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Podiatrist - Washington
853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
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By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
September 22, 2016
Tags: Diabetes   ingrown toenails  

A painful problem that we commonly treat at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM is an ingrown toenail. When the edge of the nail grows downward and into the skin it is said to be “ingrown.” Test your knowledge of this condition and how to prevent and treat it:

The most common cause of ingrown toenails is improperly trimming toenails.

TRUE: If toenails are cut too short or the edges are rounded they are more likely to curve down and grow into the skin or to have the skin surrounding the nail bed to fold over them and encourage ingrowth.

Ingrown toenails can be hereditary.

TRUE: A tendency toward ingrown toenails can be genetic. Other causes for this condition include: injury to the toe, wearing socks and shoes that are too tight and sports or activities that put pressure on the toes such as soccer, running or ballet.

An ingrown nail is not a medical threat.

FALSE: Since ingrown nails penetrate the skin, they create an entry point for bacteria and can become infected. You can recognize an infection by the following symptoms: pus or other drainage around the toe, a foul odor and the toe may be red, swollen and warm.

It’s not necessary to have a podiatrist treat an ingrown toenail.

TRUE and FALSE: If there are no signs of infection and the ingrown nail is just starting, you may try soaking your foot in warm, soapy water several times and day and gently massaging the side of your toe to try to loosen the nail away from the skin. If you are a patient with diabetes, however, you should make an appointment at our Washington office immediately and allow our board certified foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker to examine and treat your ingrown toenail. The risk of infection and ulcers to diabetic patients is too high and the consequences too great to take a chance at self treating.

If you have an ingrown toenail that seems to be getting worse or any other condition of the toe, ankle or foot, contact us by calling: (724) 225-7410.

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