When the side of a toenail grows into the surrounding skin, it is referred to as an ingrown toenail. Common symptoms include redness, pain, swelling, and tenderness. Left untreated, severe pain and discomfort may result due to an infection.
Ingrown toenails can be seen in patients with diabetes or poor circulation. Effective treatment options include removing the part of the nail that is growing into the skin and treating the nail bed to prevent an infection from recurring. If you have an ingrown toenail, consult a podiatrist as quickly as possible to begin proper treatment.
Ingrown toenails can become painful when left untreated. Contact your podiatrist to get the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Ingrown toenail is the result of a toenail growing sideways into the nail bed. It can cause pain, swelling, and possibly infection.
- Bacterial infection
- Improper nail cutting technique – cutting the nail too short or not straight across
- Toe trauma, such as stubbing causing the nail to grow back irregularly
- Ill-fitting shoes or shoes with a narrow toe box
- Genetic predisposition
Let your toes breathe. Whenever possible, remove your shoes and wear open-toed footwear. Wearing properly fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques can decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.
Ingrown toenails are treatable. If you feel slight discomfort, soak the affected area in salt water or antibacterial soap solution. It will also help prevent infection. Consult your podiatrist if you do not find relief. In more severe cases, surgery may be needed. In either case, your podiatrist can advise you best about this condition and the specific treatment options that are right for you.
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