4 Big Reasons Your Ingrown Toenails Keep Coming Back

Pain with every step, inflammation around the toenail, excruciating tenderness when you apply pressure to your toe—sounds like you need ingrown toenail treatment in Austin. Unfortunately, treatment for ingrown toenails is not always once and done; many people have to see a podiatrist more than once for the same problem. Here is a look at just a few of the reasons why you may continue to have problems with toenails ingrown into the sides of your toes.

Ill-Fitting Shoes

Shoes that do not give your toes enough to move or even move around too much against your toes can be the underlying cause of ingrown toenails. When your toes are squeezed together because the toe of your shoe is too narrow, this can push the edge of the toenail into the surrounding toe tissue and cause it to grow that way. If your shoes are moving around against the edge of your toe, inflammation can weaken the skin around the nailbed and also lead to an ingrown.

Improper Toenail Trimming Methods

Always trim your toenails straight across, and don’t trim them too short. You may be tempted to cut off the edges to keep them from resting on your skin, but this can actually continuously contribute to ingrown toenail problems.

Genetics

Even genetics can play a role in persistent ingrown toenail problems. Genetics can determine the shape of your toe, your toenails, and even the thickness of the toenail itself. Naturally, the shape and other attributes of the toe can contribute to your risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Toe Injuries

It is not uncommon for people who have sustained toe injuries to have persistent problems with ingrown toenails. If your toe gets stubbed, for example, the nail can cut into the side of your toe, weakening that tissue. If inflammation occurs due to the injury, you are more likely to have problems with ingrown toenails.

Looking for a Podiatrist in Austin, TX?

Even though problems with ingrown toenails are one of the most common reasons for a visit to an Austin podiatrist, this is not an issue to overlook. If you have persistent problems with ingrown toenails, reach out to us at the office of Dr. Jeffrey Lamour, DPM, PA.

What Causes Ingrown Toenails?

Ingrown toenails occur for a variety of reasons. They are very common and almost everyone may develop an ingrown toenail at least once in their life. While an ingrown toenail is not fatal, it can cause extreme discomfort and diminish your quality of life due to its effect on simple activities like walking or hiking.

What is an Ingrown Toenail?

An ingrown toenail is a toenail that has grown into the skin around the toenail. Instead of growing on the surface of the toe’s nail bed, the toenail grows into the skin tissue. Specifically, the edges of the toenail curl down and into the skin. You can visually see an ingrown toenail, as it looks very different than the rest of the toenails.

What Causes Ingrown Toenails?

Ingrown toenails happen slowly, over time. Most people don’t pay a lot of attention to toenails until it’s time to clip them. That may be after four to six weeks after the last time you clipped your toenails. By that time, a toenail may have ingrown or grown into the surrounding skin tissue.

Most frequently, an ingrown toenail is caused by improper clipping practices. If you taper your nails so that they curve along the top edges, then that top edge may end up growing downward, into the skin.

Another common cause of ingrown toenails is wearing shoes that are too tight or that squeeze the toes into unnatural positions. This can lead to ingrown toenails since the toenails are unable to grow into the area that they are meant to.

Finally, some people are more prone to developing ingrown toenails. If you have a history of ingrown toenails, you should visit your podiatrist to learn about preventative measures.

Symptoms of an Ingrown Toenail

The symptoms of an ingrown toenail are:

  • Discomfort
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • A portion of toenail not visible

If you have the symptoms of an ingrown toenail, make sure you visit your podiatrist as soon as possible. If you don’t treat an ingrown toenail, a resulting infection can become more serious and more complicated to treat.

Don’t ignore an ingrown toenail. Treatment for ingrown toenails is available and relatively easy. The longer you wait, the more complex the situation will become. For more information and help, please contact your Austin podiatrist today.

 

Debunking Common Myths Associated with Ingrown Toenails

Just as painful as a toothache, ingrown toenails are one of the most common reasons for a visit to a podiatrist. This foot problem is so common, that 20 out of 100 people who visit the doctor with podiatric complaints have an ingrown toenail. As common as the issue is, there are a lot of myths out there associated with the problem.

