Newcomers to the world of podiatry might wonder whether ingrown toenails are, in fact, different from a toenail fungus. Despite their similarities and the fact that both conditions impact the toenails of the feet, they are two distinct conditions of the foot. An ingrown toenail is a condition that develops when the side of the toenail essentially grows into the skin surrounding the nail, producing redness and inflammation. Toenail fungus, however, is a fungal infection where the texture and quality of the nail itself are impaired. Individuals with toenail fungus might notice that their nail has become brittle in texture or yellow in color. If you want to learn more about the differences between these two distinct foot conditions or are seeking treatment, it is suggested that you contact a podiatrist today.
Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Todd A. Bell, DPM of Connecticut. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.
- Bacterial infections
- Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
- Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
- Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
- Genetic predisposition
Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.
Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Bloomfield, CT . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.