Posts for tag: ingrown toenail
What is an ingrown toenail?
An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of the nail grows into the skin, causing redness, swelling, and pain. While this can happen to any toenail, it more commonly affects the big toe. While a minor ingrown toenail for an otherwise healthy individual may not be a cause for concern, some situations warrant turning to a podiatrist for care.
When should I see a podiatrist?
If you notice any of these signs of an infected ingrown toenail it’s time to visit a foot doctor:
- Increased pain, swelling, or redness
- Skin that’s hard to the touch
- Pus or drainage coming from the nail
Can you prevent ingrown toenails?
There are things you can do to reduce your risk of developing an ingrown toenail. Some of these steps include:
- Not picking, pulling, or tearing your toenails (especially torn edges)
- Making sure that you are trimming your nails straight across (never curved) and that you keep them level with the tips of your toes
- Wearing shoes that have a large toe box and don’t bunch up your toes (shoes with a pointed toe will put too much pressure on the toenails)
- Wearing the appropriate footwear for certain activities, such as construction work or sports, to prevent injuries
Ingrown toenails may begin mildly but can quickly go from bad to worse. This frustrating and painful condition can affect anyone and cause significant issues. Unlike other foot-related conditions, which are often due to genetics or underlying conditions, ingrown toenails are almost always preventable and often come from lifestyle choices like the type of shoes you wear or the way you trim your toenails.
Do I have an ingrown toenail?
Ingrown toenails are easy to spot if you know what to look for. The nail begins to grow inward, curling in on one or both sides of the toenail and digging into the skin. An ingrown nail may begin with mild pain and discomfort and end up advancing quickly, producing symptoms like severe pain, difficulty walking, or even infection — which produces its own set of symptoms such as pus drainage or fever.
How can I prevent an ingrown toenail?
Preventing an ingrown toenail often boils down to the way you trim your nails and care for your feet. Always cut the nail straight across the top and never round off the corners to ensure that the nail grows straight. Wearing too-tight or narrow shoes which place pressure onto the toe can also contribute an ingrown toenail. Additionally, always keep your feet dry and clean and wear fresh socks daily.
Treating Ingrown Toenails
There are home remedies that may help stop the pain caused by ingrown toenails, such as soaking the foot in a warm foot bath and wearing better fitting footwear. Your podiatrist may be able to prescribe antibiotics to help avoid infection. In some cases, surgery by your podiatrist may be necessary. It's important to consult your doctor to see which method is best for you.
If you think you have an ingrown toenail or need help learning to better prevent them, a podiatrist can help you determine the best plan to healthier feet. Consulting with your foot doctor at regular foot examinations can help ensure that your feet stay healthy and pain-free for years to come.
Are persistent infections getting you down? At Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC, we want to share a few tips and tricks to help you get your infection treated and to help prevent infections from developing or recurring in the future. Our doctors Dr. Alan J. Discont, Dr. Gregory M. Krahn, and Dr. Boyd Andrews are here to help.
If you’ve ever had an ingrown toenail or a foot ulcer, you’re likely familiar with the risk of infection and how troublesome an infection can be once it has developed. When you have an infection on your feet or ankles, it will take on a distinct appearance:
- Swelling - the affected area will appear swollen and larger than usual.
- Redness - swelling is often accompanied by redness, signaling irritation.
- Painful - if the affected area is experiencing redness, it is likely to be tender to touch as well.
- Warm - areas that are painful, swollen, and red are often also warm to the touch.
- Pus - a definite sign of infection is the combination of all the above symptoms accompanied by pus and discharge, which may be yellow or red in color.
When it comes to treatment options, there is limited room for a DIY do-it-yourself approach. Infections can get ugly quickly! While it might be easy to treat it when it’s caught early on, infections spread quickly and dealing with the discomfort for longer than you need to is unpleasant. Here are your options:
- DIY - the do-it-yourself option is to soak the affected area in warm water. For added benefit, try using Epsom salts in the water as well. Soaking for 10-15 minutes at a time can help draw out the infection - but make sure you sanitize your tub after each use!
- Medication - depending on the type, location, and severity of the infection, your podiatrist might prescribe antibiotics to address your foot problem.
- Relax - whether you do-it-yourself or decide to soak before seeing your podiatrist, try to relax! Staying off of the affected area is not only more comfortable but will help avoid future irritation.
If you’re searching for a podiatry practice focused around family care, you’ve found your foot doctor! Give us a call today at 408-732-0033 to schedule an appointment at our location in Chandler, Arizona.