Ingrown and fungal toenails are two conditions especially common in people with poor circulation. Though similar, there are distinct differences:
An ingrown toenail occurs when your nail grows into your nail bed instead of away from your toe. Without early intervention and treatment, an ingrown nail can become infected, increasing the risk of gangrene or other potentially serious complications.
Fungal toenails occur due to a fungal infection. A fungal infection typically starts out as a small white or yellow dot. Over time, the infection can spread, causing your nails to turn yellow, thicken, and crumble.
Symptoms of an ingrown nail include:
As the infection gets worse, you might also find it difficult to place weight on or bend your affected toe.
Symptoms of fungal toenails include nails that are:
As the fungal infection spreads, you might also notice your shoes and socks emit a foul odor.
At Long Lake Podiatry, P.C., Dr. Berlin diagnoses ingrown and fungal toenails by reviewing your health history, asking about your symptoms, and examining your toes.
Ingrown toenails are easy to diagnose through visual observation, but Dr. Berlin might order X-rays to determine how far the nail penetrates your skin.
To diagnose fungal toenails, Dr. Berlin takes clippings of your nails. He sends your clippings to a laboratory that analyzes them to determine the type of fungal infection you have. After he knows the type of infection you have, Dr. Berlin develops a custom treatment plan.
Treatment of ingrown and fungal toenails depends on various factors, including your age, medical history, and the severity of your condition.
If you have an ingrown nail, Dr. Berlin might recommend lifting it, partially removing it, or completely removing it. Most ingrown nails are mild and respond to lifting. To do that, Dr. Berlin uses a piece of dental floss or a toothpick to keep the nail away from your skin, allowing it to grow outward.
If you have fungal toenails, Dr. Berlin eliminates the infection with the PinPointe™ FootLaser®. The advanced treatment technique uses targeted light energy to heat up and destroy the fungal infection inside your nails. PinPointe treatment is quick, pain-free, and provides stunning results.
To explore the treatment options for ingrown and fungal toenails, make an appointment at Long Lake Podiatry, P.C. by calling the nearest office or clicking the online booking feature today.