How do shoes cause bunions , corns, hammer toes, ingrown toenails ?

It is a well observed and well documented fact that poorly fitting footwear can cause foot problems to arise in people who previously had no foot troubles. Whilst fact remains, people often still persist with shoes that are either too narrow or too small for their feet and often present to podiatry clinics with a number of different problems. Some of the most common problems I have seen in patients who have presented to the clinic are listed below and have often had footwear choice as major contributing factor to the development of problems. Read more

The fastest way to fix ingrown toenails

In my 14 years of experience as a podiatrist, I can say that the most rewarding treatment is for ingrown toenails. I say this because they are such a painful condition, and within 10min you can have the sharp pain gone. Ingrown toenails can present from a little bit of inflammation to severe over-sized fleshy infected ingrowns. But no matter how small or big, you can always walk away with relief.

What causes ingrown toenails ?

Ingrown toenails are caused when the side of the nail is applying too much pressure on the skin leading to inflammation. The pressure can be caused by a nail spur caused by incorrect cutting, or by an involuted nail (curly edge) , or by tight footwear, or by trauma. Once the inflammation occurs, it gets further agitated by the nail and more inflammation occurs. If the skin surface is broken then a secondary bacterial infection may occur. Read more

Ingrown Toenails and Nail Surgery

Ingrown toenails are very common and extremely painful. For those that have been unfortunate enough to experience them, will know how memorable the pain can be. However, most don’t actually know that treatment is quick and instant relief is provided. Most people struggle with trying to cut it out themselves causing further infection and bleeding. A pedicurist is definitely not the place to get treatment, as one patient told me this morning “I went to a pedicurist because i didnt know about podiatrists “.

An ingrown toenail is simple an inflammation of the skin beside the toenail, and can sometimes also have an infection. Most common causes are nail spurs caused by trauma and incorrect cutting of the nail, or oddly shaped toenails. What i want to focus on today is the oddly shaped toenails that keep causing an ingrown toenail. This nails tend to be either fan-shaped or very curved caused pressure on the sides. The treatment that i often recommend to this presenting problem is to either attend periodically (every 6-8weeks) for regular re-shaping of the nail or have a permanent procedure, called partial nail avulsion (“nail surgery”). The latter option is what i will focus on today, as many do not know what it entails. Read more

Hammer toes, Clawed toes, Curly toes

 Toe deformities are becoming more prevalent due to lifestyle and shoe characteristics. Though most people are quick to diagnose misshapen toes as ‘hammertoes’, there in fact are four different types of toe abnormalities. These include:

  • Hammer toes
  • Claw toes
  • Mallet toes
  • Retracted toes

Whilst there is an appreciable difference in the abnormal alignment of each type of deformity the causative factors and consequences are generally the same.

The hammertoe deformity is possibly the most common misalignment condition that affects the smaller toes. The condition is characterized by contraction of the toe to a position that can cause pressure spots to form due to shoe pressure whilst walking. Whilst the deformity itself is not life-threatening it can become worse and more painful altering the biomechanics of the feet in the process.

Lesser toe deformities are generally progressive and whilst they cannot be stopped, the speed of onset, progression of condition as well as symptoms caused can be controlled. Read more

Treatment of Ingrown Toenails

What is an Ingrown Toenail ?

Ingrown toenails are a very common condition that presents to the podiatrist. An ingrown toenail is a very lay term that a person uses when they feel pain on the side of the toenail. This typically will involve inflammation, swelling and infection. However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes there is neither redness nor infection, which can suggest another reason for the pain.

How does an ingrown toenail occur ?

An ingrown toenail is caused by the nail piercing the skin beside it leading to inflammation. If the skin is broken, this can lead to a local infection also.

Common causes of ingrown toenail are:

  • Incorrect cutting of the nail, leaving it too short or with a sharp corner or leaving a nail spicule.
  • Tight footwear can cause the nail and the skin to be pressed firmly together
  • Curved toenail can predispose you to an ingrown due to its odd shape
  • Trauma through sports or hitting a hard object with your toe
  • During a re-growth of a new nail
  • Pedicure salons can cut nails incorrectly, leaving you with a sharp corner or nail spicule

Read more