What To Do About Ingrown Toenails

Taking good care of your feet allows them to properly support your body when performing any activity that requires you to be on your feet for extended periods. Ingrown toenails can impair these activities and cause great discomfort. Here's some good news - ingrown toenails are generally easily treated and preventable. Dr. Timothy Mason, Dr. Jason Hancock, and Dr. Travis Johnson from Foot & Ankle Specialists of Orlando are skilled at treating ingrown toenails in Oviedo, FL.

What causes ingrown toenails?

An ingrown toenail occurs when your toenail is digging into the skin around your toe. This can happen to one toe or multiple toes simultaneously. Ingrown toenails generally cause problems at the sides and corners of your toenail. Most commonly, the cause of ingrown toenails is from wearing ill-fitting shoes. Some other causes include:

  • Clipping your toenails incorrectly
  • Trauma to the foot, such as stubbing the toe or if something were to fall on your foot
  • Tearing of a toenail
  • Congenital conditions may increase your risk of developing ingrown toenails, such as a deformity of the foot. You may have also been born with nails that grow to sizes bigger than the toe is capable of accommodating.

What are some symptoms of ingrown toenails?

Mostly, ingrown toenails will cause pain. At first, you may experience a hard and swollen area around the toenail. This can lead to infection if not treated promptly. Accompanying symptoms to watch for are:

  • Pus seeping from the area
  • Redness of the toe or other discoloration
  • Warmth and swelling of the toe

What are treatments for ingrown toenails?

Treatment for an ingrown toenail will depend on its severity. Usually, ingrown toenails caught early can be treated at home unless an infection has developed. Severe cases may require minor surgical intervention to remove a part of the toenail.

Ingrown toenails rarely progress to this severity because once the toenail begins to dig into the surrounding skin, you will feel pain, hopefully prompting you to act. If you have diabetes or other conditions that may cause nerve damage or affect circulation, you must see a podiatrist immediately and be sure to check your feet regularly for changes or abnormalities of the feet. Conservative measures recommended by podiatrists include:

  • Wearing shoes that are roomy in the toe area.
  • Soak your feet in warm water before clipping your toenails.
  • Clean your nail clipper before using it.
  • NSAIDs like Ibuprofen may help with pain and swelling
  • If you have diabetes, practice proper foot care as recommended by your doctor.
  • Call your doctor if symptoms don't go away in several days.

Contact us

Dr. Mason, Dr. Hancock, and Dr. Johnson from Foot & Ankle Specialists of Orlando want to get your feet back to maximal health quickly. Schedule a consultation at one of our 4 locations to treat your ingrown toenails in Oviedo, FL, Lake Mary, Orlando, or downtown Orlando. You can reach us at our central number, (407) 365-9511.

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