Podiatrist Blog

Posts for tag: Ingrown toenails

By Providence Foot Health Center
March 24, 2022
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Ingrown toenails  

Your feet must be optimally healthy to support your body when walking, running or performing any other activity that requires you to be on your feet for extended periods. Ingrown toenails can significantly disrupt these activities. The good news is that ingrown toenails are generally easily treated and preventable. Dr. James Mintzer from Providence Foot Health Center is skilled at treating an ingrown toenail in Washington, DC.

What causes ingrown toenails?

Ingrown toenails occur when your toenail is digging into the skin of your toe. They can occur on one toe or multiple toes at the same time. They generally appear at the sides and corners of your toenail. The most common cause of ingrown toenails is wearing shoes that do not fit well. Some other causes are:

  • Improperly clipping your toenails
  • Trauma to the foot, such as if something were to fall on your foot or stubbing the toe
  • Tear of a toenail
  • Congenital conditions may predispose you to develop ingrown toenails. This could involve something such as a deformity of the foot. Also, you may have been born with nails that grow to larger sizes than the toe is capable of accommodating.

What are the symptoms of ingrown toenails?

Mostly, they will cause pain. You may experience a hard and swollen area around the deviant toenail at first which can lead to infection if not promptly treated. Some accompanying symptoms to look out for are:

  • Pus seeping from the area
  • Redness of the toe or other discoloration
  • Warmth and swelling of the toe

What are treatments for ingrown toenails?

Your podiatrist will recommend treatment for an ingrown toenail in Washington, DC depending on its severity and if an infection is present. Usually, ingrown toenails caught early can be treated at home. More severe cases may require minor surgical intervention to remove a part of the nail.

However, ingrown toenails will rarely progress to this severity, because once the toenail begins to dig into the surrounding skin you will feel pain, hopefully prompting you to take action. Please be aware that if you have diabetes or other conditions that may cause nerve damage or affect circulation, you need to see a podiatrist immediately. If you have a condition that disrupts pain signals from the nerves, be sure to check your feet regularly for any changes or abnormalities. Some conservative measures to help ingrown toenails are:

  • Wearing shoes roomy in the toe area.
  • Soak your feet in warm water a few times a day, especially before clipping your toenails.
  • Clean your nail clipper before using it.
  • Taking NSAIDs like Ibuprofen to help with pain and swelling
  • If you have diabetes, practice proper foot care recommended by your doctor.
  • Call your doctor if symptoms don't go away in several days.

Contact us

Dr. Mintzer from Providence Foot Health Center wants to get your feet back to maximal health as quickly as possible. Schedule a consultation to treat your ingrown toenail in Washington, DC by calling (202) 269-4062.

By Providence Foot Health Center
May 21, 2021
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Ingrown toenails  

Ingrown toenails can develop when the nail presses too closely against the skin. The pressure caused by the nail pushing into the skin can lead to swelling, redness, pain, and discomfort. Left untreated, an infection could develop. Dr. James Mintzer, the experienced podiatrist at Providence Foot Health Center in Washington, DC, treats ingrown toenails and can help you prevent them from occurring again down the road.

Causes of Ingrown Toenails

An ingrown nail can develop on any of the toes but is most common on the big toes. Ingrown toenails form as a result of the nail pressing up against the skin. One of the most common causes of ingrown toenails is trimming the nails too short. Other factors that can contribute to the development of an ingrown nail include wearing shoes or socks that are too tight or not trimming the nails straight across. An injury or fungal infection on the toes or feet can also lead to ingrown toenails.

Treatment & Prevention

There are several habits or practices you can develop that will help prevent ingrown toenails. Some ways to prevent nails from becoming ingrown include:

  • Trimming toenails straight across
  • Avoid trimming toenails too short
  • Wearing properly fitting shoes and socks that are not too tight
  • Keeping feet clean and dry to prevent fungal infections
  • Treating a fungal infection on the foot promptly

If they do develop, we can treat your ingrown toenails at our office in Washington, DC. The podiatrist could prescribe an antibiotic if an infection is present. If the infection or ingrown nail is severe, all or part of the affected toenail might need to be removed. In most cases, the ingrown portion of the nail is simply cut out after first injecting the toe with an anesthetic.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Mintzer for help with your ingrown toenails by calling Providence Foot Health Center in Washington, DC, at 202-269-4062.

