Ingrown toenails can be painful and problematic, but podiatrists have the tools and expertise in podiatry to treat them effectively.
To get your foot and toe back to good health, you may need a few different treatments. Here are four ways your podiatrist can help with ingrown toenails:
1. Your Podiatrist Can Treat Them With Medication
A common podiatry treatment for ingrown toenails is medication to relieve pain, reduce swelling, and speed healing time. The most common medications used by podiatrists include topical antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids that reduce inflammation around the nail bed. These drugs may be applied directly onto the toe or taken orally (in pill form). Chat with your doctor to determine which medications are best for you.
2. Your Podiatrist Can Reduce Pressure On The Skin Around The Nail
If medications do not work well on their own, your podiatrist may file down the edge of your ingrown nail so that it no longer touches skin when walking or moving around on your feet. This procedure can help prevent further infections from occurring in future years as well as improve current infections. If the nail has become very thick and painful, your podiatrist may also choose to surgically remove the ingrown portion of your nail.
3. Your Podiatrist Can Remove The Nail
If you have an ingrown toenail that is not responding to home treatment or medications, your podiatrist may recommend removing the nail. This surgical procedure, which falls under the scope of podiatry, is called a partial nail avulsion and involves cutting away the ingrown portion of your toe's nail as well as any tissue beneath it. The remaining healthy parts will then be allowed to heal over time.
4. Your Podiatrist Can Treat Underlying Infections
When an ingrown nail grows into a toe joint and becomes infected, it can cause ligament damage or even joint destruction if left untreated for too long. If this has happened, then your podiatrist may treat this with antibiotics or recommend that you take oral medications at home. While medications like penicillin work well against many infections, there are some strains of bacteria that it doesn't effectively combat. If this is the case for you, your doctor may recommend an alternative antibiotic or oral antibiotic treatment instead of topical ointments and creams.
For more advice on how podiatry treatments can help with your ingrown toenail issues, visit a podiatry centre, like Beenleigh Podiatry Centre.