Foot & Ankle Procedures & Services

Athlete’s Foot, Toenail Fungus and Ingrown Toenails

Athlete’s foot:
You do not have to be a member of a sports team to get athlete’s foot. In fact you don’t even have to play a sport. The condition itself usually results from an overgrowth of a particular fungus organism. In most cases, the areas between the toes and the arch of the foot are most often involved. There is some confusion as to how this skin condition can be transmitted but at the present time, the consensus of opinion is that there is some type of contagious capacity. In short, you might be able to catch it from the next guy or gal, so watch your barefoot walking! Got that rash that doesn’t go away with moisturizers? Call us today at (609) 512-1126.

Toenail Fungus:
These infections may start out as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your toenail. As the nail fungus spreads deeper into your nail, your nail may discolor, thicken and develop crumbling edges, causing an unsightly and potentially painful problem. These infections should be treated as soon as possible. If left untreated, they can lead to other serious conditions.

Fungal Nails Q&A
What causes fungal nails?
Medically known as onychomycosis, fungal nails are an infection that develops under the surface of your nail bed. Fungi thrive in warm, dark, moist environments. Your chances of developing fungal nails increases if you:
• Walk barefoot in a damp communal area, like a gym locker room
• Have poor circulation, possibly from diabetes
• Have a history of fungal nails or athlete’s foot
The fungal organisms can quickly multiply, causing one or more of your toenails to thicken, chip away, darken or become yellow, or even start producing a foul odor. Without proper treatment, your fungal nail infection can become so severe comfortably wearing shoes becomes increasingly difficult.

How are fungal nails treated?
Because the fungi that cause fungal nail infections can be stubborn, it’s best to have your infection treated by a podiatrist. The team at Complete Foot & Ankle Specialty may use any of the following solutions to stop the fungal infection and promote healthy nail growth.
• Oral antifungal drugs
• Topical antifungal creams
• Medicated nail polish and foot soaks
In severe cases, it’s sometimes best to remove your affected nails through an in-office surgery. This type of procedure allows your podiatrist to treat underlying skin tissue directly, which is often most helpful for fungal infections that don’t respond to conservative therapies. Over time, a healthy nail grows back.

Can I prevent fungal nails?
It’s impossible to prevent every case of fungal nails, but with a few simple lifestyle changes and counseling from the team at Complete Foot & Ankle Specialty, you can certainly dramatically reduce your risk. Preventing fungal nails involves:
• Keeping your feet clean and dry
• Wearing breathable socks and shoes
• Avoiding sharing socks and shoes
• Disinfecting your pedicure tools and nail clippers
• Wearing shoes or flip-flops in communal areas
Your dedicated podiatrist at Complete Foot & Ankle Specialty spends time with you trying to determine why you have fungal nails, so you can work together to prevent future issues and keep your toenails healthy and strong.

Book your fungal nails evaluation and get started on treatment at Complete Foot & Ankle Specialty today.

Ingrown Toenails:
Ingrown toenails can occur in anyone but are very common in young children. Often, this indicates a genetic predisposition toward the condition, and the problem will keep coming back if not addressed properly. Fortunately, ingrown toenail removal is almost always a simple, one-day, in-office procedure, and partial removal of the nail matrix ensures that the ingrown part of the nail will not grow back.

What Causes Ingrown Toenails?
The most common contributing causes may include:
• Genetics. Unfortunately, some people are especially prone to developing ingrown toenails due to inherited traits. This might be the case if your nails are especially curved. Those who suffer from ingrown toenails frequently, or from an early age, may fall into this category.
• Poor nail trimming. If you cut your nails too short—especially at the corners—you are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail. Cut straight across, with a little length left on the end.
• Tight footwear. When you crowd the front of your feet in shoes that are too short or too narrow, the pressure can push your nails downward and sideways into the surrounding skin.
• Injuries. The ingrown toenail might be the result of a traumatic injury (e.g., stubbing your toe against a table leg) or chronic overuse (e.g., kicking soccer balls).

Ingrown Toenail Treatment Procedures
If there is already a serious infection, it may be necessary to deal with that first. You might have to be on antibiotics for a week or two before the removal procedure. Most cases, however, can be treated right from the office during the same initial appointment. We’ll provide a local anesthetic and gently remove the ingrown edge of the toenail. There should be minimal if any pain as a result of this procedure. The relief you feel afterward is incredible! Typically, we will also remove part of the nail matrix (the tissue responsible for growing new nail) using a chemical agent. This prevents the ingrown toenail from returning—and since only the edge of the nail matrix needs to be removed, the rest of the nail should still look quite natural. Although this procedure is option, we highly recommend it for most patients, especially young children. Why risk going through the pain again and again when you don’t have to?


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