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Dealing with Ingrown Toenails

Tuesday, 24 May 2022 00:00

Ingrown toenails occur when the toenail grows into the surrounding skin, usually at the side of the nail. This is an irritating and painful annoyance that can also cause the skin to become red and swollen. What can make an ingrown toenail worse is if the skin breaks and bacteria enters the skin, causing an infection, drainage and an unpleasant odor. This is potentially dangerous for individuals with diabetes, poor circulation, or nerve damage. Ingrown toenails usually develop from improper toenail grooming. Toenails should always be trimmed straight across (never curved), and they should not be cut too short. Keeping nails flush with the tip of the toe is suggested, as anything shorter may encourage the nail to grow into the skin, not over it. Other risk factors for an ingrown toenail include experiencing trauma/injury to the toenail, wearing shoes that are too short or tight, inheriting a predisposition to ingrown toenails, or having a fungal toenail infection. If you have an ingrown toenail, contact a podiatrist who can relieve your symptoms, address any possible infection, and help avoid future ingrown toenails. 

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Scott Matthews, DPM, MD of Salem Foot Care . Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Wikesboro, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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