Arlington Podiatry Center
611 South Carlin Springs Road
Arlington, VA 22204
Podiatric Care Common Nail Disorders
The main symptom of an ingrown nail is pain at the tip of the toe. An ingrown nail can possibly lead to infection, inflammation, or a more serious condition. It is advisable to see a podiatrist who can determine the extent of your problem. The podiatrist will examine the infected area, and will take blood tests, cultures, or x-rays if a more severe problem is suspected.
Abnormally thick or crumbling nails may be caused by injuries, pressure from shoes, fungal infections, or conditions such as diabetes, psoriasis, or vascular disease.
A thickening nail may appear ridged, brittle, or yellowish, and may even feel pain when pressure is applied to it. This type of nail disorder may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition, and it is important for your podiatrist to evaluate your medical history for possible related problems.
If the determination is made that the nail is not infected, your podiatrist can thin the nail by trimming, filing, or grinding it down. If a fungal infection is present, oral or topical antifungal medications may be needed. This can help prevent ulcerations under the nail while keeping the fungus from spreading to other nails.
A black-and-blue nail is usually caused by sudden or repetitive injury to a toe. This might occur during sports or result from a heavy object falling on a toe.
Bruised, broken blood vessels cause the black-and-blue colors under the nail. If the condition is the result of a sudden injury, pain may be severe and an evaluation of your entire foot should be done to determine if there is further injury to the foots bone structure, such as a fracture or bone spur.
If pain is severe, the nail may be removed or a hole may be drilled in the nail to allow drainage, which relieves the pressure. Pain may also be relieved with medications, or by soaking or icing the area. If pain is not severe, you may not need treatment.
Wearing the right shoes and trimming your nails properly can prevent many nail problems. Wear shoes that are supportive, roomy, and made of natural materials such as leather, which allow your feet to breathe. Trim your nails straight across without cutting down into the corners. To help avoid infection, keep your feet clean and dry.