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Most people give little thought to their feet and toes until an issue occurs. Among the most common issues is an ingrown toenail, which can cause pain, redness, and inflammation.
Here at Bay Area Foot Care, with 10 locations in and around San Francisco, California, our highly skilled team of podiatrists provides care for all your foot and ankle needs, including the latest treatments for ingrown toenails.
Read on to learn about ingrown toenails, what causes them and when you should seek medical attention.
What is the Ingrown Toenails 101?
Estimates show that 18% of US adults have experienced an ingrown toenail at some point. They are common and usually get better by themselves with rest and care. In some cases, however, your ingrown toenail may indicate the presence of an infection.
They occur when the front or side edge of the nail curves into your skin rather than growing straight out of the nail bed. This can be caused by cutting your toenails too short, wearing tight shoes, or dropping something heavy on your foot.
What are the Symptoms and Treatments for an Ingrown Toenail?
In the first few days after developing an ingrown toenail, your symptoms are likely minimal. You may feel discomfort when you move the nail or when the nail gets squeezed inside your shoe.
If your ingrown toenail becomes painful, you may get relief from at-home treatments, including soaking your toes in warm water several times a day, wearing comfortable shoes, or taking painkillers.
If at-home treatments don’t help, however, you may need to see one of our foot care specialists. Persistent pain and oozing pus could indicate an infection.
Diabetics are at a higher risk of developing an infection and should see a podiatrist immediately rather than waiting a few days to see whether symptoms improve. When you have diabetes, Infections are harder to treat and they may lead to severe complications if they’re ignored.
Treatments for this include lifting the nail with a splint to separate it from the skin, topical treatments, and oral medications. Depending on the severity, you may be a candidate for partial or complete nail removal.
Call Us to Treat Your Ingrown Toenail!
Ingrown toenails can cause a lot of pain and lead to complications if not treated. If you’re dealing with the swelling, redness, and discomfort, call one of our convenient locations or book your appointment online.
Ingrown Toenail FAQs
An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of the toenail grows into the skin surrounding the nail rather than over it. This may result in pain, redness, swelling, and in certain circumstances, an infection. Although it can affect any toe, the big toe is most frequently affected by this common condition. Numerous things, such as poor toenail care, uncomfortable footwear, and toe injuries, can result in ingrown toenails. Warm water soaks, wearing loose-fitting shoes, and in more severe situations, surgical intervention are all possible treatments.
An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of the toenail grows into the skin surrounding the nail rather than over it. Various factors, including improper toenail trimming, heredity, trauma, tight-fitting shoes, fungal infections, abnormal nail shape, and poor foot hygiene, can cause it. Too-tight shoes, trimming toenails too short, rounding the corners, stubbing your toe, and other toe injuries can all put pressure on the toes and create them.
Poor foot care can result in infections and ingrown toenails; fungal infections can thicken the nail and cause it to grow into the skin. In general, they could result from any condition that places pressure on or otherwise traumatizes the toenail.
Treatment options for an ingrown toenail depend on the severity of the condition. In mild cases, soaking the foot in warm water several times daily and wearing open-toed or wider shoes can help relieve pain and reduce swelling. If there is an infection present, antibiotics may be necessary. If the issue is more serious, surgery may be necessary to remove the infected area of the toenail.
A doctor or podiatrist can perform this and may numb the toe before removing the problematic nail border or, in some situations, the entire nail. Following treatment, wearing comfortable shoes, maintaining a clean and dry toe, and using the right toenail trimming techniques can help prevent recurrences of ingrown toenails.
In some cases, mild ingrown toenails may resolve on their own without treatment, especially if caught early. If the nail is not deeply embedded in the skin and there are no signs of infection, it may grow naturally, and the pain and discomfort will subside. However, it’s important to note that leaving an ingrown toenail untreated can lead to infection and potentially more severe complications.
If the toenail is deeply embedded in the skin or there are signs of infection such as redness, swelling, pus, or fever, seeking medical attention is necessary. A doctor or podiatrist can help determine the best treatment course and relieve pain and discomfort.