Nail Problems

Nail Problems

Nail Problems services offered in The Loop, Chicago, IL

Almost everyone experiences nail problems occasionally, but if you have diabetes or another health problem that affects your circulation, you’re more likely to have painful side effects or even dangerous side effects. At Chicago Foot Specialists, in the Chicago Loop neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, experienced podiatrists Nehal Sheth, DPM, Mark Pinkowski, DPM, and Christine Heck, DPM, and the team specialize in diagnosing and treating various nail problems, including toenail fungus and ingrown toenails. Call Chicago Foot Specialists today to receive treatment for nail problems, or make your appointment online.

Nail Problems Q&A

What are nail problems?

Nail problems are conditions that affect your toenails and surrounding tissue. The Chicago Foot Specialists team focuses on two nail problems in particular:

Toenail fungus 

Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, occurs when fungi infiltrate your nail tissue and multiply. Most fungal nail infections start as a small white dot. As the fungus spreads deeper into your nails, they thicken, change color, and crumble.

Ingrown toenails

Ingrown nails occur when your nail grows into the soft skin of the nail bed instead of away from your toe. As the nail grows further into your skin, it causes inflammation, pain, and sometimes, infection. 

What are the symptoms of nail problems?

Symptoms of nail problems include:

  • Nails that are thick, brittle, or discolored
  • Smelly or misshapen nails
  • Nails separated from the nail bed
  • Inflamed skin
  • Swelling around the nail
  • Redness
  • Skin that’s warm to the touch

If the nail or surrounding skin is infected, it might bleed or ooze pus.

Should I visit a podiatrist for nail problems?

Yes. Make an appointment at Chicago Foot Specialists if you have nail problems and they don’t improve with at-home treatments, like over-the-counter lotions or ointments. That’s especially true if you have diabetes or another medical issue that affects blood flow to your feet. Nail problems like fungal infections and ingrown nails increase the risk of infection and gangrene.

How are nail problems diagnosed?

The Chicago Foot Specialists team reviews your medical records, asks about your symptoms, and examines your toes and toenails.

If your provider suspects you have a fungal infection, they take a few nail clippings and send them to a nearby lab for analysis.

If you have an ingrown toenail, your podiatrist takes X-rays to see how far the nail grows into your skin and if there’s an infection.

How are nail problems treated?

The Chicago Foot Specialists team uses a conservative and minimally invasive approach to treat nail problems. They may recommend:

  • Placing a splint under your nail, so it grows away from your toe
  • Taping or lifting your nail
  • Removing part of your nail and some of the surrounding tissue
  • Oral antifungal medication
  • Prescription nail polish
  • Prescription nail cream
  • Laser treatment for nail fungus

If you have diabetes or another health problem that increases your risk of infection, the team can make special recommendations to keep your feet and nails healthy and problem-free.

Call Chicago Foot Specialists today to explore the treatments for nail problems, or make your appointment online.