Often buried underneath socks and utterly ignored, our toenails tend to escape our attention—that is, of course, until there is a problem. However, your toenails aren't as insignificant as you might think. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, toenails often serve as "barometers of our health, (indicating) the presence or onset of systemic diseases." (For example, nails that are rounded outward instead of inward can indicate an iron deficiency.)
In addition to being an indication of a potential health problem, toenail issues can also be a source of embarrassment for many people—this is especially true for those who've been grappling with a nasty toenail fungus that just won't go away. Sound familiar? Though you may be tempted to hide your feet away inside socks and shoes—beware: The "out of sight, out of mind" approach will only make things worse.
Instead of ignoring the problem (or waiting in vain for it to resolve itself), let the expert podiatrists at Advanced Foot Care restore your toenails to health.
Common Toenail Conditions We Treat
Considering everything our feet endure on a daily basis, it's no surprise that a lot can go wrong—not only in the structures within our feet but also with more superficial areas, like our skin and toenails. We address a number of common toenail problems at our podiatry practice in The Woodlands. Many of these issues are easy to prevent and treat—all you need is the right knowledge to help you steer clear of these problems and the right team of podiatrists to help you get rid of them for good. Fortunately, you've come to the right place. Nail conditions we treat include:
- Ingrown toenails. An ingrown nail grows into the surrounding soft flesh, pushing against the skin and irritating the area. This is actually a quite common problem for both children and adults. Ingrown toenails often affect the big toes and usually happen when nails are trimmed too short. However, wearing shoes that are too tight and press against the toenails, a recent injury, or even unlucky genetics can also cause ingrown nails. This seemingly simple problem can easily become painful and infected if ignored, especially if the skin around the nail grows over the ingrown portion.
- Fungal toenails. This condition often begins as a slight discoloration in one spot on the nail but, when left untreated, the discoloration not only spreads, but the nail can become cracked and brittle as well. While it is possible to develop fungus in your fingernails, the fungi in question (onychomycosis) thrives best in dark, warm, and moist environments like the inside of shoes. Watch for symptoms like discoloration, brittleness, thickening, and crumbling of the nail, and contact us for treatment before your ability to walk or run is impaired.
- Other conditions. We also treat black toenails and traumatic injuries. Whatever nail issue you're suffering with, Advanced Foot Care has the tools you need to get rid of them once and for all. Not only are our doctors skilled in using conservative and advanced treatment methods, but they also have extensive experience performing toenail surgery.
We offer a wide range of treatment options for podiatric nail conditions, including Hyper Blue laser therapy and the KeryFlex Nail Restoration System.
Hyper Blue Laser Therapy
Our Hyper Blue laser therapy can clear up fungus quickly and safely. This treatment uses very specific light energy to kill the fungus underneath the nail, at its source. Benefits include quick treatment sessions, no recovery period, and no known side effects.
KeryFlex Nail Restoration System
Treatments for fungal infections and other unsightly nail conditions can be effective, but optimal cosmetic results are not immediate. When you want the look of clear, natural nails now, the KeryFlex Nail Restoration System can provide them.
Using KeryFlex, we can bond and shape beautiful, medical-quality artificial nails that look like the real thing. They are flexible yet durable and can even be painted if you wish. It's a simple application that yields instant results.
Preventing Toenail Problems
Advanced Foot Care is proud to provide expert podiatry treatment for all your foot and toenail needs, and if we can help you prevent these painful conditions, that's even better. Many painful toenail problems can be avoided by practicing good foot care habits. Here are a few easy foot care tips to help ensure your toes stay fresh and healthy:
- Check your feet every day. This is especially important if you are living with diabetes. Watch for changes in the texture and color of your toenails.
- Practice good foot hygiene. Wash your feet daily, and make sure to dry them thoroughly after you are done, paying special attention to the areas between the toes.
- Moisturize your feet. Do this after every wash, but keep in mind: This time, you should avoid the area between your toes.
- Wear the right shoes. When you buy shoes, make sure they have plenty of room for your toes to move freely and that they provide enough support and cushioning.
- Trim your toenails the right way. Make sure you always clip your nails straight across and never share tools with others.
- Alternate between shoes. Give your footwear time to dry out completely before you wear them again.
Expert Care for Podiatric Nail Conditions Is Just a Click or Call Away
Remember, foot and ankle problems will not go away on their own; this is especially true when it comes to conditions like fungal nails. Even when you try your best to prevent unsightly, painful toenail problems, these things can still happen—and when they do, Advanced Foot Care is here to provide the professional treatment you need and deserve. Together, we can keep your toes healthy and restore pride in your feet. Fill out our contact form or call our office today at (281) 292-7000 to schedule an appointment.