Nail Problems

Condition

Condition

Nail Problems

Nail problems such as ingrown toenails, fungal infections, and nail bed injuries can lead to various complications and discomfort. Additionally, untreated nail issues can impact mobility and quality of life, making it essential to address them promptly to prevent further complications and maintain overall foot health.

Nail Problems

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails develop when the corner or edge of a toenail grows into the skin, causing discomfort, inflammation, and the risk of infection. This condition typically affects the big toe but can occur in any toe. Ingrown toenails can range from mild discomfort to severe pain, impacting daily activities and overall foot health.

Causes

Several factors can contribute to the development of ingrown toenails:

  • Improper trimming of toenails, such as cutting them too short or rounding the edges instead of cutting straight across.
  • Wearing tight-fitting shoes or socks that exert pressure on the toes, especially in individuals with wide or curved nails.
  • Trauma or injury to the toe, such as stubbing it against furniture or dropping heavy objects on it.
  • Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to developing ingrown toenails, making them more susceptible to this condition.

Symptoms

Ingrown toenails can cause discomfort and pain, often characterised by symptoms such as:

  • Discomfort and tenderness along the edge of the toenail.
  • Redness and swelling around the affected area.
  • Potential discharge of pus if an infection develops.
  • Increased sensitivity to pressure or touch in the affected toe, making it uncomfortable to wear shoes or walk.
Ingrown Toenails ​

Ingrown Toenail Diagnosis

Diagnosing ingrown toenails usually involves a physical examination of the affected toe by a healthcare professional. Your doctor may also ask about your symptoms and medical history to determine the underlying cause. In some cases, X-rays may be ordered to investigate for any underlying conditions or to assess the extent of any infection.

Ingrown Toenails ​

Ingrown Toenail Treatment

Treating plantar fasciitis involves a combination of methods to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and promote healing.

Non-surgical

For mild cases of ingrown toenails, non-surgical treatments can be effective. These include:

  • Soaking the foot in warm water to soften the nail.
  • Applying antibiotic ointment to treat or prevent infection.
  • Wearing properly fitting shoes that provide ample room for the toes.
  • Avoiding tight socks to alleviate discomfort and prevent further irritation.

Surgical

For more severe cases of ingrown toenails or if an infection is present, surgical treatments may be necessary. These include:

  • Partially removing the nail and tissue: In cases of recurrent or chronic ingrown toenails, surgery may be required to permanently correct the nail shape and prevent future recurrence. This procedure involves removing a portion of the nail and sometimes the underlying tissue to prevent regrowth of the ingrown nail.

Nail Problems

Fungal Infections

Fungal infections occur when fungi invade the toenail or the skin surrounding the nail. These infections can cause discomfort, discoloration, and changes in nail texture.

Causes

Fungal infections can be attributed to various factors that create an ideal environment for fungal growth including: 

  • Poor foot hygiene
  • Wearing sweaty or damp socks and shoes
  • Walking barefoot in public areas 
  • Having a weakened immune system

Symptoms

Symptoms of fungal infections may vary but often include:

  • Thickened nails
  • Discoloration (yellow, brown, or white)
  • Brittle or crumbly nails
  • Distorted nail shape
  • Foul odour
  • Pain or discomfort.
Fungal Infections

Fungal Infection Diagnosis

Diagnosing fungal infections typically involves a physical examination of the affected nail and surrounding skin. In some cases, a nail clipping or scraping may be collected for laboratory analysis to confirm the presence of fungal organisms.

Fungal Infections

Fungal Infection Treatment

Non-surgical

For mild cases of fungal infections, non-surgical treatments can be effective. These include:

  • Antifungal creams or ointments: Over-the-counter or prescription-strength antifungal medications can be applied to the affected area to treat the infection.
  • Oral antifungal medications: In more severe cases or when topical treatments are ineffective, oral antifungal medications may be prescribed by a healthcare professional.

Surgical

For persistent or severe fungal infections, surgical intervention may be necessary. Surgical treatments for fungal infections include:

  • Nail removal: In cases where the infection is limited to the nail bed, partial or complete removal of the affected nail may be recommended to allow for better penetration of antifungal medications.

Nail Problems

Nail Bed Injury

A nail bed injury occurs when the soft tissue beneath the nail, known as the nail bed, sustains trauma or damage. This type of injury can result from various causes, including crushing injuries, lacerations, or blunt force trauma to the fingertip. Nail bed injuries can vary in severity, ranging from minor bruising to more severe damage that may require medical attention.

Causes

This injury can occur due to various factors, including:

  • Direct trauma: Impact or crush injuries to the toe can cause damage to the nail bed.
  • Lacerations: Cuts or tears in the skin around the nail can extend to the underlying nail bed.
  • Avulsion injuries: Forceful removal of the nail from the nail bed, either partially or completely, can result in injury.
  • Crushing injuries: Pinching or crushing of the toe can lead to nail bed trauma.

Symptoms

Symptoms of nail bed injury often include:

  • Pain and tenderness
  • Bleeding
  • Discolouration
  • Nail deformity
  • Difficulty using the affected toe
Nail Bed Injury ​

Nail Bed Injury Diagnosis

Diagnosing a nail bed injury typically involves a comprehensive assessment by a doctor. This assessment may include a physical examination, during which the healthcare provider evaluates the injured area, examining the nail and surrounding tissue for signs of trauma. 

In addition to the physical exam, imaging tests such as X-rays may be ordered to evaluate for underlying fractures or damage to the underlying bone. In some cases, the doctor may need to lift the nail to assess the extent of the injury further and determine the appropriate course of treatment.

Nail Bed Injury

Nail Bed Injury Treatment

Treatment for nail bed injuries depends on the severity and extent of the damage. Common treatment options include:

  • Nail trephination: For blood accumulation beneath the nail, a healthcare provider may perform nail trephination to relieve pressure and prevent further damage.
  • Nail repair: In cases of nail avulsion or lacerations, the nail may need to be reattached or repaired to promote proper healing.
  • Wound care: Keeping the injured area clean and protected can help prevent infection and promote healing.
  • Pain management: Pain relievers may be prescribed or recommended to alleviate discomfort associated with the injury.
  • Surgical intervention: Severe nail bed injuries may require surgical repair or reconstruction to restore function and appearance.

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