Ingrown toenails are unsightly and painful, but they’re also relatively easy to treat. However, if you have diabetes or another medical condition that affects your circulation, you’re also at an increased risk of developing an infection. At Range Foot & Ankle in Virginia and Two Harbors, Minnesota, Katie Evans, DPM, provides comprehensive treatment for ingrown toenails. To request your consultation, call the office nearest you or click the online booking tool today.
An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of your toenail grows into the surrounding skin and curves downward instead of growing out and over your nail bed. Though common, an ingrown toenail can cause swelling, redness, and in some cases, an infection.
The most obvious symptom associated with an ingrown toenail is swelling and irritation. However, other telltale signs include:
Left untreated, an ingrown toenail might also release pus or cause an open wound to develop.
Ingrown toenails occur for many reasons. Sometimes, they’re a result of wearing tight shoes that crowd your toenails. Other times, they occur due to poor trimming technique. For example, if you clip your toenails at an angle instead of straight across, you’re more likely to develop an ingrown toenail. Other factors that may increase your risk of an ingrown toenail include stubbing your toe or having unusually curved nails.
There’s no way to prevent an ingrown toenail entirely, but there are steps you can take to significantly lower your risk. Dr. Evans recommends:
If you work in construction or another field that includes manual labor, you should also take steps to prevent injury. For example, wearing steel-toed boots or other protective footwear lowers your risk of damage.
If you develop an ingrown toenail, conservative measures of care can usually provide relief. For example, taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory or soaking your feet in warm water twice a day can ease swelling and relieve pain. You should also take steps to keep your affected toe dry and protected throughout the day.
If you have a chronic health condition such as diabetes and you detect an ingrown toenail, it’s important to make an appointment with Dr. Evans as soon as possible. You should also avoid trying to cut your nail on your own, as this may increase your risk of infection or other complications. Depending on the severity of your ingrown toenail, Dr. Evans might prescribe a round of antibiotics to manage the infection or she might recommend an outpatient surgery to remove part or all of your affected nail.
To make your appointment at Range Foot & Ankle, call the office nearest you or click the online booking tool today.