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What to Do When You Have an Ingrown Toenail

Monday, 09 November 2020 00:00

Ingrown toenails can be painful. They occur when the edge of the nail grows into the surrounding skin. Other than pain, you may also notice symptoms such as redness or swelling of the surrounding area. In some cases, ingrown nails can be treated at home. Begin by soaking your foot in warm, soapy water several times per day for 10-20 minutes. After each soak, dry the affected toenail and place a small piece of clean, wet cotton under the nail near the corner where it is ingrown. This process can help lift the nail from the skin and allow it to grow properly. Wear comfortable, loose-fitting shoes during this process. If symptoms do not improve within 2-3 days, or if they worsen at any point, it is recommended that you see a podiatrist. A podiatrist can treat stubborn, persistent ingrown toenails and teach you how to prevent ingrown toenails from developing in the future.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Derek T. Pantiel of Summit Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • 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

Prevention

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.

Treatment

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 Wilmington, Whiteville, and Burgaw, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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