Myth: Only people with oddly shaped toes get ingrown toenails. 

People with toes or feet of any shape can actually experience an ingrown toenail; the shape of your feet or toes doesn’t really affect your chances of having the issue. However, if you have certain toenail shapes, you may be more prone to ingrown toenail problems. For example, people who have “pincer” toenails that grow in a highly curved way can be more at risk.

Myth: You can prevent ingrown toenails by cutting the corners of your toenails. 

Cutting notches or curves at the corners of your toenails is probably not going to thwart ingrown toenail issues. In fact, it is always best if you cut your toenail straight across and don’t cut the nail too short in any area.

Myth: Ingrown toenails always have to be professionally removed.

Ingrown toenails can oftentimes be treated at home, but you do have to be careful about doing so. If the nail has just started to embed into the edge of the toe, you can usually use nail clippers, tweezers, or other small manicure tools to break the nail loose from the skin. Just make sure you are using sterile tools and don’t cause an injury to your toe in the process. Once the ingrown gets to a point where it cannot easily be pulled up and out of the surrounding skin without extreme discomfort, it is best to see a podiatrist for help.

Ingrown toenails can be super painful, and they can also lead to infections around your toes if you’re not careful. Therefore, it is best to seek professional attention if your problem seems severe. The treatment for ingrown toenails is simple and can help prevent issues with ingrown toenails for a long time. Reach out to us at the office of Jeffery LaMour, DPM, PA for help.

Why You Should Never Ignore Ingrown Toenails

According to the Institute for Preventive Foot Health® about 18% of adults in the United States have had an ingrown toenail. Unfortunately, some of those people experienced complications as a result of not seeking medical care quickly. Not only does Dr. LaMour treat ingrown toenails, he wants you to know how to avoid getting them in the first place.

Why some people have ingrown nails

Normally, your toenail grows inside your nail bed. When you get an ingrown toenail, the nail curves slightly at the edge and grows into the fold of skin next to your nail bed. It’s painful, and can be serious.

There are many reasons you might get an ingrown toenail. One is simply genetics. You may have inherited a tendency for your toenails to curve and become ingrown.

Another common cause is poorly fitting footwear. If you wear high heels or narrow shoes that don’t have enough space in the toe box, the pressure on your toes can cause your nails to become ingrown. The same is true of wearing tights or hose often.

Stubbing your toe may lead to an ingrown toenail, as can other types of trauma, like dropping something heavy on your toe. Some types of activity amount to trauma that can lead to ingrown toenails. For example, runners have more ingrown toenails than other people.

By far, though, the most common cause of ingrown toenails is improper trimming. Cutting your nails too short can lead to ingrown toenails, as can cutting them any way other than straight across.

The dangers of ingrown toenails

Although we use words like “tender” to talk about ingrown toenails, the truth is that they hurt, and the worse they get, the more they hurt. Aside from the pain, which can make it difficult to wear socks and shoes, or even to walk comfortably, ingrown toenails can lead to other problems.

An ingrown toenail can get infected, and the infection can easily spread to the bones of your foot and cause serious complications.

Trying to care for your ingrown toenail at home increases your risk of infection even more. If you’ve ever been told to put a piece of a cotton ball between your nail and your skin, you’ve received poor advice. The cotton ball is an excellent host for bacteria, so it increases your chances of developing an infection.

Cutting your nail shorter is another common, but inadvisable, approach to dealing with an ingrown toenail, because trimming it won’t change the way it grows. Cutting a notch in your nail won’t help either.

How we treat ingrown toenails

Most of the time, Dr. LaMour treats ingrown nails right here in the office. Every person is different and your treatment depends on the severity of your ingrown nail, whether or not it’s infected, and your medical history. Some people, such as those who have diabetes, need different care than others.

Ingrown toenail treatment may include:

  • Lifting the nail
  • Partial removal of the nail
  • Removing the entire nail
  • Treating the nail bed to prevent future growth

If you have an ingrown toenail, don’t take chances with home remedies that are likely to be ineffective and may even make things worse. Instead, come in to see Dr. LaMour for an expert opinion and treatment. Just call one of our offices in Austin or Pflugerville or book your appointment online.

