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Health Tips for February 12

Posted Feb 12 2011 12:00am
Health Tip: Don't Ignore Ingrown Toenail

If you have a toenail that's expanded beneath the skin, no doubt it's become sore and painful and needs attention.

If you have poor circulation or diabetes, seek prompt medical treatment. But even if you don't have these medical problems, don't ignore an ingrown toenail.

The ADAM Encyclopedia offers these home-treatment suggestions
  • Soak the toe in warm water three to four times each day.
  • When you're not soaking, keep your feet dry.
  • Carefully massage the area that's inflamed.
  • Slide a piece of dental floss or cotton, soaked with a little antiseptic or water, underneath the nail.
  • Consider using over-the-counter treatments, but know that they're for pain only -- they won't treat the ingrown toenail itself.
  • Wear open-toed shoes or sandals until the condition improves.
  • If the condition worsens or doesn't improve, see a doctor before infection sets in.
Health Tip: Alert a Podiatrist to Foot Problems

Problems with your feet shouldn't be ignored. They can get worse over time, and can signal trouble elsewhere.

The American Podiatric Medical Association mentions these issues that should be discussed with a podiatrist
  • An open sore or ulcer on the feet, as they can indicate problems such as high blood pressure, sickle cell disease or a blood vessel condition.
  • Swelling of the feet, which can indicate problems with the heart, circulatory system or kidneys.
  • A burning sensation in the feet, which may indicate poor circulation.

These underlying medical issues also should be discussed with a podiatrist
  • Cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure, which could lead to insufficient blood flow to the feet.
  • Rheumatic heart disease, as medications used to treat it may interfere with some medications used to treat foot problems.
  • Diabetes, as it may affect sensation and circulation in the feet.
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