By Providence Foot Health Center
December 10, 2019
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Ingrown toenails  

An ingrown toenail is a common foot problem that occurs when the corner of a toenail, usually the big toe, grows into the skin. As you might imagine, this can cause pain and swelling in the affected area. If you are a healthy individual you can often treat the ingrown toenail with simple at-home care; however, patients with diabetes, nerve damage in the feet or signs of a foot infection should always see a podiatrist as soon as possible.

Causes of an Ingrown Toenail

There are several factors that could increase your risk for developing an ingrown toenail. These include:

  • Heredity: if your family has a history of ingrown toenails you may be more likely to develop them, too.
  • Poorly fitted shoes: shoes that are too tight and cramp up the toes can also cause painful ingrown toenails, particularly in teens whose feet are still growing rapidly
  • Improper nail trimming: if you cut your nails too short or if you cut them at an angle rather than cutting them straight across you could be leaving yourself prone to an ingrown toenail
  • Injury to the toe: jamming or stubbing the toe can also increase the risk of an ingrown toenail (this is most common in athletes)

Treating an Ingrown Toenail

If there are no signs of an infection (e.g. foul odor; skin that’s hot to the touch) and you are otherwise healthy then you can probably treat the ingrown toenail all by yourself from the comfort of your home. Take frequent Epsom salt soaks and apply an antibiotic cream to the area to prevent infection. Again, if there is no infection you can soak nails for several minutes so that they soften, and then gently clip away the affected area of the nail.

If you are experiencing signs of an infected ingrown toenail or if you have diabetes and develop an ingrown toenail it’s important that you seek a podiatrist’s care right away. A podiatrist can treat the infection while also removing part of or the entire nail so that it grows in properly.

Preventing Ingrown Toenails

While there are certain factors such as heredity that cannot be helped, there are certainly measures you can take to reduce your risk for ingrown toenails. For one, always make sure that you wear properly fitted shoes that do not put pressure on the toes.

Secondly and most importantly, you need to know how to properly trim your toenails. Nails should be level with the tips of your toes. If nails are cut too short or if you trim your nails so they are curved at the edges rather than straight then an ingrown toenail is more likely to develop as the nail grows out.

Athletes should also make sure that they are wearing appropriate footwear for their chosen sport. Not all tennis shoes are created equally so if you have any questions about the footwear that you should wear, don’t hesitate to speak with your foot doctor.

June 21, 2019
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Ingrown toenails  

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. ingrown toenailPain, 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.

Preventing onychocryptosis

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.

April 05, 2019
Category: Foot Care
The human foot and ankle contain 33 joints, 26 bones and over 100 tendons, ligaments and muscles. While all of these parts of the foot should work together, there are certain conditions, injuries and diseases that can affect the health and functioning of your foot or ankle. There are many instances in which you should turn to a podiatrist for individualized care that you can trust time and time again.
From routine visits to managing long-term conditions to surgery, a podiatrist is equipped to treat just about everything. Here are some foot issues that could benefit from coming in for specialized care:
  • 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
Our number one goal is to provide you with the relief that you need. Whether you are suffering from heel pain or you think your feet could benefit from prescription orthotics, a podiatrist can help determine the best course of action for treating your issues. When you come into our office we will always have a listening ear, so that we understand your questions and concerns. 
We also like to provide our patients with the very latest and greatest technologies and techniques. We understand the importance of options and being able to provide laser treatments and other non-surgical therapies to treat conditions is important to our patients. Whether you are an athlete or 9-5er, we treat clients with a host of different needs, lifestyles and issues. Everyone from children to senior citizens can benefit from the unique and customized foot care a podiatrist offers.
We are here to help diagnose, treat or manage your foot condition. If you are dealing with foot or ankle problems contact your podiatrist for help.

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