Ingrown toenails are a common condition that can damage the skin surrounding your nail and cause an infection. If you notice signs of a painful ingrown toenail, Drew Taft, DPM, at Foot & Ankle Associates of Southern NH in Derry, New Hampshire, can determine the most effective treatment for you. To speak with a foot specialist about ingrown toenails, call the office and speak with a friendly team member today.
An ingrown toenail happens when your nail grows into the surrounding skin. The most common cause of ingrown toenails is improper nail care. Trimming your nails too short or at an angle can increase your risk of developing an ingrown toenail.
Additional factors like genetics, a previous toe injury, wearing shoes or socks that are too small, and nail conditions like fungal infections can increase your risk of developing ingrown toenails.
Although ingrown toenails aren’t typically a serious concern, if infected, the infection can spread to the bone of your toe.
If you’re developing an ingrown toenail, you might notice several common signs, including:
As the toenail digs into the skin, it causes redness, swelling, and pain. If your ingrown toenail becomes infected, you might notice pus leaking from the tissue.
If you notice symptoms, Dr. Taft at Foot & Ankle Associates of Southern NH can determine the most effective treatment for your ingrown toenails.
How your ingrown toenail is treated will depend on the severity of your condition.
If your symptoms are mild and the skin isn’t infected, Dr. Taft will provide you with several treatments you can do at home.
Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, soaking your foot a few times a day, and placing cotton or floss under the edge of the ingrown nail are the most common at-home treatments for ingrown toenails.
While not a major health concern for most people, ingrown toenails are dangerous for people with diabetes. If you have diabetes and notice signs of an ingrown toenail, Dr. Taft offers individualized diabetic foot care to keep your feet functional and healthy.
If your ingrown toenail becomes infected or is unresponsive to at-home care, the team offers several quick and effective procedures to treat your ingrown toenail. Dr. Taft could choose to lift the nail and use a splint to help the nail grow normally.
If you experience severe or repeated ingrown toenails, Dr. Taft can remove a portion of your nail along with the underlying tissue.
Although ingrown toenails are very common, they’re also very preventable. To lower your risk of ingrown toenails, you should properly care for your toenails, being sure to trim your them straight across and keep them at a moderate length. You should also avoid wearing ill-fitting shoes.
If you do experience an ingrown toenail, seeking medical attention can prevent the condition from getting worse and help you recover quickly. To find out which treatment is right for you, call Foot & Ankle Associates of Southern NH today.