Do Animals Get Ingrown Toenails, Too?

If you’ve ever shared a home with a pet, tuned into Animal Planet, or even taken a stroll through the dog park, you know that animals and humans have a lot in common. Our cuddly friends also enjoy spending time outdoors, eating cookies, and taking cozy afternoon naps, but do they suffer from the same podiatric struggles? Anyone who’s ever suffered from an ingrown toenail knows that it isn’t exactly a pleasant experience. This condition can make daily activities difficult. Fortunately, the more you know about your podiatric health, the better you can care for your feet. In the following blog, Austin podiatrist, Dr. Jeffery LaMour, goes over ingrown toenail basics, explains which animals get them, and how we assist you.

What is an Ingrown Toenail?

When you imagine an ingrown toenail, you may think of bent or mangled toe. In fact, the condition is much subtler, but no less serious. Mayo Clinic explains: “Ingrown toenails are a common condition in which the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh. The result is pain, redness, swelling and, sometimes, an infection. Ingrown toenails usually affect your big toe.” This condition can be unsightly, uncomfortable, and unhealthy, putting the toe at risk for other conditions, such as infection. According to WebMD, “people with curved or thick nails are most susceptible,” as well as those with “an injury, poorly fitting shoes, or improper grooming of the feet.” It’s easy to see how animals might be vulnerable to these conditions, since they often have thicker, curvier nails, their play may lead to injuries, and it’s not always easy to keep their feet perfectly groomed.

In addition, it’s worth noting that while ingrown toenails may be annoying and certainly merit treatment for most, patients with “diabetes, vascular problems, or numbness in the toes need to be aggressive in treating and preventing ingrown toenails because they can lead to serious complications, including the risk of losing a limb.” Similarly, animals who are already dealing with health issues may be more at risk for complications if they suffer from ingrown toenails.

Which Creatures Get Them?

The most basic answer to “Do animals get ingrown toenails, too?” is a resounding “yes!” Of course, the next question we know you’ll have is: “which ones?” Generally, any animals with feet similar to ours could get ingrown toenails.

For example, both cats and dogs are susceptible to this condition. Petful explains that ingrown toenails do occur occasionally with these furry friends, particularly with cats. Felines’ claws can begin to grow into their pads. Petful points out that “pesky dewclaws” are often to blame. “Even if you aren’t diligent about nail trims, most pets will wear their nails down from normal walking so as to avoid an ingrown nail. But the dewclaws (nails comparable to our thumbs) don’t hit the pavement—and they especially need trimming.” To add to the risk of the dewclaws, Petful notes: “cats in particular can be born with common congenital toe anomalies, which can cause problems.” These abnormalities may increase the chances of an ingrown claw.

Ingrown toenails don’t just affect domesticated cats and dogs. Cheetahs and foxes, wolves and leopards alike can also be affected by this condition. The similarities between humans and primates suggest that animals such as monkeys might also be prone to ingrown toenails, although this is less documented.

Treating an Ingrown Toenail

Although widespread, an ingrown toenail can cause significant discomfort. If you’re suffering from this condition, Dr. LaMour and our team can perform a basic, outpatient procedure to remove part of the nail, then bandage your toe so it can heal and grow back properly. At our Austin podiatry practice, we only work with human patients, but Petful similarly recommends seeking professional veterinary assistance for any animal with symptoms of an ingrown toenail: “the vet may have to remove a nail, treat a deeply infected wound, or take a biopsy.”

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/do-animals-get-ingrown-toenails-too/

Chronic Ingrown Toenails: Causes & Treatment

Suffering through an ingrown toenail one time is bad enough, but dealing with ingrown toenails all the time is a whole different story. If you find yourself constantly wincing with discomfort as you walk, struggling with swelling, or battling with ingrown infections, it’s time to take charge of your foot health. Chronic ingrown toenails can interfere with your daily life, but they don’t have to. Austin podiatrist, Dr. Jeffery LaMour is here to help you, along with the rest of our experienced, dedicated team. This condition is technically referred to as “onychrocryptosis,” and we can assist you in preventing an treating it. Read on to learn more about the causes and treatments of chronic ingrown toenails. May you never have another!

