Ingrown toenails are painful and can lead to infection. Toenail Fungus is an infection and can be unsightly, painful, and make the nail difficult to cut. Dr. David Erman offers quick and effective treatments for Ingrown Toenails and Toenail Fungus from his practice located in East Windsor, NJ. You can call or request an appointment online today.
Ingrown Toenail Q & A
Q: What are ingrown toenails?
A: An ingrown toenail is a common condition typically affecting the great toe, in which the corner or side of the nail becomes turned inward and grows into the skin and soft flesh of the toe. This results in irritation of the surrounding soft tissue, often causing pain, redness, swelling, warmth, and sometimes and infection. Dr. David Erman specializes in the treatment of recurring and severe ingrown toenails and also specializes in performing ingrown toenail surgery when necessary. All treatments are performed in the comfort of our East Windsor office.
Q: What causes ingrown toenails?
A: Common causes of ingrown toenails include the following:
- Genetic inheritance for turned in toenails and/ or thickened soft tissue surrounding nail borders
- Injury to your toenail
- Improper trimming of your nails too short or not straight across
- Wearing tight shoes and/or socks that crowd your toenails
- Pathological nail conditions such as fungal infections
Q: What complications can an ingrown toenail cause?
A: Early and mild ingrown nails are slightly painful and red. More severe cases result in red, swollen nail borders, which may lead to the formation of a yellow or white discharge from the affected area. If left untreated or undetected, an ingrown toenail can infect the underlying bone and lead to a serious and dangerous bone infection.
Q: What treatments are there for ingrown toenails?
A: Home treatment is strongly discouraged if an infection is suspected, or if you suffer from medical conditions that put your feet at high risk, such as diabetes, nerve damage, or poor circulation. Make sure to visit Dr. Erman to ensure the right treatment is provided to you.
When you visit Dr. Erman, he will first examine your toe and select the treatment best suited for you.
In order to relieve your pain, Dr. Erman will make your toe numb by using a cold spray or by giving an injection into the area. He will then cut the toenail and remove the portion of the toenail which is growing into the skin. This process will alleviate the pressure on the irritated skin around the toenail and make you feel better. Sometimes you may need topical or oral antibiotic medicine to help the area heal.
If you have a chronic ingrown nail problem, Dr. Erman may recommend a procedure which would chemically cauterize the underlying nail root to prevent that portion of the nail from growing back. Healing time may take up to three weeks, but most people experience very little pain after this procedure and may resume most normal activities the next day.
Nail Fungus Q & A
Q: What is nail fungus?
A: Nail fungus is a condition that occurs when a microscopic fungus enters one or more nails. This condition often begins as an infection in the skin called Tinea Pedis, which is commonly referred to as Athlete’s Foot. As the nail fungus penetrates deeper into the nail, it may cause the nail to discolor, thicken, and develop crumbling edges. This can be an unsightly and potentially painful problem.
Q: What causes nail fungus?
A: Nail fungus may be caused by: dermatophytes (organisms that feed on dead skin and nails), Candida (a classification of yeast), and mold. These microscopic organisms typically thrive in dark, warm, and moist environments. The insides of shoes are a perfect environment to harbor fungal organisms.
Q: How do you treat nail fungus?
A: The feet are more often neglected in personal grooming than other parts of the body, thus regular preventative care should be taken as part of one's daily regimen.
- It is important to wash your feet regularly and dry them thoroughly after bathing.
- Keep your nails dry, short, and clean.
- Avoid walking barefoot in public places such as communal bathing facilities and pools.
- If you sweat excessively change your socks often.
- Use an antifungal spray or powder on your feet and the inside of your shoes.
Dr. Erman will properly diagnose the cause of your toenail problems. Treatment of your condition will then depend on the type of organism causing the infection, severity of the infection, and your overall health status.
Dr. Erman will initially remove as much of the affected nails as possible by trimming, filing, and mechanically debriding the nail to a more normal thickness and appearance. Topical antifungal medication may be prescribed to treat the fungal infection. Prescription oral antifungal medications may be prescribed for a more serious infection.
Dr. Erman may recommend frequent and regular trimming of your toenails in order to monitor their growth and keep them healthy. Fungal toenails can be difficult to treat. Although we strive for a 100% cure of toenail fungus infections, not all patients will achieve this goal.