Ingrown toenails are a common problem, but while they're just a nuisance for many people, they're a big problem for diabetics. If you have diabetes, an ingrown toenail is something that you need to take seriously because it can lead to serious complications. Here are five things you need to know about this foot problem.
What causes ingrown toenails?
Ingrown toenails can have a lot of different causes. They can be caused by wearing shoes that are too small or too narrow and press your toenails into your skin. They can also be caused by cutting your toenails too short or by rounding them instead of cutting them straight across. Injuries to your toenail, like stubbing your toe or dropping something on your foot, can also be responsible.
What is the impact of diabetes?
Diabetes can cause complications that make ingrown toenails more serious. Diabetes can lead to poor circulation in your feet, which makes you more susceptible to infection and makes it harder for your toe to heal itself.
Diabetes can also cause peripheral neuropathy, a condition makes your feet numb and tingly and can make it hard for you to realize that your feet are injured. People with peripheral neuropathy can have an ingrown toenail without realizing it, and since they don't know they have a problem, they don't seek treatment. This allows more serious complications to develop.
If you have diabetes, you need to perform a visual inspection of your feet every day since you may not feel the pain associated with an ingrown toenail. If you notice that the skin beside your toenail is red and swollen, you may have an ingrown toenail, and should see your podiatrist.
What complications are possible?
If your ingrown toenail isn't treated, it may become infected. This infection can spread to the surrounding skin and tissues, and it can even spread to the bones of your feet. If you have peripheral neuropathy, you may not realize that you have an infection if you're not doing daily foot checks. This allows the infection to spread unchecked, and by the time you realize you have a problem, it could be very serious. This is why it's important to check your feet regularly.
How are ingrown toenails treated?
When you have diabetes, you shouldn't try to treat an ingrown toenail at home. This is because diabetes can cause poor circulation and your toe may not heal properly after home treatment.
Your podiatrist may offer treatments like lifting the toenail, removing part of the toenail, or even removing the entire toenail. You may also be prescribed antibiotics, either pills or a cream that you put on your toe. The treatment will vary based on how severe your ingrown toenail is and how long the toenail has been a problem.
How can you prevent ingrown toenails?
There are many things that you can do to prevent ingrown toenails. Make sure to choose shoes that fit well, and if you're not sure what type of shoes you should be wearing, ask your podiatrist for tips. You also need to make sure that you're cutting your toenails straight across; you may want to have your podiatrist do this for you if you're having trouble with it.
Ingrown toenails are a nuisance for many people, but if you have diabetes, they are a more serious problem. Ingrown toenails can become infected and this infection can spread to other parts of your foot. To keep your feet safe, make sure to check your feet every day for signs of problems, and if you think your toenail is ingrown, contact a podiatrist clinic right away.Share
8 July 2015
Hello, my name is Vicki Sutherland. Welcome to my site about podiatrist services. As I reached old age, I took a good hard look at the condition of my feet. For so long, I ignored the pain and discomfort that resulted from constantly wearing shoes suited for the workplace. Those shoes put unnecessary pressure on my toes and heels, resulting in a number of damaged sections. Eventually, I decided to go into the podiatrist for treatment. The treatment restored my feet and eliminated the bulk of the discomfort. I would like to talk about all of the diagnostic procedures and treatments provided by the podiatrist. I hope you can use the information I provide to heal your feet as well. Thanks.