When you notice nail problems on your feet, it’s important to take those issues seriously. If untreated, nail fungus or an ingrown toenail can morph into a major problem with long-term consequences. In patients with chronic diseases like diabetes, an ingrown toenail might even lead to amputation if not treated promptly. Tampa Bay Foot and Ankle in St. Petersburg, Florida, can help you avoid the pain and frustration of nail problems. Expert podiatrist Eric Roberts, DPM, FACFAS, AACFAOM, uses the most effective strategies to help you heal fast. Book an appointment online or by phone today.
An ingrown toenail is a nail — typically on a big toe — that curves and grows under the skin surrounding the nail. Ingrown toenails often cause red skin at the corner of the toe, swelling, and pain. If your ingrown toenail gets infected, you may also have fluid drainage and odor coming from the toe.
The main causes of ingrown toenails include trimming your nails the wrong way, wearing shoes that crowd your toes, frequent toe trauma, and heredity.
Toenail fungus is an infection just below your nail surface. Toenail fungus causes symptoms such as toenail darkening or discoloration, thickening, warping, brittleness, flaking, and crumbling.
When your toenails are affected by fungus, they may become challenging to cut. You may also find it too painful to wear shoes that push your toes together if you have nail fungus.
You're more likely to develop nail fungus after trauma to the foot, particularly a nail bed injury like stubbing your toe. If you have systemic disease, like diabetes, you have an increased risk of nail fungus.
At Tampa Bay Foot and Ankle, Dr. Roberts treats nail problems gently but effectively.
Dr. Roberts often begins ingrown toenail treatment by numbing the area so he can safely remove the ingrown part of the nail. You may also need topical treatment to destroy harmful bacteria and kill infection in the area.
Dr. Roberts gives you customized advice to avoid a recurrence, for example, wearing shoes with a bigger toe box and changing the way you trim your nails at home. In mild cases, Dr. Roberts also performs a procedure involving the gentle slanting back of the nail to relieve pressure. In the most severe cases of recurring ingrown toenails, you may need a procedure to permanently remove the section of the nail causing the problem.
Toenail fungus treatment focuses on destroying the fungus to prevent a recurrence. This may include topical and/or oral antifungal drugs, along with surgical removal of your infected nail if necessary.
Toenail fungus can be persistent, so it’s important to talk to Dr. Roberts about preventive care. This generally includes wearing shoes consistently in public places.
Dr. Roberts offers a full range of nail solutions to help you recover. If your nail looks awful and you feel like you need to hide them until you’re fully healed, he may recommend KeryFlex®, a nail restoration system that creates beautiful, healthy-looking nails in just 20 minutes.
Tampa Bay Foot and Ankle is here to solve your nail problems, so reach out by phone or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.