Ingrown Toenails & Fungal Infections (Athlete’s Foot): Emergency Room Near You
The importance of our feet to us can’t be stressed enough as they play a crucial role both in movement and locomotion when walking or running as well as in support when standing. Any issues as far as they are concerned will therefore be a problem for you as it will interfere with these functions. There are a number of issues that can arise, with an ingrown toenail as well as fungal infections, especially athlete’s foot, being particularly common. Starting with an ingrown toenail, it occurs when the corners or edges of your toenails grow into the skin that is next to the nail. Of all your toes, the big toe is usually the one most susceptible to this condition, and it is a condition that is especially common in athletes who are liable to wear shoe gear that is improper or ill-fitting as well as suffering toe injuries. Fungal infections are also common as far as our feet are concerned especially since the shoes we wear, if not cleaned properly, provide a conducive environment for infection causing fungi to thrive. Athlete’s foot, also known as tinea pedis, is particularly common and it is a cutaneous fungal infection which means it affects the skin on the feet. It can, however, also spread to the toenails and even hands. This article will look to take a look at these conditions as well as when to head over to an emergency room near you as far as each of them is concerned.
Let us start by taking a look at an ingrown toenail. The signs and symptoms of an ingrown toenail include pain, redness as well as swelling in and around the affected toenail. You will notice that the skin next to the nail is tender, hard or swollen or that there is some fluid building up around the toe. You may also experience pain, as mentioned above, when you press on the affected toe. You may also notice a yellowish fluid or pus draining from the affected toenail if it becomes infected. In children with an ingrown toenail, you will notice that they are limping so as to avoid putting pressure on the area or foot with the ingrown toenail. If your ingrown toenail is not infected, then it can be treated at home with a number of home remedies which include soaking your feet in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes about 3 to 4 times each day, using a cotton ball soaked in olive oil to push skin away from the edge of the toenail as well as applying a topical antibiotic or a steroid cream to help prevent infection. You may also use over-the-counter pain relievers for the pain.
However, there are instances where an ingrown toenail requires you to go to an emergency room near you to be assessed and treated. If you have a compromised immune system or you have diabetes, then you should seek care at an emergency room even if the symptoms appear mild. You should also do the same if your ingrown toenail is not responding to home remedies as such a situation may require surgery to resolve. You should also head over to an emergency room near you if you notice signs of an infection as far as your ingrown toenail is concerned. These include redness and red streaks spreading from the toe to the middle of the foot, swelling, bad odor as well as drainage oozing from the ingrown toenail which can be a green, yellow or white fluid which may contain pus. If you notice signs of an infection, you should seek medical attention as soon as you can.
As far as athlete’s foot is concerned, some of the signs and symptoms to look out for include itching, burning, stinging and blisters of your feet, dry skin on your feet as well as peeling and cracking of the skin on your feet especially between your toes and soles, raw skin on your feet as well as toenails that are thick, crumbly, discolored and that pull away from the nail bed. Treatment of athlete’s foot, and most fungal infection in the foot, usually involves the use of a topical antifungal medications which you can get over-the-counter or can be prescribed by your doctor. In most cases these topical agents such as creams and sprays are preffered with oral antifungal medications being reserved for those with extensive or chronic disease or if a topical agent cannot be applied. You may also have to soak your feet in salt water, diluted vinegar or a potassium permanganate solution if you have skin that is itchy, inflamed and with blisters. This treatment will go hand in hand with the use of the antifungal medication. Instances where you should head over to an emergency room near you for athletes foot is if you suspect that you have it given the symptoms and have diabetes or a compromised immune system. Complications are likely to arise in such situations and as such they should be taken seriously.
It is our hope that the above discussion will help you identify, treat and seek emergency care at an emergency room near you for an ingrown toenail or athlete’s foot, enabling you to get the help you need for these conditions.