Do You Have an Ingrown Toenail?

Basically, an ingrown toenail occurs when the nail begins to grow into the surrounding tissue rather than remaining next to it. You might experience the discomfort of an ingrown toenail without realizing what is actually occurring. You may be suffering from this condition if:

  • Your toenail takes on a curved appearance at the edges, or you cannot see the edge of part of the toenail
  • Your toe becomes inflamed around the nail
  • The side of your nail feels sensitive
  • Your toenail begins to look red around the edges
  • You notice a yellow color, pus, or a warm sensation in the surrounding skin (which are signs of infection)
  • The skin of your toenail begins to feel numb

If you experience any of the above, you may have an ingrown toenail. If you notice these symptoms often, this may be a chronic condition for you.

What Causes This Chronic Condition? 

Why would the nail begin to grow into the skin? Some of the most widespread sources of ingrown toenails include:

  • Improper grooming. At least once a month, you should cut your toenails across their entire width using a toenail clipper designed for this purpose. We’ve found that most of our patients who have ingrown toenails are not doing this. Using a pair of scissors or simply ripping the extending portion of the nail with your hand is not an appropriate technique. When you trim your toenails in an uneven manner, they can grow back into the flesh.
  • Toe trauma. If you’ve stubbed your toe particularly hard or suffered an injury to the foot, this might have nudged your nail in the wrong direction.
  • Constricting footwear. Foot.com notes: “tight hosiery or shoes with narrow toe boxes” could cause or worsen ingrown toenails, forcing the nail to grow into the skin because it has nowhere else to go.
  • Foot shape. Although rare, your foot structure might impede healthy toenail growth. Mayo Clinic explains: “having unusually curved toenails” could be a cause.
  •  Toenail fungus. An infection under the nail bed could push the growing nail in a different direction or even begin to split it apart.

No matter the cause of your chronic ingrown toenails, Dr. LaMour and our team can pinpoint and treat it.

Treating Ingrown Toenails

We see and assist many patients with ingrown toenails every year. If grooming or improper footwear is the cause, Dr. LaMour may suggest a simple outpatient procedure to numb the toe, remove the ingrown segment of the nail, and bandage the toe to alleviate the discomfort and put the toenail on the right track. We may utilize this outpatient surgery for ingrown toenails in combination with any other appropriate treatments to repair your foot after an injury. If toenail fungus is the source, we can utilize our state-of-the-art Pinpointe™ FootLaser™ in combination with the above treatment. For foot structural issues, Dr. LaMour can perform a surgery to extract the root of the toenail. We will customize a treatment plan according to your unique needs and preferences.

We Can Help You

You don’t have to suffer through chronic ingrown toenails again and again! Contact our Austin podiatry practice today to schedule your appointment with Dr. LaMour.

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-diseases/chronic-ingrown-toenails-causes-treatment/

5 Best Remedies for Ingrown Toenail Pain

Many people suffer from ingrown toenails. According to the Illinois Podiatric Medical Association, “ingrown toenails or other toenail problems” affect about 1 in 20 Americans. Depending on the severity of the situation, ingrown toenails can range from a nuisance to a serious medical concern. Austin podiatrist, Dr. Jeffery LaMour, is committed to helping our patients care for their feet, which includes having healthy toenails. If you realize you’re struggling with an ingrown toenail but can’t immediately get professional treatment, we don’t want you to wait in pain. Fortunately, there are many techniques you can use to alleviate the discomfort caused by this condition. In the following blog, we’ll explain how you can spot the symptoms of an ingrown toenail and the five best remedies for relieving the pain.

What is an Ingrown Toenail?

