Skin and Toenail Pathology
What is an ingrown toenail?
It’s the edge of a toenail that curves down into the skin. It can even pierce your skin and cause an infection. Often causing a lot of pain, discomfort and has to be treated by a podiatrist. If you’re diabetic or someone with poor circulation, you should contact your podiatrist immediately.
Toenails usually are normally flat with mild curving at the edges. Wearing tight shoes, genetics, fungal toenail infections, trauma and cutting nails too short are some of the reasons why a person can develop an ingrown toenail. Initial symptoms are mild pain while wearing tight shoes or with pressure. This can lead to swelling along the nail and redness. Eventually, infection develops and a bulbous flesh forms. This bulbous flesh is a definite sign that the nail has pierced through the skin and must be dealt with right away. What if you don’t deal with your ingrown toenail? Recurrent infections cause scar tissue which leads to thickening of the skin/flesh around the toenail.
Your podiatrist will assess and determine best course of treatment: Conservative versus Surgical.
If you have a phobia to needles ask your podiatrist about a needle-free injector!
As podiatrists we treat many types of skin issues but warts are the most commonly treated. These viruses can appear anywhere on the body – including the feet. When warts appear on the soles of the feet, they are known as ‘plantar warts’, which are hard and may even grow inward due to pressure on the heels and balls of the feet.
Did You Know...
Plantar warts are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)? Despite there being more than 100 strains of HPV, foot warts are only caused by a few of them. The virus is usually contracted by walking on contaminated surfaces, where the virus comes in contact with tiny breaks in the skin. You can avoid getting foot warts by wearing shows when walking in gym locker rooms or near swimming pools.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the symptoms of foot warts?
Many people mistake foot warts for calluses or corns. Those that grow on the bottom of the feet may be hard, grainy and flat. Warts that grow on other areas of the feet, such as toes, are typically soft and raised. In many people, foot warts cause pain and soreness when standing or walking. Anyone can develop foot warts though they are most likely to affect children, teenagers, and individuals with weakened immune systems.
When should I see a podiatrist for foot warts?
You may need to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist if you have warts that are painful or that have not responded to home treatments.
What types of treatments are available for warts?
Your podiatrist can remove foot warts using several techniques available at the Foot and Ankle Clinic after the initial consult (Chemical treatments, Cryotherapy treatments, Nd:YAG 1064 nm laser, surgical).