Are you experiencing pain and redness around a toenail? You may have an ingrown toenail, a common foot problem for people of all ages. At Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, VA, your podiatrist, Dr. Ranieri, treats ingrown toenails and shows patients how to avoid them.
How does an ingrown toenail occur?
Also called onychocryptosis, an ingrown toenail happens when a nail—typically on the big toe—invades the skin along the side of the toe. Pain, redness, infection, and limited mobility are common symptoms. For individuals with diabetes, a lowered immune system and impaired circulation in their extremities, ingrown toes become dangerous both to podiatric and overall health.
Treating ingrown toenails
In his Woodbridge office, your podiatrist sees many ingrown toenails. Actually, the Institute for Preventive Foot Health reports a full 18 percent of American adults have had an ingrown toenail at some point in their lives.
Some of these toenails resolve with proper trimming and warm soaks. More serious cases require proper treatment by a skilled foot doctor promoting the best patient outcomes, improving mobility/foot appearance, and preventing infection.
To treat onychocryptosis, Dr. Ranieri often recommends removal of part of the toenail. Also called partial nail plate avulsion, this quick, in-office procedure takes the pressure off the skin and underlying nail plate. Some people require antibiotics to heal infection.
If ingrown nails recur, your podiatrist may perform a matrix ectomy to stop nail growth completely. Experts at the Cleveland Clinic say this nail bed destruction with selected chemicals typically ends the problem once and for all.
Preventing ingrown toenails
Although some people have inherited foot structures that encourage ingrown toenails, many cases can be averted with proper at-home care. Common sense practices include:
- Trimming each toenail straight across—not too short and never rounding the corners (make sure your clippers are clean)
- Wearing shoes which are roomy in the toes, thus avoiding undue pressure on the nails
- Changing socks every day to avoid fungal growth
- Protecting your feet from injury as you work and play sports (and make sure they fit well)
- Contacting your podiatrist as soon as you see a problem developing
At Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, PA, Dr. Ranieri wants his patients to have the healthiest feet and ankles possible. For more information on ingrown toenails or any other foot health problem, contact your podiatrist at (703) 491-2603.