail file to gently pry the nail free. Soak your foot in warm water for 15 minutes to reduce swelling, then place a small piece of cotton under the nail. The cotton will prevent the nail from growing into the skin again.
It's also a good idea to apply an antibiotic ointment to prevent infection. See a foot doctor if the nail is too deeply embedded and you can't remove the edge yourself or you have severe pain or signs of an infection.
Do you have an ingrown toenail or any other foot ailment? Call the Reston, Fairfax, Ashburn and Mclean Podiatrists at Family Foot and Ankle Center at (703) 723-2719 and schedule an appointment today. Don't let an ingrown toenail keep you off your feet!
How to Avoid Pesky Ingrown Toenails
Self-Care for Ingrown Toenails
- Soak your foot in warm water several times a day to relieve swelling and soreness
- Wash and dry your foot to keep the affected area clean
- Wear comfortable footwear with a wide toe box, or sandals when weather permitting
- Avoid cutting the nail as this can make the condition worse
- Over-the-counter medications may temporarily ease the pain, but don’t heal the underlying problem
Preventing Ingrown Toenails is Easy
- Wear proper fitting shoes and socks that allow for adequate toe room
- Trim your toenails straight across and avoid cutting them too short
- Keep your feet clean and dry as this prevents bacteria-formation