Ingrown Toenails: Ingrown nails occur when part of your nail grows into the flesh around it. They are caused by poor foot hygiene, poorly fitting shoes, and many other potential influences. Ingrown toenails are very common and typically affect the big toe. Symptoms are usually swelling, redness, and pain.
Soaking your feet in warm water can provide relief from swelling, while topical antibiotics (over-the-counter or prescription) can also help. Your foot doctor might trim a portion of the nail or even remove a portion of the nail completely in cases of severe infections.
Black and Blue Nails: If your nail turns black and blue, it means you have experienced an injury to the area of the skin underneath the nail. Runners, soccer players, and other athletes often experience black and blue nails. Shoes that are too small can also cause black and blue nails, as well as trauma to the nail. In addition to visible color changes, the affected toe can also be swollen or throbbing.
Soaking the toe or applying ice can relieve pain and swelling. Your foot doctor might remove the nail in severe cases or drill a hole into the nail in order to relieve pressure.
Thickened Nails: Your toenails can become thick due to many things, such as infections, trauma, repetitive pressure, and even general aging. In addition to noticeable thickness, your nail can also be painful to touch and be rigid, yellow, or brittle.
The approach taken for treatment depends on what is causing your nails to be thick. Filing and trimming can help, and anti-fungal medications can treat nails that are thick due to some infections. Your foot doctor might reduce the nail plate or remove the nail completely in severe cases.