MOBILITY

For some people cutting their toenails is a simple task that can be carried out at home. However for others it can become necessary to get this done by a professional. Regular visits to the podiatrist can keep your toenails at a healthy length, plus the podiatrist will spot any other foot issues you may develop. 

FUNGAL NAIL INFECTION

A fungal nail infection may not cause any obvious symptoms at first.

As it progresses, the infection can cause:

  • discolouration of the nail – it may turn white, black, yellow or green

  • thickening and distortion of the nail – it may become an unusual shape or texture and be difficult to trim

  • pain or discomfort – particularly when using or placing pressure on the affected toe or finger

  • brittle or crumbly nails – pieces may break off and come away completely

The nail or nails have to be reduced so as to clear as much infection as possible. The remaining nail or exposed nail bed then needs to be treated with a cream or spray so as to ensure that the new nail growth does not become infected as it passes over the nail bed.

Treatment often needs to continue until the new nail growth is clear of any infection.

INGROWING TOENAILS

Ingrowing toenails are an extremely painful  condition where the skin around the toenail becomes red and swollen and can easily become infected. This is normally due to ill fitting shoes or incorrect cutting of the nail.

Treatment can include trimming the nail to make it more comfortable and providing a dressing to relieve the pressure on the area, or partial or full removal of the nail. 

Partial nail avulsion

Partial nail avulsion is a very effective and commonly used operation for treating ingrown toenails.

A local anaesthetic is used to numb your toe and the edges of your toenail are cut away. A chemical called phenol is applied to the affected area to prevent the nail growing back and becoming ingrown in the future.

A course of antibiotics may be prescribed if your nail is infected, and any pus will be drained away.

Total nail avulsion

Total nail avulsion may be necessary if your nail is thick and pressing into the skin surrounding your toe.

After your toenail has been removed, you’ll have an indentation where your nail used to be. However, it's perfectly safe for you not to have a toenail.