Ingrown Toenail: Growing Past

ingrown toenail
Dr. Thomas LeBeau will help you grow past that ingrown toenail.

Grow Past an Ingrown Toenail

Thomas A. LeBeau, DPM

St. Augustine Foot and Ankle

An ingrown toenail is when a toenail grows into the flesh as opposed to over it. The big toe is the most common place for a nail to become ingrown, however, they can occur on any toe. This will most often affect people with thick or curved nails but anyone could have a toenail ingrown as a result of an injury, shoes that do not fit properly, or poor grooming. Diabetics and people with vascular problems should be extra aware of their toenails because left untreated an ingrown could cause other serious issues up to and including losing a limb!

An ingrown toenail is most commonly caused by cutting your toenails too short or rounding them. Further, poorly fitting shoes that constrict the toes as well as stubbing or jamming the toe can also cause a toenail to become ingrown. If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can become infected, more painful, and may require surgery.

The best way to treat an ingrown toenail is to prevent one from ever developing. The best ways to prevent an ingrown toenail are as follows:

  • Do not cut your toenails too short and do not round the corners. Do cut the toenail straight.
  • Where shoes that properly fit, particularly, shoes that are a bit wider in the toe area to allow movement.
  • Avoid trauma to the toes as best you can like jamming or stubbing.

In the case that an ingrown toenail does develop, fear not, there are several ways to conservatively treat the toenail with minimal discomfort and great effectiveness. These treatments include soaking the toe, elevating the foot, topical antibiotics, or simply gently pushing back the overgrown skin away from the toenail. More advanced cases may require oral antibiotics or a simple in office procedure. In a more extreme situation a portion of the toenail maybe removed entirely. This type of procedure would require a local anesthetic. Surgical procedures for an ingrown toenail usually have somewhat prolonged healing and follow ups with your doctor to be sure no other infection settles in.

With our experience at St. Augustine Foot and Ankle we will do everything in our power to get you feeling better as quickly as possible. If you think you may be suffering from an ingrown toenail, give us a call to set an appointment at (904) 824-0869 or feel free to email us at info@staugustinefoot.com

Broken Toe

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We are here to help with your broken toe.
We are here to help with your broken toe.

 

Broken Toe

Thomas A. LeBeau

St. Augustine Foot and Ankle

What causes a broken toe (fracture), and what are the symptoms?

You may get a broken toe by stubbing it, dropping something on it, or bending it. A hairline crack (stress fracture) may occur after a sudden increase in activity, such as increased running or walking.

Symptoms of a broken toe may include:

  • A snap or pop at the time of the injury.
  • Pain that is worse when the toe is moved or touched.
  • Swelling and bruising.
  • Possible deformity (not just swelling), such as a toe pointing in the wrong direction or that is twisted out of normal position. A dislocated toe can also look deformed.
  • Decreased movement or movement that causes pain.

How is a broken toe diagnosed?

A broken toe is diagnosed through a physical examination. Your health professional will look for swelling, purple or black and blue spots, and tenderness. An X-ray may be needed to determine whether the toe is broken or dislocated.

How is it treated?

Home care after breaking a toe includes applying ice, elevating the foot, and rest. Medical treatment for a broken toe depends on which toe is broken, where in the toe the break is, and the severity of the break. If you do not have diabetes or peripheral arterial disease, your toe can be buddy-taped to your uninjured toe next to it. Protect the skin by putting some soft padding, such as felt or foam, between your toes before you tape them together. Your injured toe may need to be buddy-taped for 2 to 4 weeks to heal. If your injured toe hurts more after buddy taping it, remove the tape.

In rare cases, other treatment may be needed, including:

  • Protecting the toe from additional injury. This may include using splints to stabilize the toe, a short leg cast, or a brace.
    • Surgery, if the break is severe.

Medical treatment is needed more often for a broken big toe than for the other toes. An untreated fracture may cause long-term pain, limited movement, and deformity.

With our experience at St. Augustine Foot and Ankle we will do everything we can to help with your broken toe and get you back to your regular activity. If you suspect you have a broken toe or are feeling pain in your foot or lower leg of any kind please give us a call to set an appointment at (904) 824-0869 or feel free to email us at info@staugustinefoot.com

 

 

Morton’s Neuroma

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We can help Morton's Neuroma
We can help Morton’s Neuroma! 

Morton’s Neuroma

Dr. Thomas LeBeau

St. Augustine Foot and Ankle

Morton’s Neuroma is a nerve issue in the ball of the foot typically caused when the toes are squeezed together too often or for too long. Narrow shoes, high heels, or shoes that fit too tightly can irritate the situation considerably.

