Ingrown toenails can be extremely painful. They occur when the nail grows into the flesh of the toe. In most instances, it involves the big toe although it can happen on other toes as well. A few common causes for ingrown nails are wearing shoes that essentially crowd the toenail, cutting nails too short or not straight across as recommended, or injury to the toenail. Injury to the toenail is common in some sports and activities such as soccer and dance, where a lot of contact with the toe is made.
Symptoms of an ingrown nail include pain in the toe on one or both sides of the toenail, redness and swelling around the toenail, and infection of skin around the toenail. There are at home treatments available for ingrown nails, but we recommend a visit to our highly qualified podiatrists, particularly if you are experiencing a lot of discomfort in and around your toe or if your toe’s redness or pus seems to be spreading or if you have diabetes or any circulation impairment to your legs and feet. An ingrown toenail can cause a serious bone infection if left untreated, so it is important to address an ingrown toenail when it happens.
There are occasions when an ingrown toenail becomes a chronic problem. When this occurs, the doctor may discuss options with you that could include removing a portion of the toenail along with the nail bed beneath it to prevent the nail from growing back into the skin. Typically the doctor performs this procedure in the office using a chemical.
To help lessen the risk of infection or to treat infection, the doctor may also recommend topical cream or oral antibiotics for ingrown nail treatment.
If you have an ingrown toenail, contact Community Foot Specialists for an appointment at 937-426-9500.