Should Your Podiatrist Cut In?
Toenails have the basic function of protecting the tips of the very sensitive toes. At the same time, nails are prone to injury, infection, and irregular growth. While some of these conditions are treatable at home, there are times when a podiatrist can help. A podiatrist deals with issues involving the feet and lower legs. From time to time, these specialists perform nail excisions. Here are 5 reasons why a podiatrist needs to cut in.
1. Chronic pain and tenderness
The pain can sometimes feel unbearable after stubbing the toe or noticing an ingrown nail. This pain can make walking or wearing shoes difficult. There are several over-the-counter remedies for toenails, but medical attention is necessary if the pain is consistent. Chronic pain and tenderness can accompany numbness and tingling. If there is an open wound, pus, or placing pressure on the foot is hard, nail excision may help.
2. Chronic redness or swelling
Acute paronychia is an infection around a toenail following an injury. Bacteria enter the broken skin causing an inflammatory response. This infection causes the skin surrounding the toenails to become red and painful, and blisters with pus can form. Antifungal medication or antibiotics such as amoxicillin can also be used as treatment. However, if these fail, visit the podiatrist again to discuss surgery.
3. Repeated infections of the tissue
Antifungal and antibiotic treatment helps in most infection, fungus, and injury cases. However, nail fungus and infections can be reoccurring issues. Wearing tight shoes, walking barefoot in wet environments, and a compromised immune system can cause repeated infections. Visiting or treating multiple infections in one year can signal the need to remove
4. Severe injury or bruising
Bruised, damaged toenails are common when a heavy object hits the toe. The nail can change color, which is a sign of bleeding under the nail bed. The more blood under the nail, the more unbearable the pain. The podiatrist may need to cut part or all the nail to reduce the pain. In some cases, the toenail may stop growing and fall off.
5. Beware ingrown toenails
Ingrown toenails are one of the most common causes of nail pain. Ingrown toenails are nails that curve inward from the sides. This disorder can harm toenails and is often caused by wearing tight shoes and incorrect nail trimming. Trimming nails too short can cause problems, as the nail regrows into the toe’s fleshy area. This abnormal growth causes pain or even infection. The podiatrist will need to remove the nail and nail matrix.
Call on your podiatrist
For chronic pain, inflammation, and signs of injury or infection, see a podiatrist immediately. Toenail conditions are easily ignored but can become more serious if left untreated. If the doctor deems necessary, a nail excision can remove the pesky nail. This should bring much-needed comfort, especially when combined with preventative measures.