Posts for category: Toenail
What causes ingrown toenails?
- Genetics: Sometimes ingrown toenails are hereditary. This is often seen on both feet simultaneously in pre-teens and teenagers.
- Cutting toenails improperly: Cutting toenails too short or curving the corners of toenails increases the risk that the adjacent skin will grow over the edge of your toenail.
- Tight shoes: Direct pressure can push the skin into the toenail.
- Injury: If your toenail falls off, the new nail to follow may grow curved and become ingrown. This is a common cause for runners and other athletes.
- Disease: Fungal infection can distort a toenail and cause future problems. Diabetics and those with compromised blood flow or immune systems are at particular risk for more serious infections.
Ingrown toenails usually occur on the big toes, but can develop on smaller toes as well. As the toenail grows into the skin, it can cause pain and eventually lead to a bacterial infection with pus.
Ideally, toenails should be trimmed straight across. Wearing well-fitting shoes that do not squeeze or put pressure on toes. Anyone that has suffered from an ingrown toenail would agree that taking prevention is worth the effort.
If you have an ingrown toenail, painful or not, you should treat them sooner than later. Schedule an appointment with experienced podiatrist Dr. Steven Miller by calling (847) 675-3400 or clicking here to find relief.
The most common cause of black toenails among runners is bruising (bleeding) under the nail. Repetitive trauma of the shoe bumping the toenail can also cause the nail to thicken.
If the nail became suddenly painful, a podiatrist may need to puncture the nail to release the blood and ease the pressure. This is often the result of trauma, such as being stepped on or dropping a heavy object on the toe.
A fungal infection can discolor and thicken toenails. Treatment options include oral and topical medication. The two newest topical prescription medications are Jublia and Kerydin. Testing the nail can often identify the causative organism.
Most concerning, a black spot under or in a nail that does not go away can be a melanoma (skin cancer). Please have a podiatrist check it. A biopsy may be needed. The famous reggae singer and musician Bob Marley died from melanoma that started in a toenail.
At Skokie Foot and Ankle Specialists we provide attentive care and are trained to perform these tests, usually in our office. If you have any concerns regarding the appearance of your nails, we urge you to call us at (847) 675-3400 or click here for an appointment.