Ingrown toenails are common and cause pain, redness, and swelling on the soft flesh around your toenail. When not addressed right away, an ingrown toenail may lead to an infection. At Artisan Foot and Ankle Specialists in Mission Viejo and Laguna Hills, California, the team of podiatrists specializes in diagnosing and treating ingrown toenails. For expert foot care from an experienced team, call the office nearest you or schedule an appointment online today.
Ingrown toenails occur when your toenail grows into the skin of your toe. Most ingrown toenails affect the big toe. They develop when the skin on one or both sides of the nail grows over or into the nail.
Most people develop ingrown toenails after cutting their toenails too short or not straight across. Wearing tight shoes that crowd your toes may also cause an ingrown toenail.
Initially, your ingrown toenail may cause tenderness and swelling at the side of your toe. Over time, the toe may redden, and the pain may worsen.
You may also notice fluid draining from the area of redness, which may be a sign of an infection.
You may be able to treat your ingrown toenail at home. However, if your ingrown toenail causes severe pain or you suspect you have an infection, you need podiatry care with the team at Artisan Foot and Ankle Specialists.
The team also recommends anyone with diabetes, peripheral artery disease, or any other circulation problem with an ingrown toenail come in for care right away. Poor circulation in your feet increases your risk of developing an infection that may spread quickly.
Getting professional help for your ingrown toenail may prevent serious health complications.
Treatment for your ingrown toenail depends on the stage of your toe condition. During the early stages, the podiatrists recommend soaking your foot 3-4 times a day in warm water, keeping your feet dry, and wearing shoes with a roomy toe box.
The team may also suggest placing cotton under your nail to encourage normal growth.
If you have an infected ingrown toenail, the team provides antibiotics and may need to perform minor surgery to remove some or all of the nail. Complete removal of your toenail increases your risk of developing a deformed toenail, which may take 3-4 months to grow in.
Getting early treatment for your ingrown toenail may help prevent infection and the need for surgical intervention. Call Artisan Foot and Ankle Specialists or schedule a consultation online today.