Podiatry Team’s Best Summertime Advice for Families

Podiatry Team’s Best Summertime Advice for FamiliesBefore long, everyone will likely be running off to the beach or some great, vacation destination. And we know that means there will be a lot of bare feet on display. Although it is fun to bare it all from time to time, it can also create podiatry problems for men, women and children. So we wanted to help families out by sharing our podiatry team’s best summertime tips:

Don’t forget about what may be lurking on or just underground. After all, in the summertime, it is common to encounter more than just a stray pop-top or foot fungus. There are fire ants, ground dwelling bees, splintered wood and other things out there that can hurt a person’s feet too. With that said, try to keep those summer shoes or sandals on no matter how inviting the alternatives.

Do make it a point to examine the feet of every family member in your household at least once a week. Look for signs of problems, both big and small. And while you’re at it take the time to trim up those toenails as well. It will help keep infections, odors and ingrown toenails at bay.

Don’t let the kids convince you that a dip in the swimming pool before bed is enough to clean off those sweaty feet. Make sure that everyone washes their feet with antibacterial soap right before bed and never wears dirty socks in lieu of clean ones. Otherwise, they may just end up with more than stinky, filthy bed sheets.

Do choose everyone’s summer footwear wisely and don’t let them live in one pair of shoes alone. For example, avoid gladiator sandals and shoes that will make their feet sweat. Ask them to wear breathable footwear and switch out pairs every few days or so.

And finally, if you would you like more summertime podiatry advice, please contact us today. Our podiatrists would be more than happy to oblige.

Ingrown Toenails: A Painful Byproduct of Spring Beauty Treatments and Shoes

Ingrown Toenails: A Painful Byproduct of Spring Beauty Treatments and ShoesAs the weather warms up and open-toed shoes start to make their annual appearance, it’s common for incidents of ingrown toenails to go on the rise. The reason is most cases of ingrown toenails may be traced back to improper pedicures, ill-fitting shoes and toenail injuries.

Understandably, all of those things have a tendency to occur more often when our feet are exposed or overly pampered in anticipation of going barefoot. For example, we may cut our nails too short or stub our toes on the boardwalk during a trip to the beach.The good news is ingrown toenails, though painful, may be successfully treated.

First, consider switching footwear and soaking your feet in a daily Epsom® salt bath. All you need is a large, square wash basin filled with room or warm temperature water and 8 ounces of Epsom® salt. Stir the salt into the water and let your feet soak for 15 to 30-minutes.

The sulfate inherent in the salt will help reduce the swelling. If you are worried about drying out your skin, you may want to try making an Epsom® salt paste for your injured toe instead. Generally a teaspoon of salt and a half teaspoon of water will do.

When you’re finished, wash and dry your feet. Then apply a topical antiseptic or antibiotic to the area to help combat infection. If the toe remains inflamed and appears to be infected, don’t delay. Set up an appointment with a podiatrist. A podiatrist can help professionally treat the infection and take direct steps to lift or remove nail and tissue.

Removing nail and tissue will help relieve the pressure and make effectively treating the infected nail bed easier. However, it must be done by a professional. Otherwise, the situation could worsen dramatically. To learn more about ingrown toenails, please reach out to one of the podiatrists listed in our online directory.

Ingrown Toenail Removal: A Problem Best Left to Podiatrists

Treatment for Ingrown ToenailsIf you are in your 30s or 40s, there is a good chance that there was at least one person in your family that insisted on curing everything with hand-me-down home remedies. Maybe it was a grandmother, auntie, uncle or grandpa. Either way, you’ve probably figured out by now that some medical conditions are best treated by professionals. Such is the case with ingrown toenails. They more often than not require the services of a podiatrist well versed in ingrown toenail removal.

Washington Podiatrists often recommend ingrown toenail removal to ensure that any infection and pain associated from the condition do not spread. That’s because all licensed podiatrists know that if the infection does succeed in spreading to other areas of the body, it could prove to be life altering or life threatening for the patient. Therefore, as soon as you notice the signs of an ingrown toenail, we recommend that you call and make an appointment to be seen by a well-respected podiatrist.

In most instances, the podiatrist will treat the infection first. Otherwise, the removal process could make it much easier for the bacteria associated with the infection to enter the bloodstream and spread rather rapidly. Once the infection is taken care of, the podiatrist may proceed with full or partial nail and tissue removal.

