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Dr. Brandon Macy
Podiatrist - Clark, NJ
1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

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Posts for category: Toenail problems

Patients are always asking why their ingrown nails keep coming back and why can't they be cut "properly" -- whatever that means--so that the problem never comes back.

Unfortunately, the shape of a toenail can't be changed by cutting it different—straight across, back on an angle or the anachronistic V-shaped notch in the middle of the nail (which has never worked going back to cave-man days). Nails grow straight out toward the tip of the toe.  Ingrown nails are nails which have curled so that the edges can't grow past the skin of the nail groove on the side and poke into the skin. A sharp edge or a poorly trimmed nail can break through the skin in which case an infection can ensue.

In these circumstances, cutting the nail better in the corners can help, but temporarily at best. And if frequent infections are the norm, even small ones, then the best way to deal with the problem is to fix it on a lasting basis by performing an in-office procedure called a matrixectomy. Simply put, this is done by making the nail more narrow on the affected side and then cauterizing the so-called "root" of the nail so that the removed portion does not return at all.

If you'd like to see a video of such a procedure, click on video below.  A word of warning: this is an actual surgical procedure and the contents are graphic in nature.

 

 

This particular patient had a problem with a border of both great toenails. The amount of nail removed is determined by how much the nail curls under. We remove as little as possible, but just the right amount to correct the problem

The process of cauterization takes about 60-90 seconds per nail border. Once again, what we're trying to do is to destroy the nail matrix or "root" of the nail in the area in order to prevent that part of the nail from ever growing back. Numbness from the local anesthetic lasts for a few hours and typically there is little or no need for pain medication afterwards, nothing more than ibuprofen or Tylenol.

We provide a wound care kit to use for postoperative care beginning the next day. The old bandages are removed, the toe is rinsed, dried and a small amount of medication is put into the nail groove and the area covered with a band aid. This is done once or twice per day until healing is complete.

Overall healing time is 2-3 weeks with little or no disability. The procedure is quick, simple and VERY successful at relieving the pain of an ingrown toenail once and for all.

For more information or an appointment, contact us at 732-382-3470 or visit our website at www.clarkpodiatry.com.  

At Clark Podiatry Center, we want to keep you walking! 

 
By Clark Podiatry Center
September 18, 2018
Category: Toenail problems

The summer might be coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore your toenails! On the contrary, now that you might be wearing more closed-toed shoes with socks, you might be at more of a risk for fungal problems.

Today’s focus is on how fungal growth can mean infections on the toenails. Toenail fungus, also called onychomycosis, is caused by the same family of fungus (tinea) that causes Athlete’s Foot and Ringworm. When the fungus affects the toenails, they can become brittle, discolored, and or thick.

Where do I get fungal toenails?

  • The gym – A common place of contagion is a gym locker room with showers. The damp and warm environment allows the fungus to thrive, making it easy to transfer from person to person when each is barefoot. (Use flip-flops at the gym!)
  • Your family member – If someone in your family has foot fungus or fungal toenails, it can spread via shared towels or showers that do not fully dry between uses.
  • Your roommate – Similarly, if you have a roommate with whom you share a bathroom, you can become infected via shared towels or showers.
  • The community pool – While the chlorine does its best to disinfect and reduce microorganism growth, most people have moments of being barefoot between the pool and the locker room. Foot fungus thrives in moisture associated with pool areas.

Wearing closed-toed shoes, especially if you wear them every day, can also be the culprit of a fungal infection. In the fall and winter, your feet are warm inside the shoes. Those who sweat in closed-toed shoes create the perfect environment for fungus to grow. When opportunity strikes, the microorganism can infect the skin and toenails.

How do I get rid of these unsightly fungal toenails?

Depending on the severity of the fungal toenails, Dr. Macy might suggest:

  • Antifungal creams or lotions directly to the nails.
  • Medicated nail polish: The prescribed nail polish has an antifungal in it and should be used once daily.
  • Oral antifungal medication if your infection sites are throughout the body. 
  • Laser Therapy: This is a low risk, painless treatment, which kills the fungus living in the toenails. As your nails grow out, it should grow without the fungal symptoms. Our office also has Keryflex available to cosmetically restore any damaged toenails, especially as you wait for your own nails to grow out.

Are your fungal toenails causing you embarrassment? Do you want to be free of unsightly toenails? Come to see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy for an assessment. Make an appointment today to be rid of those fungal toenails. We are located in Clark, NJ and serve patients in all of Union County! We keep you walking!

 

By Clark Podiatry Center
July 11, 2018
Category: Toenail problems

Helen has always had nails that were crooked and curled downward instead of straight out. Her mother and grandmother also had toenails like these and so she rarely wears open-toed shoes.

