My Blog

Posts for category: Toenail conditions

By Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC
January 17, 2018
Category: Toenail conditions
Tags: Swelling   Podiatrist   Treatment   fungal   toenails  

It is easy to watch the days pass by without noticing that your toenail and its surrounding skin has been bothering you. You peeked at it in the beginning and notice that the skin was red, puffy, and slightly discolored. Your first thought was that a hangnail has become infected, so you clean the site. After some time though, the swelling continues and the nail starts to get ridges. What is it that is affecting your nail that way? It could be paronychia.

Paronychia is a soft tissue infection around a fingernail or toenail that begins as cellulitis. Over time, if not properly and promptly treated, it can progress into an abscess. More specifically, it is a superficial infection of the thin tissue forming the outer layer of a body’s surface and lining adjacent to the nail plate that begins as cellulitis but that may progress to a definite abscess. The 2 forms of paronychia, acute and chronic, usually differ in causation, infectious agent, and treatment and are often considered separate entities.

The acute infection, which is painful and pus-filled, is most frequently caused by staphylococci bacteria although it commonly has mixed microbiota that may or may not need free oxygen to survive. The patient's condition and discomfort are noticeably improved by a simple drainage procedure. Chronic paronychial infections are usually fungal, rather than bacterial, in nature.

Signs and Symptoms of Paronychia

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Pus collection under the skin
  • Thickened skin around fingernails and toenails
  • Runaround infection
  • Pain
  • Nail plates become thickened and discolored
  • The cuticles and nail folds may separate from the nail plate

The diagnosis of paronychia is based primarily on patient history and physical examination.

Treatment Strategies

  • Soak toenails in warm water with Epsom salts 3-4 times a day
  • Antibiotics as prescribed by your podiatrist
  • If an abscess has developed, incision and drainage must be performed

Do you have swelling, redness, and pain on or around the skin of your toenails? Have all of your at-home remedies failed to cure it and you are stuck? Call Dr. Alan J. Discont and Dr. Krahn of Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC located in Chandler, Arizona. Call 480-732-0033 or make an appointment online today. You do not have to suffer through the pain alone. 

By Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC
December 14, 2017
Category: Toenail conditions

When you are taking off your shoes for the day, you don’t always look at your feet. Examining your feet on a weekly basis can be very important to your overall health and wellness. By just examining your feet, you can help to prevent many different disorders and diseases. You can also notice that your toenails have started to yellow. Do not panic - there are many reasons why your toenails can be yellowing, one of which is known in the podiatry world as Yellow Nail Syndrome.

Yellow nail syndrome is a rare but serious cause of yellow toenails in people all over the world. There are three typical features that are associated with this disorder: 

1) Yellow Nails: The yellow nails are slow to grow and do not need to be trimmed very often. They are thickened and discolored with a yellow or green color. There may be ridges across the nails as well as more curving. In more severe cases, the nail can completely detach itself from the nail bed.

2) Lymphedema: There is also swelling of the limbs because of the buildup of excess fluid that is trapped in the body. This usually affects both legs but in some cases may also affect the arms and the face. Around 80% of people with yellow nail syndrome will develop lymphedema. Approximately one third of cases have lymphedema as the first sign of yellow nail syndrome.

3) Lung Problems: Many people with this syndrome will experience lung problems such as shortness of breath and coughing. Half of people with yellow nail syndrome will suffer from recurring chest infections or bronchitis. Pleural effusions (excess fluid in the space surrounding the lungs) affect roughly 40% of people with yellow nail syndrome.

People who have at least two of these three symptoms are usually diagnosed with yellow nail syndrome. Yellow toenails and or fingernails are usually always seen in this condition. Vitamin E may be given to help reduce nail discoloration. Treatment usually focuses on the lung issues and lymphedema and then tends to the yellow nails.

If you suspect you may have yellow nail syndrome, you should seek prompt medical advice. Dr. Alan J. Discont and Dr. Krahn can help you treat your yellow nails and determine whether it is a fungus, yellow nail syndrome, or something else entirely. Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC located in Chandler, Arizona, is friendly, professional, and knowledgeable about your feet and their care. Call 480-732-0033 or make an appointment online today.