Nail surgical procedures are performed to treat recurrent nail problems such as ingrown toe nails
Toenails of people of all ages can undergo a range of changes, some of which are relatively common. They can become thick, brittle, curved, discoloured, infected, clubbed, bumpy and grooved. In some cases, the nail falls off and a new one grows in. As we grow older, we are more likely to develop toenail problems.
What causes nail problems?
Toenail problems may be caused by warts, tumors under the nail, infection, or poor circulation. Major toenail problem culprits are incorrectly fitting shoes, which press too tightly on the toenails. Injury, such as bruising under the nail and infection can cause permanent nail deformity.
Common conditions and treatment
Ingrown Toenails may be caused by improperly trimmed toe-nails, very curved edges of nails, shoe pressure or repeated trauma to the feet from normal activities. They may also be inherited. Frequently the pain is due to a corn or callous in the groove (or sulcus) of the toenail. Most cases will require conservative treatment, while others may need a minor surgical correction which can be conducted in your podiatrist’s rooms using a local anaesthetic.
Thickened nails are usually the result of injury to the nail bed, such as dropping something heavy on your toes or fungal infection. They can be easily and painlessly thinned down by a podiatrist.
Fungal Infections are often characterised by thickening, discoloration and separation of the front of the nail from the nail bed. In some cases the nail crumbles. These infections tend to stay in the nail if they are not treated, and can infect the nail bed. There are a range of anti-fungal medications available for treatment. Your podiatrist can assist with trimming and care of out-of-shape nail plates.
Other Infections cause inflammation of the matrix (onychia) and inflammation of the tissue adjacent to the nail (paronychia).
Your podiatrist can detect such infections early and form a suitable treatment plan.
Trauma to the nails may lead to permanent nail deformity. This can be cared for by regular, non-painful podiatric treatment, involving filing and possibly the use of a special drill.
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