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Toenails serve an important purpose, which is to protect your toes. Did you know that the same protein that makes up your skin and hair makes up your fingernails and toenails. That protein is called keratin. It’s what makes them strong to deal with daily physical activity, heat, and moisture that a person subjects their feet too. Pain, itching, and discoloration are just some of the signs of toenail problems.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown nails, the most common nail impairment, are nails whose corners or sides dig painfully into the soft tissue of nail grooves. Usually, toenails grow straight out. Sometimes, however, one or both corners or sides curve and grow into the flesh. The big toe is the most common location for this condition, but other toes can also become affected.

Ingrown toenails may be caused by the following:

  • Improperly trimmed nails
  • Heredity
  • Shoe pressure, crowding of toes
  • Repeated trauma to the feet from normal activities

The following symptoms may be present with ingrown toenails:

  • Pain
  • Redness and swelling
  • Drainage
  • Odor
  • Prominent skin tissue

A podiatrist will remove the ingrown portion of the nail and if there is an infection, may prescribe a topical or oral medication. If ingrown nails are a chronic problem, your podiatrist can perform a procedure to permanently prevent ingrown nails. The corner of the nail that ingrows, along with the matrix or root of that piece of nail, is removed by the use of chemical treatment.

Toenail Fungus

Nail fungus is a common condition that begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. As the fungal infection goes deeper, nail fungus may cause your nail to discolor, thicken and crumble at the edge. It can affect several nails.

Fungal nail infections are caused by various fungal organisms (fungi). The most common cause is a type of fungus called dermatophyte. Yeast and molds also can cause nail infections.

Fungal nail infection can develop in people at any age, but it’s more common in older adults. As the nail ages, it can become brittle and dry. The resulting cracks in the nails allow fungi to enter. Other factors such as reduced blood circulation to the feet and a weakened immune system also may play a role.

A podiatrist can detect a fungal infection early and form a suitable treatment plan, which may include prescribing topical or oral medication, and debridement (removal of diseased nail matter and debris) of an infected nail.

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Appleton: 920-731-1999 | Berlin: 920-361-6385
  • Disclaimer*

    We will get back to you within a 24 Hour period or next business day. In case of urgent matter or Appointment Cancellation, calling us directly is the best option as we may not get the alert in time.

Get Relief for Your Feet at Our Appleton, WI office.