Ingrown Toenail

What is an ingrown toenail?

Ingrown toenails occur when the side or corner of your toenail grows into the soft flesh at the borders of your nail bed. Generally speaking, ingrown toenails are most common in the big toe, though they can occur in any other toe as well.

Ingrown toenails can cause redness, swelling, and pain if left unaddressed for too long. In some rare and severe cases, ingrown toenails can also lead to infection. If the ingrown toenail is minor, you might be able to take care of it by yourself at home, though you should always seek expert guidance from one of the team members at Foot and Ankle Specialists. You’re always in better hands when in front of a professional.

Through comprehensive medical attention, your podiatrist can ensure that the ingrown toenail disappears and doesn’t come back.

What are the common symptoms of an ingrown toenail?

If you have an ingrown toenail, you might experience any of the following symptoms.

  • Tenderness and pain in the affected toe
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Infection

While infections from ingrown toenails aren’t common, they usually come with pus in the affected area and can spread to other parts of the foot.

People with diabetes are more at risk of developing an infection, as the condition can limit the blood flow to your foot. In this case, you should get in touch with a podiatrist at specialists as soon as you can.

What causes ingrown toenails?

There are many reasons why you might have an ingrown toenail, though, in some cases, there might not be a specific cause. Ingrown toenails can come about as a result of:

  • Curved toenails
  • Tight-fitting shoes
  • Toenail injuries
  • Cutting your nails at an angle
  • Cutting your nails too short

During your appointment at specialists, your podiatrist examines your symptoms and suggests the most appropriate treatment option.

How are ingrown toenails treated?

While you wait for your appointment at specialists, you should soak your foot in warm water. This relieves any irritation or inflammation around the nail. It can also temporarily eliminate pain and tenderness.

When you come in for your appointment, your doctor might recommend a gutter splint to address the ingrowth. Gutter splints involve freeing up the edge of the toenail that is digging into your tissue to avoid it from going in deeper.

In other cases, your podiatrist may need to remove a section of the nail bed or nail to clear the way for your nail to grow back correctly. This procedure is often painless and noninvasive. If you know you’re sensitive to pain, your doctor can give you a local anesthetic to ensure your comfort.

Do you think you have an ingrown toenail and want to get it looked at by a professional? Contact specialists today either by phone or through the online booking tool.

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