Have you been plagued by persistent toenail infections or ingrown nails that not only cause pain, but are also a hassle to treat and affect your daily life?
You may have been tempted by home treatments that seem convenient and even initially cost effective, but it may not be potent enough to fully treat the root cause of your nail conditions. This means you’ll need to keep purchasing for repeated self-treatments, which actually offsets the initial convenience and lower cost.
While nail fungal infection, ingrown toenails and other nail related conditions are common, you don’t have to bear with it or suffer frequent recurrences! Let’s take a look at some common nail conditions and how you can treat them with the help of a podiatry clinic:
Nail fungal infection
Nail fungus occurs when there is an excess growth of microscopic fungus under, around or on the nail. Fungus thrives in warm and moist environments, and they can easily happen when you have damaged nails and wear tight or ill-fitting shoes over a prolonged period. It can also be spread from someone else who has a fungal infection.
Nail fungal infections can be first identified through the appearance of a chalky, white plaque on the infected nail surface. If there is no early intervention, the infection will worsen with a yellowish or brownish discolouration, thickening or change in shape of your nails, flaky white areas and nail detachment from the nail bed.
Fungal infections are more common on the toenails than fingernails, and can present serious risks for individuals with diabetes or a weakened immune system.
How does a podiatrist treat nail fungal infection?
Since fungal infections rarely heal on their own, a podiatrist can properly diagnose and effectively prescribe a nail fungus treatment plan. Treatment for nail fungal infections typically include oral medication or laser treatments. However the downsides include side effects on the liver for medication and severe pain for laser treatment. Topical antifungal medication also requires lengthy treatment of at least 3 months.
You can consider opting for conservative nail fungus treatment approaches including advanced, pain-free Photodynamic Antimicrobial Therapy (PACT®). There are no adverse side effects and proven to be significantly successful at destroying fungal cells in nail infections. PACT® can only be administered by a healthcare practitioner such as at a podiatry clinic.
During your appointment with a podiatrist, your nail infection will be checked for suitability of PACT® treatment. The infected nails will be trimmed and thinned with sterilised podiatry instruments to physically remove fungi affected areas to allow better penetration of antifungal treatment. A gel will be applied to stain the fungal cells, making them sensitive to the light from the PACT® LED lamp, allowing for penetration of the nail and subsequently destroying fungal cells.
When your nails change shape or become damaged especially due to external trauma, the ridges that hold your nail in place lose skin connectivity. This can cause toenails to grow into the sides or corners of your skin. Some common causes of ingrown toenails include injury, wearing shoes that are tight or ill-fitting especially around the toe area, and cutting toenails too short or not straight across which can leave sharp edges that may get embedded into the skin when the nails grow.
Ingrown toenails can also allow bacteria or fungi to enter the body through a break in a skin and multiply, causing an infection. This can even lead to a pus discharge if the infection is left untreated.
Look out for pain at the corner or side of the nail, redness or swelling around the toe or affected area, and/or a pus collection at the ingrown nail. Seek timely ingrown toenail treatment in Singapore to prevent further aggravating the ingrown toenails as well as to get pain relief.
How does a podiatrist treat ingrown toenails?
Podiatrists are medically trained professionals and can properly manage and treat nail conditions including ingrown toenails with long-term permanent solutions. They use sterile and specialised medical instruments to remove ingrown toenail spikes for immediate pain relief, and ensure the sides of nails are properly filed down without sharp edges to prevent ingrown recurrence.
A foot pain specialist can also carry out conservative management by regularly trimming, filing and applying cotton packing for nails that are susceptible to ingrowing. Due to their training and experience, they can also give advice on how you can prevent ingrown toenail recurrence.
Should you have curved toenails that contribute to ingrowing, a podiatrist can apply a thin curve-correct brace which acts as a spring to straighten the nails as part of the prevention plan. In some cases, if conservative management does not work, they can recommend and perform nail surgery.
Our trusted podiatrist team at Physio & Sole clinic can provide you with a proper diagnosis as well as recommend and administer tailored treatment plans. Book an appointment with us to get effective treatment for your nail conditions today.