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Toenail terrors: simple fixes for your toenail problems

3 Dec 2015 11:50 AM -
Fungal nails
Fungal infected nails can be unsightly and embarrassing, especially when summer rolls around and you want to break out your sandals. 

When nails are infected with a fungus the nail tends to look yellow, white or black and sometimes the nail can become thick and lift up and separate from the toe. The infected part of the nail may also appear to “crumble” or breakdown. The infection can also spread to your skin causing tinea which we know can be really uncomfortable and not to mention itchy! 

It can be a tough infection to get rid of because of its location under the nail and because most over the counter treatments don’t work. The condition, called onychomycosis, is a very common problem. It can affect anyone, but is more common amongst the elderly, people with suppressed immune systems and certain medical conditions like diabetes.    

Our podiatrists can identify the issue and advise you on the best treatment options, how to prevent re-infection to yourself and the infection spreading to family members. 

Don’t waste money on over the counter treatments, if you are concerned that you may have a fungal infection in your nails speak to our qualified podiatrists and get professional help with proven results! 

Ingrown toenails
We know ingrown toenails are very painful and our podiatrists treat ingrown toenails on a daily basis. The two main types of ingrown toenails we see are:
• Nails which are curly at the sides and are pressing on the skin causing pain, pressure, callus and corns down the side of the nail. These ingrown nails are very painful and can be dangerous in people with reduced blood supply such as smokers and diabetics. They are quite simple to treat however. 
• Nails which are penetrating through the skin, causing a bacterial infection as well as weeping, pus and pain. These types of ingrown nails can be dangerous for anyone. Left for too long without treatment they can cause infections in the skin and bone. 

The great news is that our podiatrists treat ingrown toenails regularly and they’re fully trained and qualified to treat you and relive your pain. Treatment is simple, generally pain free and can be performed in our rooms. Some patients need a simple non-surgical clearing of the nail; others require a minor surgical procedure called a partial nail avulsion. This procedure is performed under sterile conditions with local anesthetic and is designed to permanently resolve your ingrowing nail. After any of these procedures it is generally expected that you can drive and return to school/work without inconvenience. Pain is generally minimal if any for most people. 

If you are concerned that you may have an ingrown toenail speak to our qualified professional podiatrists and they will point you (and your toenails!) in the right direction. 

Toenail trauma
If you’ve dropped something heavy on your foot or kicked your toes, or even from friction thanks to wearing the wrong shoes you might end up with blood trapped beneath the toenail. It can look red, black or purple and is called a ‘subungual hematoma’. 

If there is a large amount of blood under the nail it may fall off, but often the nail stays intact and the blood fades over time. If the subungual hematoma is causing pain you may need medical treatment to relieve the pressure under your nail. 

You should of course seek treatment if you’re in pain but also if there is any discharge from under the toenail, if the nail becomes loose, if you have a condition which effect circulation like diabetes or if you are concerned about the damaged nail.

Want healthy looking nails? Call us on 02 6925 8637 and make an appointment with an Active Foot Clinic podiatrist today!