You spend a lot more time thinking about your toenails when they’re a problem. Podiatric conditions like ingrown toenails and fungal toenail infections are common, can cause pain, and might make you feel self-conscious about your feet. Board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Queen Mbanuzue offers expert treatments for a variety of toenail conditions at In Step Podiatry in Bowie, Maryland. If you’re in and around the Washington, DC, Metro area, call or schedule a consultation online today.
An ingrown toenail develops when your nail curves and grows into the flesh of your toe instead of straight out. Ingrown toenails are usually painful and can become infected without treatment. This podiatric condition is most likely to occur on your big toe but can present on any toe.
Ingrown toenails develop because of incorrectly cut toenails and excess pressure on your toes from ill-fitting shoes. To cut your toenails correctly, Dr. Mbanuzue recommends trimming them straight across — the edge of your toenail should be even with the tip of your toe.
If your shoes are too tight or you’re an athlete who spends a lot of time running, pressure from your shoes compresses your toenails and can force your nails to curve into your toes.
If you have an ingrown toenail, your scheduled visit with Dr. Mbanuzue to address an ingrown toenail is likely to include the following steps. First, she first thoroughly numbs your toe with a local anesthetic. Then, she cuts away the part of your toe growing abnormally. Next, she applies medication and carefully bandages your toe.
You can usually return to your activities within a few days.
Fungal toenail infections develop when a fungus enters your toenail through a microscopic injury in the nail. The fungus thrives in a warm and moist environment and slowly takes over your toenail. You’re likely to initially pick up a fungal infection at a public pool or shower, where folks are barefoot, and there’s plenty of warmth and moisture.
Signs that you have a fungal toenail infection include:
Fungal toenail infections aren’t usually painful, but you may experience pain from pressure on your thickened nail, and untreated infections are likely to spread to other toenails.
Dr. Mbanuzue offers customized treatment to clear fungal toenail infections that may feature one or more of the following:
She also provides you with advice on keeping your feet clean and dry, so you reduce your risk of the infection spreading.
If you think you have a toenail infection, an ingrown toenail, or have other problems with your toenails, call or make an appointment online today at In Step Podiatry.