Thickened toenails have a number of causes, the most common being fungal infections and trauma, for example dropping something heavy onto the toe or ‘stubbing’ it. Thickened toenails may also be caused by ill- fitting footwear, certain medical conditions, increasing age or poor circulation.
Podiatry treatment – If you have thickened nails a podiatrist can advise and treat the nails to make them more comfortable and more aestheticaly pleasing. Treatment may simply be a matter of routine care, footwear advice or nail surgery.
Discolouration of nails may affect either the entire nail plate or just part of the nail. There are a number of reasons why nails change colour and quite often this is nothing to worry about. Some types of discolouration can be clues to infection or other conditions, it is therefore important to visit a podiatrist so that this can be assessed and any appropriate action and treatment taken.
Podiatry treatment – The treatment for discoloured nails depends on the cause and not all nails can be treated. Treatment may include antifungals, antibiotics, nail surgery or routine care. The podiatrist will be able to advise you on this or simply ease your concerns.
Sometimes toenails curl inwards as they grow – this over-curvature is called involution. Involution is not a true ingrown nail, however they can be very painful, especially if hard or dry skin builds up down the side of the nail. Conservative management is often sufficient but on occasions nail surgery is required as a more permanent solution. See Nail Surgery…
An ingrown nail is a painful condition where the nail pierces the surrounding skin, leading to inflammation and possible infection of the toe. People with diabetes, peripheral vascular disease must avoid any form of self treatment and seek medical care as soon as possible.
Some people are prone to ingrown nails because of the shape of the nail and they suffer from repeated episodes of pain, inflammation, and infection. However, nails can also become ingrown due to trauma caused by shoes, a sports injury or poor nail care.
Podiatry treatment – In most cases the condition can be treated with conservative treatment by carefully removing the spicule of nail that has pierced the skin. If the problem is persistent nail surgery may be needed. Patients would usually have a full assessment prior to nail surgery to decide if it is appropriate and to explain the procedure and answer any questions. See Nail Surgery…