NAIL CONDITIONS: Ingrown toe nails / Fungal infections / Thick toe nails
Ingrown Toe Nails
A true ingrown toe nail is one which has pierced the skin, often accompanied by an over growth of tissue at the side called hyper granulation tissue. This type must be referred to a podiatrist for removal of the offending portion quickly.
The procedure can often be carried out painlessly but we can give a local anaesthetic if necessary. It is important that the patient does not delay in getting an appointment.
Another form of ingrown toe nail is one where the whole side is abruptly curved and is often an inherited shaped nail or has arisen due to previous trauma. This is known as an involuted nail.
These nails can usually be painlessly treated giving instant relief.
Should the nail condition be long term or permanent, then the podiatrist may suggest nail surgery. This is a simple procedure carried out with a local anaesthetic and should be a permanent cure. We pride ourselves on being able to reassure patients if they are worried and surgery is carried out in a very relaxed atmosphere.
This is ‘athletes foot’ of the toenail. The nail can appear thickened, crumbly and discoloured, or there may be white flecks or areas in the nail plate. These appear in many different forms but the most common being the thick golden brown nail.
Classically, a discolouration appears at one side of the nail and grows across sideways. This is usually a yellow / brown or white colour. The nail often becomes crumbly and flaky and can spread to the other nails as well as finger nails.
White flecks can indicate a fungus present but are often misdiagnosed with nail varnish damage.
Fungal infections are not always easy to diagnose as other conditions such as psoriasis, traumatic damage and nail varnish damage can give a similar appearance to the nail.
If the podiatrist is unsure as to the diagnosis, we can carry out a fungal nail test with results in just 5 minutes.
If a positive result is obtained, then anti-fungal nail paints can be supplied by the podiatrist or in cases where the root of the nail has become infected we can now offer the Clearanail treatment. (Please see more information under Advanced Technology)
Fungal nail infections are very resistant to treatment . Early diagnosis is the key to success.
Thick Toe Nails
These are nails where there is no fungal infection present (see above under fungal infections), and are given the name of onychauxic or gryphotic nails.
The nails are very thick and can also look discoloured. Often the patient presents with a history of trauma to the nail. These are very common in the elderly and can be very difficult to cut.
For the podiatrist, treatment presents no problem at all. The nail is thinned down easily and painlessly. Often the nails do not grow very quickly and some patients have been known only to need the nail cut once a year.