The classic symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma are sharp pain or burning in the foot in addition to the sensation of a lump in the ball of your foot.  Podiatrists will typically diagnose Morton’s Neuroma with a physical exam and the possible ordering of an x-ray or MRI.

For as uncomfortable and painful as Morton’s Neuroma may be, fear not, treatment is usually non-invasive and effective. First, make an appointment with a podiatrist like St. Augustine Foot and Ankle. We treat Morton’s Neuroma often and get excellent results. Once we have examined you and determined that your ailment is indeed Morton’s Neuroma I may put you on an NSAID regiment and advise you to ice your foot often. Staying off your feet for awhile, massage, and wearing shoes that do not restrict your toes may be helpful also. Here in the office we can use massage, ultrasound, and stimulation to help relieve your pain and get you feeling better as quickly as possible. Those treatment approaches along with the above mentioned things to do at home should get stepping right over your Morton’s Neuroma in no time. In rare, more extreme cases a steroid injection or surgery might be recommended but that is after we exhaust our other options first. St. Augustine Foot and Ankle will take that conservative approach first to help you avoid foot surgery.

With our experience at St. Augustine Foot and Ankle we will do everything in our power to get you feeling better as quickly as possible and for as long as possible. If you think you may be suffering from Morton’s Neuroma, give us a call to set an appointment at (904) 824-0869 or feel free to email us at info@staugustinefoot.com

Thomas A. LeBeau, DPM

Diabetes: Check Your Feet!

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Diabetes: Check Your Feet!

Diabetes: Check Your Feet!

Thomas A. LeBeau

St. Augustine Foot and Ankle

When you have diabetes, you need to examine your feet every day. Be sure to look at all areas of your feet, including your toes. It may be helpful to use a handheld mirror or a magnifying mirror attached to the bathroom wall near the baseboard to inspect your feet. If you can’t see well, have someone else use this Diabetes Foot Checklist to examine your feet for you. Using this Diabetes Foot Checklist helps you remember to examine all areas of your feet.

Diabetes Foot Checklist

Check your feet for:

What to do if you notice a problem

Skin color:

  • Red
  • Blue or black
  • Redness could point to irritation from shoes or overheating or other early signs of a problem. Do what you can to discover the cause and fix it, such as wearing shoes that fit better.
  • Blue or black areas can mean bruising or blood flow problems. Call your doctor to report them.
Patches where hair is missing Bald patches may mean irritation from shoes or a blood flow problem. Show the areas to your doctor during your next visit.
Blister
  • Try to discover the cause of the blister. Friction or rubbing against your skin causes blisters. You may need new shoes.
  • Do not break the blister or open it yourself. Leave the skin over the blister intact.
  • Cover the blister with a sterile, nonstick dressing and paper tape.
  • Call your doctor if any blister becomes red, oozes, or is not healing after 4 days.
Break in your skin
  • Gently wash the area with mild soap; blot it dry and cover it with a sterile, nonstick dressing.
  • Call your doctor if any break in the skin becomes red, oozes, or is not healing after 4 days.

Note: Examine the underside of your toes and the area between the toes for breaks in the skin.

Calluses (hardened areas of skin) and corns (pressure sores, usually found on or between toes) Show the area to your doctor at your next visit. This is very important.

  • Do not use products sold in drugstores to remove corns, calluses, or other problems.
  • Do not use a pumice stone on calluses unless your doctor or foot doctor (podiatrist) shows you how to use it properly.
  • Do not cut, file, or do anything that may break the skin on your feet.
Peeling skin or tiny blisters between your toes or cracking and oozing of the skin This may be athlete’s foot. Treating athlete’s foot early can prevent serious foot infections. See the topic Athlete’s Foot for more information.

  • To prevent athlete’s foot, wear shower shoes or bathing shoes when you use public showers or pools. Otherwise, keep feet dry.
  • Keep feet clean. Wear clean socks every day.
  • Do not treat athlete’s foot without first seeing your doctor or podiatrist.
Moisture between your toes Dry between your toes well. Moisture between your toes provides a good place for bacteria and fungi to grow, causing infection.
Feelings of numbness, burning, or “pins and needles” If you have new numbness or tingling in your feet that does not go away after changing position, call your foot doctor.
Sore (ulcer) Do not try to treat a foot ulcer at home. Call your foot doctor immediately. If you check your feet regularly, you usually will see a problem before it becomes an ulcer.
Ingrown toenail Do not treat an ingrown toenail at home. Call your foot doctor for an appointment.

With our experience at St. Augustine Foot and Ankle we will do everything we can to help you manage your diabetes and keep your feet healthy. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms in the checklist above or are feeling pain in your foot or lower leg of any kind please come see us as soon as possible. Give us a call to set an appointment at (904) 824-0869 or feel free to email us at info@staugustinefoot.com