Ingrown toenails can quickly go from being a mild annoyance to a serious, pain-inducing infection. If you’re dealing with an ingrown toenail that’s swollen, red, and painful, reach out for fast help from a board-certified podiatrist at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care in Edison, Monroe, and Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, to feel better fast. Click the online scheduler or call the location nearest you today.
An ingrown toenail is a nail — usually on your big toe — that grows into the flesh around your nail. Ingrown toenails are a very common foot problem for many men and women, and they're often frustrating because the symptoms can get out of control so quickly.
If you have an ingrown toenail, you may experience the following issues.
If an ingrown toenail gets infected, you may also have pus discharge. The infection can spread, even causing bone infection if your ingrown toenail isn't treated.
Ingrown toenails are often caused by trimming your nails too close to the skin, or trimming in a crescent shape rather than straight across. Both of these trimming patterns can position your toenail to burrow into the skin rather than straight out as it regrows. You may also simply have toenails that naturally grow in a very curved pattern.
Very tight shoes that don't allow proper toe room or bind your toes tightly are another common cause of ingrown toenails. Some ingrown toenails develop after an injury like stubbing your toe.
If you have an ingrown toenail, reach out to Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care to get customized care immediately. In the interim, you can soak your foot in warm water. Don't try to cut the nail, lift it up with tweezers, or perform any other "bathroom surgery" before you see the podiatrist, as it can cause even worse problems.
Your podiatrist can treat an ingrown toenail in several ways, depending on your symptoms. A prescription antibiotic or steroid cream can relieve infection and speed up healing, and you may need oral medication, too.
Sometimes, partial nail removal is necessary. Your Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care podiatrist numbs the toe before they surgically remove the section of toenail causing the problems. Then, your podiatrist typically places a tiny piece of cotton beneath your remaining nail to encourage proper growth pattern.
If your ingrown toenail keeps coming back, your podiatrist may do a chemical or laser procedure to permanently remove the root of the ingrown part of your nail. In the most severe cases, your podiatrist can remove the entire nail.
For help with ingrown toenail pain, book your appointment online or call Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care today.