Ingrown Toenail Treatment in Guelph & Milton
Do you have a swollen, red, painful toenail? Is your toenail oozing with pus? It’s likely an infected ingrown toenail.
Ingrown toenails are caused by impingement of the skin along the edge of the nail by the nail plate. Some ingrown toenails are chronic, with repeated episodes of pain and infection. Pain can be present without infection, and occasionally infection is present without pain.
An ingrown toenail results in pain along the edge of the toenail. It is often aggravated by wearing shoes, particularly those with narrow toes. The toe may be sensitive to any pressure, even the weight of bed sheets might hurt. There may be signs of infection and drainage of pus or a watery discharged tinged with blood.
Ingrown toenails are a common foot problem treated by Chiropodists and Podiatrists.
What Causes An Ingrown Toenail?
Ingrown toenails are often caused by genetic predispositions. However, ingrown toenails may also develop for the following reasons:
- Improper trimming of toenails
- Tight fitting shoes which compress the toes together
- Hose or socks that are too tight
- Abnormally shaped nail plate
- Other toenail deformities (ie. excessively thick nail plate)
- Trauma to the nail plate or toe
Ingrown toenails can be very painful, causing people to limit their activity to keep off their sore feet.
Signs Of An Infected Ingrown Toenail
- Redness (erythema)
- Increased warmth
- An infected ingrown nail requires prompt professional attention. Contact us at Custom Foot Clinic immediately.
Complications of Having an Ingrown Toenail
- Infection, if present, may spread to the foot and leg, or into the blood stream.
- Loss of nail plate from infection or inflammation of the nail bed.
- Chronic ingrown nails can cause deformity of the nail plate and/or surrounding soft tissues.
- A small benign tumor called a granuloma can form along the nail margin.
- Diabetics and those with poor circulation to the feet must never attempt to treat an ingrown toenail at home. Consult with a chiropodist, podiatrist or physician immediately.
Ingrown Toenail Treatment
Patients who suffer from ingrown toenails often require regular foot care by a Chiropodist or Podiatrist. Chronic curved and ingrown toenails are painful and can greatly affect your quality of life.
There is a wide variance in the severity of ingrown nails, and for this reason, there is a wide range of treatment options. These range from simple warm saltwater soaks, to nail packing, nail removal or a toenail brace. An ingrown toenail brace is applied to the toenail to slightly lift the edge so that the curved edge may grow out straight.
If the ingrown toenail is chronic and unstable, surgical removal may be necessary.
To avoid unpleasant surgical interventions, Chiropodists and Podiatrists try many other options first.
Ingrown Toenail Brace
Corrective nail braces are medical devices, similar to dental braces which use tension to exert a change in tissues. The application of a custom nail brace takes only a few minutes, and can fully fix problems with your toenails. Within a certain time after the application of nail braces, the treated nail is often completely straightened.
The active adhesive brace we use in our clinic is an innovative treatment for ingrown or involuted toenails.
Toenail braces are suitable almost for everybody including kids and diabetics. This is an ideal treatment for patients where surgery is not a good alternative, and simply those that wish to avoid surgery. With this simple method, you can often avoid surgical interventions. The results are visible in a short time and are generally completely painless.
The nail adhesive brace immediately adjusts to individual shapes of nails and therefore helps to relieve patients´discomfort in a majority of cases. The application only takes about 10 minutes, and most people experience no discomfort. Another advantage, unlike surgery, is that this treatment does not bring any restrictions on your life. This means no days off work, sports or swimming.
Ingrown Toenail Surgery
If the ingrown is chronic, some patients may require a partial nail avulsion procedure. This procedure removes the curved border of the nail and kills the root in the area.
This procedure is often painless as the toe is put “to sleep” with a local anesthetic agent. There is usually minimal post-operative discomfort. In fact, many patients indicate they immediate feel relief.
The wound heals in about four to six weeks. During this period it is simply dressed with topical antibiotics and gauze dressings. After healing, the nail is normal in appearance, somewhat more narrow than before.
How Do You Prevent Ingrown Toenails?
- Cut toenail straight across, and leave it slightly longer then the end of the toe.
- Avoid tight fitting foot wear.
- If discomfort develops try soaking the foot in a basin of warm water two or three times a day.
- If you have diabetes or poor circulation, water on your feet should never be more than 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
Trina Scarrow, BSc, DCh, is a Registered Chiropodist and Foot Specialist who has been helping patients for over 20 years.
Chiropodists and Podiatrists are the only regulated health professionals who specialize in treating conditions of the foot. In Ontario, there are 600 Registered Chiropodists and only 60 Podiatrists.
Chiropodists today must complete 7 years of post-secondary education before they get their professional designation. Chiropodists do complete case management of almost foot problems, including assessment, treatment and ongoing care.
Chiropodist Trina Scarrow, BSc, DCh treating a patient with foot pain, improving proper foot functioning and overall well-being.
I provide a full assessment, biomechanical exams and gait analysis. I will be able to help address your foot discomfort with a variety of techniques including foot care treatment, custom orthotics, orthopaedic shoes, medication, laser or physical therapy.
I can help get your feet functioning better so you can feel better. Contact me today.