Under normal circumstances, toenails grow out straight over the flesh. An ingrown toenail occurs when a nail, usually on the big toe, grows into the skin. There are several possible reasons this can happen, ranging from injury to ill-fitting shoes to inadequate grooming habits. Sometimes, it is simply a matter of heredity. When toenails mine into soft tissue, it is a painful experience that leads to swelling and reddish irritation.

Medicare Benefits to Treat Disorders of the Feet
Medicare Part B covers podiatrist examinations and treatment of feet for people diagnosed with diabetes-related nerve damage. The patient is responsible for the 20% coinsurance plus the deductible. There may also be a co-payment due to the hospital if care is provided in a hospital outpatient center. In an overview of diabetic neuropathy, the Mayo Clinic explains that high blood sugar can cause damage to nerves throughout the body and frequently injures the nerves in the feet as well as the legs. Diabetics need to be particularly attentive to foot care and impede such issues as ingrown toenails.

Treatment for Ingrown Toenails
In the early stages of ingrown toenails, most people attempt home remedies to avoid a doctor visit if possible. The most common recommended home treatment is a deep soak in warm, soapy water. However, if you have diabetes or suffer from circulation issues, it is best to seek medical attention immediately. Also, do not hesitate to see a doctor if the redness is excessive or you experience drainage.

To receive Medicare benefits for foot disorders, health care services must be medically necessary. If you do need to see a doctor, podiatrists are the physicians that specialize in treating disorders that impact the lower part of the legs through the ankles to the feet. In addition to ingrown toenails, they can remedy bunions, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, stress fractures, fallen arches and hammertoes as well as other injuries of the feet and ankles.

For ingrown toenails, a podiatrist may remove a section of the nail and give you a prescription to treat the infection. However, in the case of a chronic condition, a more aggressive action may be necessary such as a chemical or laser procedure that removes the corner of the iniquitous nail and its matrix.

For Medicare benefits, remember that Part A covers care you receive while formally admitted into a hospital, and Part B covers medically necessary services and supplies you get at a doctor’s office or in an outpatient care setting. You will likely be responsible for an annual deductible, coinsurance, or copayments.

Maintaining Healthy Feet
To maintain healthy feet and toenails, the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) recommends that you trim nails carefully; cut nails straight across but only as far as the tops of your toes; round off rather than bore into the corners; and be sure to use good toenail clippers.

Related articles:

Does Medicare Cover Nail Fungus? (Opens in a new browser tab)

Does Medicare Cover Dermatology? (Opens in a new browser tab)