Ingrown toenails are a common condition. They are the result of a toenail growing into the corner of the toe, into the soft flesh. This results in pain, redness, swelling, and if you aren’t careful — infection could occur. Most ingrown toenails treatment is relatively easy, and can often be done at home. However, you should consult a foot doctor before starting any treatments, if there is infection, or if the pain is spreading.
Ingrown toenails occur when your toenail is cut too short, or rounded off. They can also be caused by wearing shoes that don’t fit properly or are too small. Ingrown toenails can also occur after a foot injury, such as stubbing your toe.
It is generally easy to tell when an ingrown toenail is occurring. Pain in the toe or along the sides of the nail, swelling of the toe, or an infection around the toenail are indicators of an ingrown toenail.
Typically, treatment for an ingrown toenail can be done at home, with remedies such as soaking your foot in warm water or by applying a special cream. However, if the pain persists, and the nail does not seem to be improving, there are other treatment options available such as:
- Lifting of the nail - For a toenail that is only slightly ingrown, lifting the nail may be recommended. Your doctor will gently lift the ingrown nail up and support it, giving it a chance to grow out normally.
- Removal of partial nail - For more severe cases, it may be recommended that part of the infected nail be removed. Your doctor may trim, or remove parts of the ingrown nail.
- Removal of the nail and tissue - For patients whose ingrown toenails have become a reoccurring problem, your doctor may recommend removing part of the nail, as well as the tissue underneath the nail to give your nail a better chance at growing out normally
Ingrown toenails can be especially harmful for people with diabetes, vascular problems, or numbness in the toes. It is important to seek treatment as soon as possible to avoid further complications.
Contact Dr. Anthony LaMarra, Houston’s leading foot care specialist for professional ingrown toenail treatment options.