How To Clip Your Nails Properly To Avoid Ingrown Nails

An ingrown toenail may not seem like a big deal, but they can be quite painful! And when inflamed, they can make it exceptionally difficult to walk and usually a surgical procedure to remove the nail to avoid further damage. Today, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing some important tips to help avoid ingrown toenails.

What Causes Ingrown Toenails?

In many cases, an ingrown toenail is caused by the way the toenails are cut. If they’re trimmed too short or the edges are cut too far back, the skin can grow over the nail and dig into the skin. But while this is a common cause, it’s not the only reason why people develop ingrown toenails.

If you frequently wear tight socks, stockings, tights, or shoes, you’re putting more pressure on the skin surrounding the toenail and probably pushing it against the sharp edges of your nails.

Many people develop an ingrown nail following an injury to the toe. For instance, if you unintentionally drop something on your toe, stub it, or join in activities where the toes are subject to continuous pressure, the nail will probably be impacted.

Dampness in the feet can also soften the skin around the nails so the skin can grow over them. If you spend a substantial amount of time in the water or experience sweaty feet, it provides for the perfect environment for a nail to grow into the skin.

How Can Ingrown Toenails Be Treated?

It’s important to try to avoid infection whenever possible, but sometimes, the nail has to be removed in order to relieve the irritation. This can be accomplished in two different ways.

Doctors will either remove part of the nail or the whole nail. Podiatrists typically prescribe antibiotics to help clear an infection after the nail has been removed, but there are still things you can do to relieve the painful symptoms before seeking professional help.

Always try to cut toenails straight, and wear shoes that let your feet breathe.

If you regularly suffer from ingrown nails but are nervous about having the nail removed, it may be worth consulting with Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists.  Call our office today at (425) 455-0936 to book your visit or schedule an appointment online.

Ingrown Toenails: What Runners Should Know!

Ingrown toenails are painful, and the throbbing and pressure they cause can make each step unbearable. Today, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing information regarding ingrown toenails that all runners should be aware of.

Causes of Ingrown Toenails

Though they seem to appear out of nowhere, there are a few things that can trigger an ingrown toenail. One of the most common causes is shoes that are too tight on the toe, like high heels that force pressure on the front of your foot.

Running automatically elevates your risk. Any activity that puts repetitive pressure on the nail in the shoe, such as biking, running, or other sports, can put you at a higher risk for an ingrown nail.

Treatment for Ingrown Toenails

There are a few ways to try to relieve the symptoms at home. Soaking feet in warm water with Epsom salts and then gently massaging them may provide short-term relief from inflamed tissue.

You can also try repairing an ingrown toenail using a topical treatment. Over-the-counter, topical medications work to soften the nail or skin, and NSAIDs should provide pain relief.

A word of caution – don’t postpone getting your feet examined if your ingrown nail doesn’t appear to be improving after a few days of treating it on your own. If the issue is not improving, see your podiatrist for professional care. This is especially the case if there’s any drainage that looks like pus, if there’s redness to the toe, or if you experience fever, nausea, or chills.

Podiatrists agree that it’s not smart to play doctor and perform “surgery” on your ingrown toenail. Repetitive cutting and digging of the nail can worsen the ingrown toenail. If you have a chronic ingrown toenail, you may want to talk to your podiatrist about a procedure to permanently stop them from happening.

Preventing an Ingrown Toenail

The most important thing you can do to stop ingrown toenails from occurring is to wear shoes that fit properly with sufficient width in the toe box. Also, socks that don’t overly compress the toes can help.

Cutting your toenails correctly can also help reduce your risk of getting an ingrown nail. They are less likely to occur if your nails are cut straight across with no angles.

If you’re a runner, you know that proper foot health is key to your endurance. If you’re experiencing the symptoms of an ingrown toenail or any other condition that affects your feet – don’t hesitate – call the office of Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists today at (425) 455-0936 or schedule your appointment online.

 

10 Important Tips for Proper Senior Foot Care

Proper foot care is crucial for senior adults because it helps prevent falls, injuries, and complications from diseases like diabetes. Today, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing his top 10 tips regarding how to properly care for senior feet so they can continue taking you wherever you want to go.

Tips to Properly Care for Senior Feet

  1. Show your soles some love. As you get older, the muscle tissue in your feet can thin out, which can lead to loss of feeling in your feet. Use a mirror with a long handle to view what you may not be able to feel. Inspect the soles of your feet and in between your toes each day to look for blisters, sores, or cuts. This is particularly important if you have diabetes.
  2. Sport the right footwear. Wearing proper footwear can help seniors maintain their balance, avoid falling and lessen the risk of blisters and other injuries. Be sure not to choose shoes that slide around or rub on your heel when you walk, as this is a common way to develop blisters. If you have neuropathy or diabetes, talk with your podiatrist about custom orthotics.
  3. Get a proper fit by following these recommendations:
  • Shop for shoes in the afternoon when your feet are inflamed;
  • Have your feet measured, as foot size can change;
  • It’s common for one foot to be larger than the other, so choose the size that fits the larger one;
  • Always try on shoes before you buy them to make sure they fit properly.
  1. Don’t go barefoot. When outdoors, always wear shoes to prevent scrapes, cuts, and falls. Also wear shoes as much as possible when indoors to protect your feet.
  2. Trim your toenails. Trimming toenails straight across and keeping them no shorter than the tip of your toe is key for averting ingrown toenails. If you can’t comfortably reach your feet, see a podiatrist for regular medical pedicures and trimming.
  3. Keep the blood flowing. As you get older, your blood circulation to your feet can be diminished. To encourage proper circulation:
  • When sitting, prop your feet up;
  • When sitting for long periods of time, wiggle your toes occasionally;
  • Do daily stretching;
  • Massage your feet regularly.
  1. Keep your feet dry as a bone. Make sure your feet aren’t moist before you put your shoes on and change your socks on a regular basis.
  1. Moisturizing is key. Seniors need to keep their feet moisturized to avoid itching, cracking, and calluses. Always use gentle soap and put on lotion after your bath or shower.
  2. Combat fungal infections. Seniors can avoid getting athlete’s foot by changing their socks or stockings daily, wearing shoes that fit properly and using foot powder each day.
  3. Get regular foot checkups from your podiatrist. Your podiatrist can identify problems like hammertoe, bunions, neuromas, ingrown toenails, warts, or wounds before they turn into more serious problems.

If you’re a senior and it’s time for a foot checkup or you’re experiencing any foot-related issues – don’t hesitate – call the office of Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists today at (425) 455-0936 or schedule your appointment online.