* Repeated trauma to the feet from normal activities.
The most common treatment a patient attempts to perform for this condition is so-called "bathroom surgery". This is where the patient attempts to remove a portion of nail, himself. Unfortunately, this will often worsen the condition and can make proper treatment more difficult.
We suggest that you may clean the foot in a warm (not hot) salt water soak, or a basin of soapy water, then apply an antiseptic and bandage the area. You should then schedule an appointment with a podiatrist as soon as possible. He or she can diagnose the problem, the prescribe medication or other appropriate treatment. People with diabetes or circulatory disorders are especially sensitive to infections and serious problems and need to seek podiatric medical care as soon as possible.
Antibiotics will usually address the infection-portion of this complaint, but they do nothing for the actual problem of the nail digging into the flesh. So most podiatrists will resect the ingrown portion of the nail and may prescribe a topical or oral medication to treat the infection as an adjunctive treatment.
If ingrown nails are a chronic problem or severe enough, we can perform a simple procedure to permanently prevent ingrown nails. This procedure consists of removing the problematic nail border and killing or removing the root of the nail in some way so that it never regrows. This is a very common procedure, one that we perform every day. And the procedure very rarely hurts.
For more information on some of the types of surgical procedures used for ingrown nails, please click on the following link for Permanent Nail Procedures.
Fungal infections of the nail, (also known as tinea unguium or onychomycosis), usually develop as a result of spread from a fungal infection of the skin (tinea pedis or athlete's foot).
In contrast to athlete's foot, which is often itchy or even painful, fungal nails are frequently painless, and so are often ignored for years. Early fungal disease is characterized by a slow but progressive change in a toenail's quality and color.
While many patients believe the infection lies beneath the nail plate, it usually involves all layers of the nail--on top of the nail plate, beneath it, and within it.
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As time progresses and becomes more advanced, the nail will often worsen, becoming more and more discoloured, thickened, and difficult to cut. There is frequently a foul odour associated with the condition.
The infection may also spread to other toenails, the skin, or even the finger nails.
As the thickened nails deteriorate, they may become ingrown (discussed above) and painful.
Pain may also develop because the thicker nails are difficult to trim and make walking and wearing shoes uncomfortable.