About 20 out of every 100 Americans who see the doctor for foot problems have an ingrown toenail. Without treatment, an ingrown toenail can grow into a severely painful problem. The Family Foot & Ankle Specialists, including Steven Brancheau, DPM; Paul Brancheau, DPM; and Ryan Pinedo, DPM, are foot experts who treat ingrown toenails with a variety of personalized solutions. Don’t try to treat an ingrown toenail yourself — it usually makes the problem worse, and it often recurs unless you take the right treatment steps. Call the Greenville or Rockwall, Texas, office or use online scheduling for your appointment today.
An ingrown toenail is a toenail, most often on your big toe, that tunnels beneath the skin on one or both sides of your nail.
Ingrown toenails typically cause skin redness and swelling around the nail edges. If bacteria gets into your body through the broken skin, your ingrown toenail can cause an infection.
If you have an infection from an ingrown toenail, your toe often feels warm-to-the-touch and starts seeping fluid. The toenail may also emit a foul odor when infected.
Many factors can contribute to ingrown toenails, but the main cause is usually improper nail trimming. When you clip your nails too short it can cause the skin to envelop the nail edges. Other possible causes can include:
With proper foot care and precautions, you can usually prevent ingrown toenails from recurring.
If you think you have an ingrown toenail, see your Family Foot & Ankle Specialists podiatrist as soon as you can.
Treating ingrown toenails as early as possible is especially important if you have diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, or circulatory problems because it's harder for you to heal efficiently.
Don't treat an ingrown toenail by trying to cut it out at home. You could easily injure yourself badly, and you also run a high risk of infection.
If you have an infection, your podiatrist can prescribe antibiotics. You may also need partial or complete toenail removal, especially if the ingrown toenail is a chronic issue. Your Family Foot & Ankle Specialists podiatrist also gives you advice about avoiding ingrown nails in the future.
This usually includes avoiding shoes that force your toes into tight spaces, clipping your nails straight-across, and keeping your nails at the ideal length (even with the end of your toes).
If you have an ingrown toenail or think one might be developing, don't let it grow into a problem that hobbles you. Call Family Foot & Ankle Specialists or use the online appointment tool for help now.