Ingrown Toenails

An ingrown nail is the most common nail impairment. Ingrown nails are nails whose corners or sides dig painfully into the soft tissue of the nail grooves. This can lead to irritation, redness, swelling and if left untreated infection. Good nail care can prevent ingrown nails.

An ingrowing nail often occurs because a nail is not trimmed correctly, heredity, shoe pressure, or repeated trauma to the feet from normal activities. This condition typically affects the big toe, however, other toes can become affected.

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes or peripheral artery disease please check with your doctor before trimming your toenails on your own. Having these conditions increase the risk of an infection, because you may have decreased sensation in your toes and cut yourself without knowing it.

How can you prevent ingrown toenails?

  1. Wear roomy, comfortable shoes.
  2. Do not trim your toenails too short.
  3. Trim the toenails straight across.
  4. Leave the corner of your nails a little longer so they do not cut into the skin.

If you try to remove the ingrown nail at home there are a few things you should do:

  1. Soak your foot in warm water for about 15 minutes to soften the nail.
  2. Wedge a small piece of cotton under the corner of the nail to cushion the nail and life it slightly. This will keep it from cutting the skin. Repeat this daily until the nail is grown out and can be trimmed.
  3. Don’t use manicure scissors to dig under the ingrown nail. You might stab your toe which could lead to infection.
  4. If your doctor as prescribed you antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.

Follow up is a key part of your treatments. If you feel like you have an ingrown toenail you should contact our office for an appointment.

Contact our office immediately if you have possible signs of infection which include:

  1. Increased pain, swelling, warmth or redness
  2. Red streaks leading from the toe.
  3. Pus draining from the toe.
  4. A fever.

Please don’t hesitated to make an appointment or request information today!

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