Peter was about to take a shot at the goal when another soccer player tried to interfere. Their feet collided and Peter suffered a toenail injury. The toenail turned black and then eventually fell off. The new toenail started to grow back out, but then grew into the skin.

Taylor hates cutting toenails, and so cuts them short in hopes to lengthen the time between having to trim them again. But recently, the toenails have been growing into the skin and causing pain.

Jaime wears fancy shoes for work. However, they put lots of pressure down on the toes and the toenails are forced to grow into the skin. Ouch!

Helen, Peter, Taylor, and Jaime now all suffer from ingrown toenails. Some of them have pain while others just feel bothered by the way the nails are growing. What can they do?

If they noticed that the toenails are just beginning to grow into the skin they can try to reduce inflammation and swelling (with ice, Epsom salts, and/or NSAIDs) and gently push the skin away from the toenail. Then:

  • Trim toenails straight across and not too short. Rounding the toenails make it more likely for the toenails to grow into the skin. It also makes it harder to pull the skin away if they begin to grow into the skin. Cutting them short can cause the skin around the toenail to swell a bit, making it easier for the nail to become ingrown.
  • Wear shoes with a roomier toe box. People who work on their feet all day have experienced all sorts of toe issues, including ingrown toenails and even toe deformities like hammertoes.
  • Use bandages on ingrown toenails to cushion the pressure from shoes.

If the toenails are severely ingrown, causing pain deep in the toe, and/or infected, make an appointment today at Clark Podiatry Center. This is especially important if you are diabetic since the risk of infection and ulceration are larger for you. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy will assess your feet to find the best treatments or solutions for your feet. This may include a partial nail avulsion or matrixectomy (nail removal), depending on your specific case. We are located in Clark, NJ and serve patients in all the surrounding Union County towns!

 

By Clark Podiatry Center
September 13, 2017
Category: Toenail problems

Foot fungus is an infection that commonly infects the feet. Toenail fungus, called onychomycosis, can start with a little bit of yellow or white discoloration or dot, but long-term effects can end with fungal build up. Eventually, the nails become discolored (between yellowish and grayish), thicker, and ragged at the tips of the toenails.

Causes: Toenails can become infected by a skin opening or crack in the nails. There are many fungi that can affect toenails as well as the skin (resulting in diseases known as Athlete’s foot and ringworm). Those with weakened immune systems and restricted blood circulation can make folks more susceptible to fungal infection. They are commonly spread in areas that are damp, such as gym locker rooms or towels and other items used by those with infection.

Typical Treatments:  

  • Antifungal Creams or Lotions: Apply directly to the nail and around it. Soaking in a warm foot bath and thinning the nails can make it more effective.
  • Medicated Nail Polish: The prescribed nail polish has an antifungal in it and should be used once daily.
  • Oral Antifungal Medications: Because it is a systemic treatment, it can clear up fungus that affects all of the skin. However, it can also have side effects that cause skin rash and liver damage.
  • Home treatments like: Over-the-counter treatment with camphor and eucalyptus oil; snakeroot extract

Laser Therapy: The latest treatment option for fungal toenails is laser therapy. It is a low risk, painless treatment with no known side effects. It can effectively treat fungal infection through a short 10-minute session, with follow-up sessions if necessary. It can kill the fungus living in the nails so that future nail growth will occur without the infection. Since toenails can grow slowly, it can take as long as 5 to 6 months for the toenail to push out the infected area. We also offer Keryflex to cover and cosmetically restore damaged toenails. You can hide fungal infections using Keryflex and nail polish.

Got a persistent fungal infection that won’t respond to typical treatment? Come see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy for an assessment of the fungal toenails. Make an appointment today to have your feet treated with care. We are located in Clark, NJ and serve patients in all of Union County! We keep you walking!

 

By Brandon Macy, D.P.M.
August 10, 2014
Category: Toenail problems
Tags: Nail salons  

6 Things You Need to Know About Nail Salons

 Based in part on a campaign performed in Washington State involving the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and the Washington State Department of Licensing, these are recommendations to follow regarding infection control and other safety issues:

 

1.    Ask if the salon and operator are licensed.

2.    Do Not get a manicure or pedicure if you have cuts, sores or a skin infection on your hands or feet.

3.    Do Not shave your legs before an appointment. Nicks or cuts can be pathways for germs.

4.    Bring your own nail polish [we carry a line of high-quality antifungal nail polishes in our office!]  and, as an option, your own instruments.

5.    Inform the operator if you are diabetic or are taking blood thinners. If the operator isn’t extra-cautious under these circumstances, find another salon.

6.    Ask questions if you have concerns. 

 

#nailsalons #ClarkPodiatryCenter



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1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

Podiatrist - Clark, Dr. Brandon Macy, 1114 Raritan Road, Clark NJ, 07066 732-382-3470