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Nail conditions

Ingrown Nails

An ingrown toenail (also known as onychocryptosis) is a common condition that results from the edge of the toenail growing down and into the soft skin on the side of the toe.

Ingrown nails are usually red, swollen and tender to the touch. At times there may be a small amount of pus present. One common cause of ingrown toenails is poor nail cutting technique whereby the person trims the side of the toenail leaving a small spike of nail which later embeds in the side of the toe as the nail grows forward.

Treatment may consist of oral antibiotics to resolve any infection and removing the offending portion of nail. We commonly see patients with ingrown toenails and can provide almost instant relief during your initial treatment.

At times ingrown nails return and it is necessary to perform a minor surgical procedure to prevent the side of the nail from growing back. This surgical procedure, known as a partial nail avulsion, is performed Podiatry Illawarra Clinic under local anesthetic with minimal, if any, post-operative discomfort.

 

Fungal Nails

Hard, thick and discoloured nails can be very unsightly and embarrassing. One common cause of thick and discoloured nails is fungal infection.

These fungal infections, known as onychomycosis, are transmissible from person to person and can be contracted from a number of different sources, such as an existing tinea infection in the skin, some nail bars with sub standard hygiene techniques, swimming pools/gyms.

Treatment of fungal nails may include reducing the thickness of the nail using specialized equipment and the application of a topical anti-fungal medication which is painted onto the nail. In some cases it is necessary to take an oral anti-fungal medication.

Thickened Nails

Thick, discoloured nails may not necessarily be caused by fungal infection and therefore it is important to have any nail problems properly assessed. Often individual thick nails are caused by a trauma, in these cases we can simply and painlessly thin the nails down and maintain them. If necessary they can also be removed by nail surgery.

Involuted nails

Involuted Toe Nails (Curved nails) an involuted toe nail is when the edges of the nail plate curve towards each other squeezing the flesh underneath causing considerable pain and discomfort even with the slightest pressure. One of the main causes of this problem is trauma as it damages the cells in the nail matrix altering its structure and shape. Wearing foot wear that is far too tight is another common cause. This particular problem can be controlled and improved with regular Podiatric treatment however in severe cases where regular treatments are not easing the symptoms a total or partial nail avulsion under local anaesthesia to stop the offending nail re-growing may be recommended and greatly enhances quality of life and reduces long term treatment costs.

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