Understanding & Treatment Options for Ingrown Toenails
What is an Ingrown Toenail?
Ingrown toenails are a common condition where the nail grows into the skin of the toe, causing pain, redness, and swelling. If left untreated, ingrown toenails can develop an infection that needs removal by a podiatrist. If you are experiencing ingrown toenail symptoms, schedule a consultation online today with one of our premier podiatrists in South Florida to explore proper ingrown toenail treatment.
What Causes an Ingrown Toenail?
Ingrown toenails are usually caused by trimming toenails too short along the curve of the nail causing it to curl down into the skin, More causes of an ingrown toenail include:
- Wearing shoes that are too tight
- Previously injuring the toenail
- Having curved toenails
- Poor foot structure
Symptoms of Ingrown Toenails
- Pain and tenderness in the toe along one or both sides of the nail
- Redness and swelling around your toenail
- Infection of the tissue around your toenail
- Sensitivity to pressure and wearing shoes
- Drainage of pus or a watery discharge
Treatments for Ingrown Toenails
Ingrown toenails should be treated with urgency to prevent progression. Some conventional treatments for ingrown toenails are:
- Lift the nail by placing cotton or floss under the toenail to help the nail grow above the skin
- Take NSAIDs like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to relieve pain
- Wear comfortable shoes with adequate room for toes
- Apply topical ointments on the tender area
- Soak the infected foot in warm water daily
- Keep the foot dry throughout the day
Ingrown Toenail Surgery
If pain and inflammation persist after home treatments are implemented, surgery may be necessary to prevent infection and resolve the issue. The doctor may partially remove the ingrown nail portion or remove the whole nail and tissue to prevent the nail from growing back.
How to prevent Ingrown Toenails
- Trim your toenails straight across, don't curve your nails to match the shape of the toe.
- Keep toenails at a moderate length. If you trim your toenails too short, the pressure from your shoes on your toes may cause a nail to grow into the skin.
- Wear shoes that fit correctly. Shoes that place too much pressure on your toes may cause a nail to grow into the skin.
- Wear protective footwear such as steel-toed shoes if your work puts you at risk of injuring your toes.
- Regularly check your feet. If you have diabetes, check your feet daily for signs of ingrown toenails and other foot problems.
If you are experiencing ingrown toenail symptoms, schedule an appointment online or over the phone at 305.853.5151 with one of our premier podiatrists in South Florida to explore the proper ingrown toenail treatment for you.
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