Simply put, an ingrown toenail is exactly what it sounds like. Ideally, your toenails would grow straight out, covering your nail bed and nothing more. However, sometimes, the toenail can begin to grow into the flesh around the nail bed, which can be quite uncomfortable. For example, if you trim your toenail too short, this “encourages the skin next to the nail to fold over the nail,” as Foot Health Facts explains. Improper nail care is the most prevalent cause, but injury, undersized shoes, and fungal infections can also lead to ingrown toenails. In addition, some people have a hereditary disposition to this condition. If your toenails naturally curve more, you should take especially excellent care of your toenails.

You may be suffering from an ingrown toenail if:

  • You notice the toenail beginning to grow over the surrounding skin. You may not be able to see the edges of the nail on one or more sides.
  • You feel a sharp sensation as the toenail jabs into the skin.
  • The skin around one or more toenails feels particularly sensitive.
  • Your skin starts to swell around the toenail.
  • The tissue around your toenail is pink or red.
  • You notice pus, oozing, or other symptoms of infection in the skin around a toenail.

Recommended Remedies

You may not be able to run out to a podiatrist right away when you notice ingrown toenail symptoms. Dr. LaMour and our team suggest trying the following five methods to relieve pain:

1.     Bandage the affected toe. Depending on the size of the toenail, you can do so with a regular adhesive bandage or use sterile gauze. This remedy is simple but important, as it can help keep your sensitive skin clean and shield it against air, heat, and cold, which could worsen the pain.

2.     Do a warm salt soakWikiHow explains: “use a large bowl or your bathtub to soak your foot. This will help reduce swelling and tenderness… Add Epsom salts to the water. Epsom salts are widely recognized for their ability to reduce pain and swelling. These will also help soften the toenail.” If you can’t get Epsom salt, plain old table salt will also do the trick to “help reduce the growth of bacteria.” After you’ve soaked, make sure to dry your foot thoroughly, as moisture can invite bacteria.

3.     “Floss” your feet. It may seem a bit odd, but carefully working dental floss between the nail and the damaged skin can help them begin to grow apart and remove bacteria. However, you must be very gentle, as jamming floss into the area could allow further bacteria in, it could hurt, and could generally make matters worse. WikiHow recommends “flossing” the toenail after a salt soak, so “the toenail [is] softened” and somewhat sanitized.

4.     Use a topical antibiotic on the areaIn her Everyday Health article on treating ingrown toenails, Diana Rodriguez writes: “rub your toe with antibiotic ointment to help reduce your chance of developing an infection.”

5.     Wear flexible footwear. As Rodriguez notes: “shoes made of soft fabrics with a wide toe are a good choice – try wearing sandals if you can. Avoid shoes that pinch the toes or place pressure on the ingrown toenail.”

How Dr. LaMour Can Help

While these remedies can help keep you comfortable in the short-term, you shouldn’t wait more than a few days to seek treatment from a podiatrist like Dr. LaMour. Generally, the longer you delay getting professional assistance, the worse your ingrown toenail will become. Dr. LaMour and our team can quickly and easily handle this condition, especially since it is one of the most common issues we address in our practice.

In most cases, we’ll perform a basic outpatient procedure. Dr. LaMour will anesthetize the toe and then remove the abnormal section of the nail. We will then bandage your toe and explain how to care for it so it can heal rapidly. Often, our patients are back to normal the just one day after this treatment. If your ingrown toenail is due to a congenital or structural issue with your feet, we may recommend a different procedure in which we remove the root of the toenail so that it cannot become ingrown again.

Contact Your Austin Podiatrist Today

Are you suffering from an ingrown toenail? Would you like to learn more about our recommended remedies or schedule a treatment? Contact us today! We look forward to hearing from you.

5 Ways to Prevent Ingrown Toenails

If you want to reduce your risk of ingrown toenails, here are a few simple tips:

1.       Trim your nails properly

Always use toenail clippers, not fingernail clippers to trim toenails. These larger clippers are meant for larger nails, and you’ll be less likely to damage or split your nails if you use the right tool.

Disinfect toenail clippers by cleaning them with rubbing alcohol before and after use.

Never tear your toenails to trim them.

Trim toenails straight across the width of your toe. Don’t cut your toenails into a curved or v-shape.

