Our Podiatrists In Miami & Hialeah Can Help With Your Toenail Problems

 

 

FUNGAL TOENAILS

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Fungal infection of the toenails (also called onychomycosis) occurs when a fungus infects the tissue underneath the toenail. The result is discoloration of the nail. Often the nail becomes thickened and raised. It commonly involves several nails simultaneously. It often occurs in people with persistent moisture in their feet, such as with footwear that does not allow air circulation or in those who perspire excessively in their feet.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of fungal infection of a toenail can be made based on the appearance of the toe. In some cases a sample may be obtained, to look for fungus under a microscope or to grow and identify the fungus in a laboratory.

Treatment

The treatment for fungal nail infections usually involves laser treatment and antifungal medication. Oral antifungal medications are generally required to treat the fungus while new nail grows in. The medication needs to be taken for several weeks to months while a new, healthy nail grows in. Antifungal medications applied to the urface of the nail are not usually effective. In other cases, the infected nail is removed.

Without Treatment

The nails can become very thickened, discolored and unsightly. In some cases, pain or infection can result from very thickened nails.

Fungal infection of the toenails (also called onychomycosis) occurs when a fungus infects the tissue underneath the toenail. The result is discoloration of the nail. Often the nail becomes thickened and raised. It commonly involves several nails simultaneously. It often occurs in people with persistent moisture in their feet, such as with footwear that does not allow air circulation or in those who perspire excessively in their feet.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of fungal infection of a toenail can be made based on the appearance of the toe. In some cases a sample may be obtained, to look for fungus under a microscope or to grow and identify the fungus in a laboratory.

Treatment

The treatment for fungal nail infections usually involves an antifungal antibiotic. Oral antibiotics are generally required to treat the fungus while new nail grows in. The medication needs to be taken for several weeks to months while a new, healthy nail grows in. Antifungal medications applied to the urface of the nail are not usually effective. In other cases, the infected nail is removed.

Without Treatment

The nails can become very thickened, discolored and unsightly. In some cases, pain or infection can result from very thickened nails.

 

 

 

INGROWN TOENAILS

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An ingrown toenail (also known as onychocryptosis) occurs when the nail grows sideways into the toe, and not outward. The result is pain in the side of the toe. The big toe is most commonly affected. It can be caused by any situation that interferes with the proper outward growth of the nail, such as improper trimming of the nail or incorrect footwear.

Diagnosis

An ingrown toenail can result from a number of things. Poorly fitting shoes and toenails that are not properly trimmed are the most common causes. The skin along the edge of a toenail may become red and infected. The great toe is affected most often, but any toenail can become ingrown. Ingrown toenails may occur when extra pressure is placed on your toe. This pressure is caused by shoes that are too tight or too loose. If you walk often or participate in athletics, a shoe that is even a little tight can cause this problem. Deformities of the foot or toes can also place extra pressure on the toe.

  • Nails that are not trimmed properly can also cause ingrown toenails.
  • Toenails that are trimmed too short, or if the edges are rounded rather than cut straight across may cause the nail to curl downward and grow into the skin.
  • Poor eyesight, inability to reach the toes easily, or having thick nails can make it hard to properly trim nails.
  • Picking or tearing at the corners of the nails can also cause an ingrown toenail.

Some people are born with nails that are curved and grow downward. Others have toenails that are too large for their toes. Stubbing your toe or other injuries can also lead to an ingrown toenail.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of an ingrown toenail can be made on the basis of the appearance of the toe. A history is also obtained to determine the cause of the ingrown toenail, and to address any predisposing conditions.

Treatment

If you have diabetes, nerve damage in the leg or foot, poor blood circulation to your foot, or an infection around the nail, come to see us right away. Do not try to treat an ingrown nail at home. Otherwise, to treat an ingrown nail at home:

  • Soak the foot in warm water 3 to 4 times a day if possible. After soaking, keep the toe dry.
  • Gently massage over the inflamed skin.
  • Place a small piece of cotton or dental floss under the nail.
  • Wet the cotton with water or antiseptic.

When trimming your toenails:

  • Briefly soak your foot in warm water to soften the nail.
  • Use a clean, sharp trimmer.
  • Trim toenails straight across the top. Do not taper or round the corners or trim too short. Do not try to cut out the ingrown portion of the nail yourself. This will only make the problem worse.

Consider wearing sandals until the problem goes away. Over-the-counter medication that is applied to the ingrown toenail may help with the pain, but it does not treat the problem. If this does not work and the ingrown nail gets worse, schedule an appointment in one of our offices.

If your ingrown nail does not heal or keeps coming back, we may remove part of the nail:

Ingrown toenails miami hialeah fl podiatrist julette perez
  • Numbing medicine is first injected into the toe.
  • We use scissors to cut along the edge of the nail where the skin is growing over. This portion of the nail is removed. This procedure is called a partial nail avulsion.
  • It takes 2 to 4 months for the nail to regrow.

Sometimes we will use a chemical, electrical current, or another small surgical cut to destroy or remove the area from which a new nail may grow. If the toe is infected, we may prescribe antibiotics.

Without Treatment

The nail may continue to grow into the side of the toe. This can lead to progressive pain or recurring infection. It is most serious in people with underlying medical problems such as diabetes or peripheral vascular disease.