Nail Pain Treatment and Relief
Treatment Options for Nail Pain
Our toenails are an essential, yet sensitive, part of our foot health. Nails act as a protective layer on our toes and it's important to keep them in good condition. Individuals with disabilities and the elderly may be unable to perform proper nail care, and should speak to a podiatrist about maintaining toenail health.
Ignoring nail pain can quickly complicate small problems. Compensating for nail pain can lead to increased toe pain. Compensating for that changes the way you walk and move around, making your ankle function differently and leading to ankle pain.
Don't ignore it. Stop the toe pain chain reaction before it starts and get toenail pain and problems checked out by the experienced professionals at Advanced Foot & Ankle.
There are a number of different issues specific to toenails:
Nail fungus can go unnoticed for quite some time; many people who have fungal nails don't seek treatment. Fungal toenail infections are a common foot health problem and can persist for years without ever causing pain. Nail fungus can be identified by a change in a toenail's color and thickness but is often counted off as a blemish. When left untreated, as nail fungus often is, it can turn into a serious problem.
- Topical or oral antifungal medications
- Apply a non-prescription anti-fungal cream to the entire foot from the ankle down each night
- Permanent nail removal is another possible form of treatment for fungal nails
- Keep feet clean and dry
- Don't share nail clippers or nail files with others
- Don't share shoes or socks with others
- Don’t cut toenails too short
- Wear dry cotton socks; change them as often as necessary
- Wear dry shoes that allow air to circulate around your feet
- Wear shower sandals or shower shoes when you are at a public pool or shower
Ingrown toenails, also known as onychocryptosis, occur when the corners or sides of the toenail dig into the skin, often causing infection.
They are usually caused by trimming toenails too short, particularly on the sides of the big toes. It is also poor form to cut your nail too straight across without a curve at the top of the nail. This will cause your toenail to grow back improperly. Other causes include shoe pressure, injury, fungus infection, or heredity.
- Soak the foot in warm, soapy water several times each day
- Avoid wearing tight shoes or socks
- If infection is present, take a prescribed antibiotic
- If an acute infection occurs or the nail is chronically ingrown, surgical removal of a portion of the toenail may be necessary
Left untreated, they are prone to become sore, red, and infected and skin may start to grow over the ingrown toenail.
- Trimming toenails straight across with no rounded corners
- Ensuring that shoes and socks are not too tight
- Keeping feet clean at all times
Black or darkened toenails are caused by bruising under the toenail. This can be caused by many injuries or problems. Darkened nails may occur as a result of the toe hitting the end or the top of the shoe toe area. This often happens to long distance runners or those who wear ill-fitting footwear. Sometimes, the bruise can lead to a fungal nail infection.
- Trim the nail back
- Topical antibiotic ointment (if the skin under the nail is ulcerated)
- Wear comfortable, properly sized shoes that do not rub on the toes
A special note for diabetic patients: Contact our office for evaluation if experience any change in the color of toenails. The pressure causing the bruised nail may lead to a small sore under the toenail, which can lead to infection.