This is often done with the aid of a localized anesthetic and generally takes place in the podiatrist’s office. However, in severe cases where the infection has caused the surrounding tissue to become necrotic, the podiatrist may suggest that general anesthesia be used. In those scenarios, the ingrown toenail removal is typically completed in a hospital setting.

The methods used to actually separate the offending nail and tissue from the patient’s otherwise healthy foot are quite diverse. They include, but are not limited to, the use of lasers and surgical knives. Recovery times will vary based on the surgical method used, the extent of the damage involved and the patient’s comorbidities. The patient’s willingness and ability to follow the podiatrist’s post-surgical care recommendations will obviously play a role in the recovery process too.

Ingrown Toenail: Causes and Removal

Treatment for Ingrown ToenailsAn ingrown toenail occurs when the edges of the nail become embedded in the surrounding soft tissue. As the nail grows, it grows adjacent to the skin, causing recurring pain. Ingrown toenails are a common condition, but it can sometimes lead to infection if not dealt with promptly. Usually the big toenail is most susceptible to becoming ingrown, but it can also happen with other toes. Most ingrown toenails can be treated at home with relative ease, but if the pain is chronic or if the problem persists, then it is advised that you visit your St. Louis podiatrist to intervene. Individuals who suffer from diabetes also have a higher susceptibility to infections and other complications.

What Causes Ingrown Toenails to Happen? Shoes can cause ingrown toenails. Footwear that has a particularly closed or pointed tip can cause crowding of the toenails. Women who wear high heels also have a proclivity of ingrown toenails. Not only are shoes a possible culprit, but tight fitting socks can also cause ingrown nails. Injury inflicted on the toenail can also cause the nail to grow in different directions, causing the nail to become embedded.

Ingrown Toenail Removal: Soak the affected foot in an Epsom salt solution. The Epsom salt will not only soften the toenail and the surrounding skin, but it can also relieve any inflammation that may be present. You can also drop a few parsley leaves into the water. Parsley offers a bit of a cooling sensation to the Epsom salt solution. Soak the problem foot for about 20 to 30 minutes to thoroughly soften the area. You will find that the nail and skin will become more pliable. Using a small pair of tweezers, lift the embedded nail from the skin. You will only have to lift the toenail a couple of millimeters. The area will probably be too small for you to use a nail clipper on. Using a Q-tip, insert a small piece of sterile gauze right underneath the embedded nail. Release the nail, allowing the nail to rest on the piece of gauze instead of it continuing to dig into the skin. You can then go ahead and wrap the area with a bandage. Over time, this will allow the toenail to redirect its growth pattern. Instead of going into the skin, the nail will continue to grow in one direction. Within a week or two, the toenail should be healed enough to be removed with nail clippers.

Note: We highly recommend visiting your St. Louis ingrown toenail specialist and having your foot problem professionally handled.

Ingrown Toenails Need Not Make You Groan

Treatment for Ingrown ToenailsIngrown toenails curve and grow into the skin. This can create pain, redness and swelling in the toe. As long as no infection is apparent and you do not have a high risk medical condition (diabetes, nerve damage or poor circulation) ingrown toenails can initially be treated at home.

Home Treatment

  • Soak toe in room temperature water and gently massage the nail fold to relieve inflammation
  • Wear properly fitting footwear
  • Avoid activities that involve repeated pressure on the toes such as kicking or running
  • Do not attempt “bathroom surgery” by clipping, gouging or picking at the nail or skin

If ingrown toenails fail to improve or become infected, it is time to seek treatment from a Missouri podiatrist.

Podiatric Treatment

  • Oral antibiotics may be prescribed to treat infection
  • A minor surgical procedure can be performed in the office to remove the ingrown toenail – this involves applying a local anesthetic and removing the nail’s side border and possibly the nail root
  • After care involves keeping the bandage clean and dry and completing any course of medication prescribed

Although ingrown toenail removal may seem daunting, with proper aftercare, some people resume normal activity within 24 hours and experience little to no post operative pain. As with any potentially painful ailment, prevention is always the best policy. There are a few simple things you can do to avoid ingrown toenails.

Prevention

  • Cut toenails in a straight line
  • Leave enough length that you are able to get your fingernail under the end of the nail
  • Avoid shoes that are too short, tight or loose in the toe area
  • Most importantly, see a Missouri foot doctor for regular foot care

Don’t wait until you have a problem. Your feet are one of the most important and overlooked parts of your body. Give them the attention they deserve and they will be happy feet!