A throbbing, reddened toe. It happens if you don't attend to ingrown toenails (Onychocryptosis), a common foot ailment plaguing 18 percent of Americans 21 and older, says the Institute for Preventive Foot Health. At Hosey Foot & Ankle Centers in Sterling Heights, Clinton Township, and Mount Clemens, MI, your podiatrist will examine your foot and show you how to avoid and treat Onychocryptosis. Dr. Thomas Hosey, Dr. Ryan Murphy, and Dr. Kristen Patterson see the condition often, and they'll be happy to help.
What are ingrown toenails?
Usually, ingrown toenails occur at the corners of the big toes when the nail intrudes on the skin, becomes inflamed and gets very sore. While this problem may run in families because of inherited foot anatomy, elements of lifestyle frequently precipitate ingrown toenails. Plus, when ignored, these bothersome nails may become infected, a serious issue for diabetics and other people with suppressed immune systems or compromised peripheral circulation.
Precipitating factors include:
- Tight, narrow, high-heeled footwear
- Fungal toenail infection (Onychomycosis)
- Socks which crowd or place pressure on the toes
- Poor foot hygiene
- Injury to the foot
- Some foot deformities, including bunions
- Cutting the toenail at an angle, rather than straight across, allowing the nail to penetrate the skin at the side of the toe
Treating an ingrown toenail
Many people try soaking their sore toes in warm water to alleviate the discomfort of ingrown toenails. Over-the-counter analgesics help, too, as does wearing more sensible shoes with plenty of room in the toe boxes.
However, your Sterling Heights, Clinton Township, and Mount Clemens podiatrists agree that persistent Onychocryptosis requires an in-office visit. Your doctor will look at your toe and employ the following interventions to correct the condition and help you feel better:
- Trimming the toenail straight across
- Prescribing an oral antibiotic if an infection is apparent
- Removing a lateral portion of the nail via in-office surgery (partial nail avulsion) as needed
Your podiatrist also may advise better foot hygiene, changing socks daily and wearing shoes which do not rub on the nails. While some people continue to struggle with ingrown toenails, many find excellent symptom relief by using common sense foot care strategies and seeing their podiatrist on a routine basis.
How can we help?
At Hosey Foot & Ankle Centers, your podiatric health is our priority. Whatever your question or concern, we want to know about it, and we can help. If you have symptoms of an ingrown toenail, please make an appointment at one of our three locations so you can keep moving and feel great. In Clinton Township, phone (586) 263-4411. In Mount Clemens, phone (586) 468-5445, and for Sterling Heights, call (586) 275-3000.