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Family Foot Care & Surgery, LLC

Nail Problems - Treating Your Toes

What do you see when you look down at your bare feet? Ideally you see smooth skin, ten toes, and straight, clear nails. For some people, however, their bare feet are not a pleasant sight. Their nail tissue has become distorted and uncomfortable. That hard keratin is not there just for decoration—it actually helps protect the ends of your toes. Taking care of it is an important part of taking care of your lower limbs. Nail problems can affect both the appearance of your feet and the comfort of your toes if they are not addressed.

Common Concerns

Problems with toenails are fairly common. Your nails protect the ends of your toes, but they can also suffer from injuries and infections. Often the conditions that affect them do not improve without intentional intervention. However, with prompt and experienced treatment, you can deal with an uncomfortable issue before it gets out of hand.

Black Toenails – Darkened toenails are usually the result of trauma to the ends of the toes: either a repeated stubbing over a period of time, or a sudden, sharp injury. The area under the nail bleeds, turning the hard tissue dark. If the blood pools, it can exert a lot of pressure on your nail and make your toe very uncomfortable.

Ingrown Toenails – Toenails are supposed to grow straight forward to the end of the toe. Sometimes, however, the edges curve or grow sideways and pinch or pierce the neighboring skin. The area where the edge of the skin grows over the nail becomes irritated, inflamed, and painful. Without treatment the toe can become infected and develop other complications.

Nail Fungus – Fungus in the environment around you can get underneath your nails and fester there. The resulting infection turns the nail tissue discolored, brittle, thickened, and distorted. As the problem gets worse, it can spread to other toes and the skin around it. This condition does not improve without intentional intervention.

In general, nail problems are uncomfortable and unsightly, but can be treated using mostly conservative measures. Catching the issue before it gets out of hand is the key to a quick recovery. These conditions can provide an opening for potential infections, so they do need to be monitored to avoid complications. Since the tissue is not considered completely recovered until healthy keratin has grown in and pushed out the old, these problems can take a while to heal. However, avoiding the problem gives it a chance to get worse.

Nail problems do not have to keep you from showing off your feet or doing what you enjoy. These conditions can be treated with many different conservative remedies that correct the issue, relieve your discomfort, and get you back to your activities and regular life as quickly as possible. If you’re struggling with uncomfortable or unsightly nails, don’t ignore the problem. Contact Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. for an appointment or more information and take care of your nails today. Visit the online contact page or call either of our two offices to reach us: (203) 876-7736 for the Milford office, or (203) 288-4055 for the Hamden location.

Dr. Sanjay V. Patel
Dr. Patel has over 20 years of experience in the field of podiatric medicine and podiatric surgery.