Ingrown toenails are common in people who trim their toenails too short or curve the corners along with the shape of their big toes. You are also more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you frequently wear too-tight of shoes or socks that apply excessive pressure on your big toes. In this article, we look at how to deal with this problem and how Las Vegas, ingrown toenail experts can help improve your condition.
What Are Ingrown Toenails?
Ingrown toenails refer to a condition where the toenail grows over the side of the toe into the soft toe flesh. It It typically affects the big toe and is a tad more common in people with conditions that cause poor blood circulation, such as diabetes. Ingrown toenail surgery and treatment is the most effective way to stop the problem at the root.
What Causes Ingrown Toenails?
According to the National Health Services (NHS), ingrown toenails are common in people that have sweaty feet. Older people also face a greater risk for ingrown toenails because toenails thicken with age. Below are the most common causes of this condition:
- Improper foot hygiene.
- Irregular curving of the toenails.
- Poor nail-trimming techniques.
- Toenail accidents or injuries such as stubbing your toe.
Symptoms of Ingrown Toenails
Ingrown toenails usually worsen with time and can cause extreme pain and discomfort. The most common initial symptoms of ingrown toenails include:
- Severe pain when pressure is applied to the affected toe.
- Tender, swollen or hard skin next to the affected nail.
- Excessive fluid accumulation around the affected toe.
If an ingrown toenail goes untreated, the symptoms can worsen to include severe pain, swollen or reddish skin, oozing pus, bleeding, and overgrowth of skin around the affected toe.
Complications of Ingrown Toenails
If you leave your ingrown toenail untreated or undetected, you could experience severe complications such as serious bone infections. If you have diabetes or any other disease that causes poor blood circulation within your body, you might also develop gangrene, which is a serious condition.
Most mild cases of ingrown toenails can be treated through home remedies that include:
- Taking painkillers to relieve pain.
- Wearing roomy or open-toed shoes or sandals until you are completely healed.
- Applying antibiotic ointment on the affected area and carefully bandaging the toe.
- Soaking your feet in water for 15 to 20 minutes at least three times a day to reduce swelling.
- Placing fresh cotton wool under the ingrown toenail to prevent it from further growth under the skin edge.
Treatment Options for Ingrown Toenails
If your ingrown toenail is severe, home remedies may fail to alleviate your problems. Your doctor may then recommend:
- Lifting – Your doctor may slightly lift your ingrown toenail to help it grow above the skin edge.
- Partially Removal – For a more severe ingrown toenail, your doctor may partially trim the ingrown part of your nail.
- Complete Removal of the Nail and Tissue – If your ingrown toenail becomes a chronic problem, your doctor may decide to remove a portion of the nail completely, preventing it from growing again.
Many people prefer to maintain short toenails, and while the result is neat-looking feet, trimming your toenails too short can predispose you to ingrown toenails. If you develop this problem and it is severe enough that home remedies are not helping, contact the Battle Born Bone and Joint Center to schedule a consultation with Dr. Angela Granata or Dr. Jaymes to discuss your treatment options.