Toenail Problem Specialist

Lincoln Park Podiatry

Foot and Ankle Surgeon located in Lincoln Park | Lakeview, Chicago, IL

Your toenails are incredibly tough, but they aren’t invincible. At Lincoln Park Podiatry in Lincoln Park and Lake View in Chicago, Illinois, the board-certified podiatrists, Dr. Michael Williams, offers several quick and effective treatments to address common toenail problems, including toenail fungus and ingrown toenails. To learn more about your different treatment options, call or click today.

Toenail Problems Q & A

What is toenail fungus?

Toenail fungus is just that: a fungal infection of one or more of your toenails. Mild cases of toenail fungus don’t always require treatment. However, if your nails become thick or painful, or you have a chronic condition such as diabetes, it’s important to seek help from a qualified podiatrist. Left untreated, more serious cases of toenail fungus may cause an infection. 

What are the symptoms of toenail fungus?

The most obvious symptom of toenail fungus is a yellow or white spot under the tip of your toenail that grows in size. Other telltale signs include: 

  • Thick nails
  • Flaky nails
  • Nail discoloration
  • Distorted nails

If you have toenail fungus, you might also notice a foul odor when you take off your shoes or socks. 

How is toenail fungus diagnosed and treated?

The team at Lincoln Park Podiatry diagnoses toenail fungus by physically examining your nails, reviewing your medical history, and asking about your symptoms. Your podiatrist might also clip your toenails and send them to a laboratory for further testing. 

Treatment for toenail fungus depends on the severity of your infection. For mild toenail fungus, your provider might prescribe topical or oral antifungal medications. If your toenail fungus persists, surgical intervention might be necessary. For example, your Lincoln Park Podiatry provider might surgically remove your affected nail and apply an antifungal ointment directly to your nail bed. 

What is an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail is a common foot-related problem that occurs when your toenail grows into the soft skin surrounding it. In most cases, ingrown toenails heal on their own. However, if you experience pain or your affected toe becomes red or swollen, contact the team at Lincoln Park Podiatry right away.  

What causes an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail can develop for many reasons. Some of the most common causes include: 

  • Wearing tight shoes
  • Having curved nails
  • Injuring your toenail
  • Playing sports

You’re also more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you clip your nails at an angle, instead of straight across. 

How are ingrown toenails diagnosed and treated?

To diagnose an ingrown toenail, your Lincoln Park Podiatry provider physically examines your feet and toes. They might also place light pressure on your affected toe to determine the severity. 

Typically, conservative methods of treatment are enough to relieve pain caused by an ingrown toenail. However, if your symptoms persist, your provider might recommend lifting your nail or partially removing the nail using a minimally invasive outpatient procedure. 

To learn more about the treatment for ingrown toenails and toenail fungus, call or click today!