Ingrown toenails can quickly go from being a mild annoyance to a serious, pain-inducing infection. If you’re dealing with an ingrown toenail that’s swollen, red, and painful, reach out for fast help from Dr. Navrit Randhawa at Carteret Foot & Ankle Center to feel better fast. Request an appointment online or call the office today.
What is an ingrown toenail?
An ingrown toenail is a nail — usually on your big toe — that grows into the flesh around your nail. Ingrown toenails are a very common foot problem for many men and women, and they’re often frustrating because the symptoms can get out of control so quickly.
If you have an ingrown toenail, you may experience the following issues.
If an ingrown toenail gets infected, you may also have pus discharge. The infection can spread, even causing bone infection if your ingrown toenail isn’t treated.
What causes ingrown toenails?
Ingrown toenails are often caused by trimming your nails too close to the skin, or trimming in a crescent shape rather than straight across. Both of these trimming patterns can position your toenail to burrow into the skin rather than straight out as it regrows. You may also simply have toenails that naturally grow in a very curved pattern.
Very tight shoes that don’t allow proper toe room or bind your toes tightly are another common cause of ingrown toenails. Some ingrown toenails develop after an injury like stubbing your toe.
How can I treat an ingrown toenail?
If you have an ingrown toenail, reach out to Carteret Foot & Ankle Center to get customized care immediately. In the interim, you can soak your foot in warm water. Don’t try to cut the nail, lift it up with tweezers, or perform any other “bathroom surgery” before you see the podiatrist, as it can cause even worse problems.
Your podiatrist can treat an ingrown toenail in several ways, depending on your symptoms. A prescription antibiotic or steroid cream can relieve infection and speed up healing, and you may need oral medication, too.
Sometimes, partial nail removal is necessary. Your Carteret Foot & Ankle Center podiatrist numbs the toe before they surgically remove the section of toenail causing the problems. Then, your podiatrist typically places a tiny piece of cotton beneath your remaining nail to encourage proper growth pattern.
If your ingrown toenail keeps coming back, your podiatrist may do a chemical or laser procedure to permanently remove the root of the ingrown part of your nail. In the most severe cases, your podiatrist can remove the entire nail.
Schedule your evaluation at Carteret Foot & Ankle Center today. Request an appointment, or call our office to speak with a team member.