Nail Problems

Stephanie Spicer, DPM -  - Podiatrist, Foot & Ankle Medicine and Surgery

Foot & Ankle Group

Stephanie Spicer, DPM

Podiatrist, Foot & Ankle Medicine and Surgery located in Olympia Fields, IL

Problems with your nails can cause a number of concerning symptoms like pain, swelling, and discoloration. If you suffer from nail problems, book an appointment with board-certified podiatrist Stephanie Spicer, DPM, at Foot & Ankle Group in Olympia Fields, Illinois. The practice offers a wide range of effective treatments and advanced diagnostics to accurately diagnose your condition. To schedule your visit, call or book online today.

Nail Problems Q & A

What are the symptoms of a nail problem?

There are a number of conditions that can affect the health and appearance of your nails. If you suffer from a nail problem, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Thickened nails
  • Discolored nails
  • Throbbing pain
  • Swelling or redness
  • Changed nail shape

If you notice painful symptoms or changes to the appearance of your nails, it’s important to seek medical attention. Without the right care, certain nail problems can leave you at risk for a serious infection or damage to your nail and surrounding tissues. 

What are some common nail problems?

Common nail problems include:

Nail fungus

Nail fungus is a type of fungal infection that affects both the health and appearance of your nails. Nail fungus causes once healthy nails to become thick, discolored, and brittle. Nail fungus occurs when fungus enters through cracks in your nail. Many people pick up nail fungus from damp public spaces like swimming pools, gyms, and locker rooms. 

Although nail fungus can affect your hands and your feet, it most commonly affects the toenails. Severe cases of nail fungus can become painful and cause permanent damage to your nails. 

Ingrown toenail

An ingrown toenail occurs when your nail begins to grow into the surrounding flesh. An ingrown toenail is a painful condition that can cause redness, swelling, and even lead to infection. Most ingrown toenails are caused by improper nail trimming or injuries that damage the toenail. People with abnormally curved toenails are also at an increased risk of developing the condition. People with conditions like diabetes are more likely to experience complications, including serious infections, as a result of their ingrown toenail. 

Nail injuries

A nail injury refers to damage that affects the different parts of your nail — the nail, the nail bed, and surrounding tissue. Cutting or smashing the finger with a heavy object are some of the more common nail injuries. A nail injury can result in a number of symptoms, including bleeding, throbbing pain, bruising. A nail injury can also cause the nail to pull or tear away from the nail bed. 

How are nail problems treated?

Before you begin treatment, your doctor performs a thorough examination to determine the underlying cause of your nail problem. In addition to your physical exam, your doctor also works with a pathologist to determine the most accurate diagnosis. After your examination, your doctor works with you to find the most effective treatment for your condition. Depending on your diagnosis, treatment for your nail problem may include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Antifungal treatment
  • Footwear changes
  • Professional debridement

Foot & Ankle Group offers a number of on-site treatments and medications for immediate relief. If your condition doesn’t improve with conservative care, the practice also offers several traditional and minimally invasive procedures. 

To speak with a foot and ankle specialist about your nail problem, book an appointment with Foot & Ankle Group by phone or online today.