Have you ever had an ingrown toenail? If you answer yes, then you know the pain resulting from this common foot condition. Dr. James Mintzer, your podiatrist at Providence Foot Health Center in Washington, treats ingrown toenails and helps patients from having them in first place. Learn more here.
What is an ingrown toenail?
Also called onychocryptosis, an ingrown toenail occurs when a toenail, typically the one on the big toe, grows into the surrounding skin. Pain, redness, inflammation and even infection results.
How does an ingrown toenail happen? Genetics and tight shoes play a large role in its formation, reports the American Podiatric Medical Association. So can foot trauma.
However, your Washington podiatrist often finds that incorrect pedicure techniques cause this problem. In other words, if you cut your toenails poorly, shaping and rounding the corners, rather than trimming straight across, onychocryptosis is sure to happen.
Treating ingrown toenails
Sometimes home remedies work well for mild cases. Just soak your foot in warm water two to three times a day, and wear open toed shoes to avoid friction and pressure.
However, for more severely ingrown and painful nails, seeing Dr. Mintzer at Providence Foot Health Center is the best course of action. He will examine your foot and prescribe antibiotics if infection has set in.
Additionally, he often performs an in-office procedure called a partial nail avulsion. This procedure cuts away the nail from the nail plate and applies a chemical to keep it from growing back. Dr. Mintzer ensures complete patient comfort during the procedure and advises rest, elevation and over the counter analgesics at home afterwards.
The strategy for keeping nails healthy is simple:
- Wear clean, well-fitting socks every day
- Make sure your shoes fit properly (not too tight or narrow in the toe box)
- Trim your nails straight across using a clean, sharp clippers
Healthy nails and healthy feet
The two definitely go together. For a personalized consultation on your feet and nails, please contact your podiatrist, Dr. James Mintzer at Providence Foot Health Center. The office, located in Washington DC, is open Monday through Friday at 7:30 am. Phone (202) 269-4062.