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

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Posts for tag: ingrown toenails

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
February 13, 2019
Category: Shoes
Tags: blisters   calluses   ingrown toenails   overpronation   Running   injury   fit  

Gearing up to participate in a running event is no simple task. If you want to do your best, you’ll want to start training months in advance, especially if you are running a long race. Additionally, you’ll want the best gear to support you and keep you safe from injury.

What gear could we mean? Your running shoes, of course! To keep your feet supported and as comfortable as possible during your training and the actual race, look for the following features when choosing your running shoes:

  • Shoes designed for running – While cross-trainers and other athletic shoes could work, running shoes are designed with running in mind.
  • Fit – Make sure that the shoes fit the feet well. They shouldn’t be too big or too small as that can also cause problems.
  • Lots of cushion – The repetitive impact you encounter while running can impact your feet, ankles, knees, and hips. This can cause pain while you run, which can limit your performance.
  • Arch and heel support – The arches will be working hard to keep your entire foot engaged. If the arches become tired, they may flatten out, which can cause you pain toward the end of your race and for days after. Additionally, the heels need to be planted in heel cups so that they don’t slide about in the shoes, causing instability.
  • Firm heel counter – A firm heel counter will increase support in the shoes. It will help prevent overpronation (straining the arches) and keep the feet stabilized in the shoes.
  • Good outer sole grip – You’ll most likely be running outdoors during these events, so you’ll want shoes that have a good grip on the outer soles. At any point, if there are slippery or slick surfaces, it can create instability for your feet while you run if you don’t have good or enough tread.
  • Breathable material that supports and flexes at appropriate points – When you check the shoes and take it for a test run, make sure that your feet are not overheating. This is a sign that your shoes are not breathable and can cause you to excessively sweat. That will make perfect conditions to cause foot issues like foot odor, blisters, and calluses.

As you prepare, make sure you keep good hygiene, trim your toenails properly (to prevent ingrown toenails), and stretch your feet and ankles before and after each run. If you experience an injury, it’s important to rest and recover, rather than continuing to train on it.

If you experience foot pain while you are training, see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy at Clark Podiatry Center. He can assess your feet and find the best treatment for any concern you may have. Make an appointment at our Clark, NJ office so we can keep you walking (or running!).

By Clark Podiatry Center
February 06, 2019

Your children grow up in what seems like a blink of the eye. They start to crawl, take their first steps, are running, and jumping, and before you know it, tying their own shoelaces! Then it’s off to college!

Okay, so it’s not quite that quick, but time sure can fly by. That’s why we want to encourage you to start teaching your children to take care of their feet early. Children are pretty perceptive and can learn by example starting from a young age. Take advantage of the years when they are soaking up knowledge and teach them some of the following ways to take care of their own feet:

  • Washing feet – This is a skill they can learn as they learn to wash their bodies during bath time. Have them reach their toes while they are sitting, and gently rub, rub, rub. Remind them to clean the tops and bottoms of their feet, as well as in between the toes and under the toenails. Teach them to properly dry their feet and moisturize if their skin is dry.
  • Wearing socks with shoes – Other than with sandals, teach them that they need to always wear socks before they put on their shoes. Children’s feet can get just as sweaty and stinky as our feet, so it’s important that they wear socks. That way, their shoes will not become stinky! Additionally, wearing shoes without socks can lead to blisters, corns, and calluses, which can be painful for your little one.
  • Understanding how their feet fit into shoes – As your children’s feet grow, observe their feet when they seem to either not put their shoes on, or want to take them off quickly. Look for any redness or swelling as these signs can indicate that shoes are too small. When you buy new shoes, have them try the shoes on and ask them if their toes have room to wiggle. Are the feet sliding around in the shoes? Do they feel snug or are they clunky? As they get older, they will recognize whether or not shoes fit them correctly.
  • Feeling out when they need to have their toenails trimmed – It’s not always easy to be on top of when your children need to have their toenails trimmed. When they are old enough, you can teach them to trim their own toenails, but before then, you’ll need to teach them an approximate length in which they should come to you for a trim. When the whites reach the edge of their toes, or when they feel the nails hit the top or front of their shoes (which can cause ingrown toenails) are both good times to trim toenails.
  • Foot exercises – Children generally get a lot of foot exercise from their general playtime. However, it doesn’t hurt to teach them some exercises by example. When watching TV together, you can help them with motor skills by doing foot circles or testing their ABCs in a silly way – draw them with your feet!

If you need tips on how to help your child with foot care, come see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy at Clark Podiatry Center. He can assess your child’s feet at New Jersey Children's Foot Health Institute and find the best treatment for any concern you may have for your child’s feet. Make an appointment at our Clark, NJ office so we can keep your child walking.

By Clark Podiatry Center
January 30, 2019

Ever since the day you brought them home from the hospital, you’ve probably thought that every part of your child is precious – from the strands of hair at the top of his/her head to the tickly bottoms of his/her feet. One of the most dreaded acts you had to perform was probably cutting the fingernails and toenails without accidentally drawing blood!

Today, we’ll talk about those cute toenails you cared for. Let’s start by saying that children’s toenail problems are not very common. However, there are a few things you should know about possible problems they can encounter.

  1. For one, if your child has toe deformities, they are more at risk of having toenail issues. The combination of toe shape, tightness of shoes, and toe grooming habits (which you may be in charge of) can lead to problems like ingrown toenails. To lower the risk of this painful issue, make sure your child’s toenails are cut straight across and not too short.
  2. You may consider fungal toenails an adult foot problem, but children are also susceptible. After all, some children do go to the same areas where fungal infections are easily spread, such as community pools, and gym locker rooms with their parents. It can even spread at home – by sharing a foot towel with a parent or sibling who is already infected.
  3. Some overall health issues will manifest as toenail problems. Autoimmune diseases or viral infections can lead to toenails separating from the nail bed and possibly even fall off.
  4. Spots, lines, or indentations in the nails can indicate a lapse in nutrition (like low zinc or iron), a period of sickness (fever), or slight trauma from repeatedly dropping something on the foot or kicking something (such as the front of a tight shoe).

Again, these problems are pretty rare, but they can happen. Practicing good hygiene, grooming correctly, having a nutritious diet, and ensuring a good fit in shoes will help to prevent these problems. If you suspect something is going on with your child’s toenails, come see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy at Clark Podiatry Center. He can assess your child’s feet at New Jersey Children's Foot Health Institute and find the best treatment for toenail problems. Make an appointment at our Clark, NJ office so we can keep your child 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!

 



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1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

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