This Little Piggy Went to the Podiatrist
Your toenails are quite literally the furthest thing on your body from your brain. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be top of mind when considering proper care though. Your toenails can be little beacons, pointing to larger health issues in your feet if you learn to properly read them. Keeping them in your mental checklist to account for any change in texture, color, or anything else noticeable can help avoid complications.
There are two specific issues you should check for regularly that we often see in our office: fungus and ingrown toenails. Read on for more information:
- Toenail fungus– A thickened, yellowing, brittle toenail is likely dealing with a fungal infection. The fungi that affect our nails are the same ones that cover our feet in nasty athlete’s foot. And just like athlete’s foot, this fungus can be contracted in public places like pools, gyms, and showers. Toenail fungus thrives and grows in warm, moist environments – including inside wet shoes. The nail fungus grows underneath the toenail itself and can often grow upwards, cracking the nailbed and leading to great pain. It can be tough to treat and often needs aggressive professional treatments. People who attempt at-home treatments often end up with repeat fungal growths in just a few weeks. Call your podiatrist if you notice an onset of fungal nails!
- Ingrown toenails– This painful condition is caused by toenails that are cut too short or incorrectly rounded off at the corners, allowing the nail’s edge to grow directly into the skin. You’ll notice a lot of pain, swelling, and potentially a nasty infection in the soft tissue. An infection can worsen over time and even spread to the bone, which can be a huge issue for diabetic patients. Wounds in diabetic patients are one of the number one causes for amputation of lower extremities. Cut your nails properly and check your feet daily to prevent this issue!
If you’re dealing with any toenail issues or if there’s anything going on in your feet or ankles, check in with our podiatry office as soon as you can. Here at Bay Podiatry Associates, our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Argirios Mantzoukas, can ensure great foot and ankle health and help you get back on your feet. To schedule an appointment, give us a call today at (718) 266-1986.