Don’t cut your toenails too short – toenails should be even with the tips of your toes. When toenails are clipped extremely short, they have a tendency to grow into the surrounding skin.

2.       Choose the right shoe size & shape

Be sure to choose shoes that are wide enough so they don’t squeeze your toes or push your big toe inward. Shoes that put too much pressure on your toes can cause the toenail to grow into the surrounding tissue.

3.       Avoid tight, restrictive socks & pantyhose

Avoid tight-fitting socks, or wearing pantyhose for long periods of time. This is especially important if you have flat feet, or other foot conditions that cause your foot to overpronate, or roll inward when you walk. This puts more pressure on the side of your toenails and increases the likelihood of an ingrown toenail.

4.       Don’t trim, or pick at toenail cuticles

Many pedicurists automatically trim or cut your cuticles as part of the service. Ask your pedicurist to push back your cuticles instead of cutting them. When doing your pedicure at home, use a moistened orange stick to gently push back cuticles that may be too long. Keeping cuticles intact is important, since they help protect against harmful bacteria and fungus that can cause both a fungal nail infection and lead to the infection of an ingrown toenail.

5.       Protect toes from injury

Always wear shoes when walking around, even at home. If your work puts you at risk of injuring your toes, wear protective footwear like steel-toed shoes. If you have diabetes, check your feet daily for signs of ingrown toenails or other foot problems.

Are you concerned about ingrown toenails? Have you had repeat bouts of ingrown toenails and are at a loss for what to do about them? Contact us today for an appointment and we can help you find the best solutions to get rid of ingrown toenails for good!

Frequently Asked Questions About Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are one of the most common foot conditions that people experience. While it’s not usually a very serious condition, an ingrown toenail can be very painful, uncomfortable and unsightly. If not treated properly, an ingrown toenail can cause infection and other complications. Because ingrown toenails are a concern for many of our patients, we’ve compiled practical information about ingrown toenails into a collection of answers to the most common questions about ingrown toenails. 

Can you get an ingrown toenail on any toe?

Ingrown toenails most commonly occur on the big toes, even though any toe can be affected.

What causes ingrown toenails?

When the edge of a toenail begins growing sideways into the adjacent skin, the nail may cause a break in the skin. The body’s natural immune response treats the invading toenail like a foreign body, causing inflammation. The inflammation often causes more thickening of the nail skin; the protruding piece of nail keeps pushing into the skin, causing further injury and pain. 

When should you see a doctor for an ingrown toenail?

People with diabetes and anyone with a weakened immune system should immediately see a medical professional for an ingrown toenail. For others, ingrown toenails that are very painful, show signs of infection, or do not improve after five to ten days of at-home treatment warrant a trip to the doctor. Signs of infection include swelling, redness, throbbing, and pain or yellow or green drainage.

How can I prevent ingrown toenails?

Properly trimming your toenails and avoiding too tight or ill-fitting shoes are the two main ways to prevent ingrown toenails. Talk with your podiatrist about how to properly groom your toenails and how to select shoes that fit your feet well.

How are ingrown toenails treated?

Mild ingrown toenails can be treated at home with warm foot soaks, avoiding tight or ill-fitting shoes, elevating the foot, using topical antibiotics, and gently pushing back the overgrown skin from the toenail. More serious cases of ingrown toenails with infection may be treated with oral antibiotics. Resistant or recurrent cases of ingrown toenails may be treated with a minor in-office surgical procedure to remove the nail away from surrounding skin. After the procedure, proper wound care is essential to prevent further infection while healing.

Can I just cut out my ingrown toenails at home?

A common foot health myth is that cutting a “v” in the corner of an ingrown toenail will cause the nail to grow in correctly. The fact is that cutting a “v” may actually cause a more serious and painful ingrown toenail. 

What are possible complications of ingrown toenails?

If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can cause deeper infection in the skin and even the underlying bone, leading to a serious bone infection. Complications from ingrown toenails can be more severe for people with diabetes.

If you have more questions about ingrown toenails or if you’re suffering from an ingrown toenail that’s not getting better, make an appointment with us today. We can help you ease the pain and discomfort of ingrown toenails.