Infection, swelling, and pain can accompany an ingrown toenail. Genetic reasons may cause this foot condition, or it may happen from wearing shoes that are too tight. An ingrown toenail is defined as the nail growing into the skin instead of over it, and it generally affects the big toe. It may also develop from cutting the toenails incorrectly, or if there has been a foot injury. An ingrown toenail that is first noticed may feel better when the foot is soaked in warm water for several minutes. This can make it easier to gently pull the nail away from the skin by using a small piece of cotton. Severely infected nails are often treated by a podiatrist who can accurately diagnose this condition, and offer helpful prevention methods. If you are afflicted with an ingrown toenail, it is suggested that you consult with this type of doctor who can prescribe medication, and possibly perform minor surgery for permanent relief.
Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of Centers for Foot & Ankle Care. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.
- Bacterial infections
- Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
- Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
- Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
- Genetic predisposition
Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.
Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Merrillville, Portage, Michigan City/LaPorte, and Schererville, IN . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.