An ingrown toenail is a painful condition that can cause severe discomfort and lead to infection. At Wake Foot and Ankle Center in Wake Forest, North Carolina, highly experienced podiatrists James Judge, DPM, and Michael Hodos, DPM, offer comprehensive foot and ankle care to individuals of all ages. To find out the best treatment for ingrown toenails, call the office or book an appointment online today.
An ingrown toenail can cause a number of common symptoms, including:
If left untreated, ingrown toenails can worsen as the nail continues to dig into the flesh surrounding your toenail.
In many cases, ingrown toenails lead to infection. If your condition is infected, you may notice pus draining from the affected toe. The infection caused by an ingrown toenail can spread to the underlying tissue and bone in your toe.
Although ingrown toenails are highly treatable, they can be especially dangerous for people with diabetes. Diabetes affects the nerves and circulation in your foot and can prevent an ingrown toenail from healing properly, leading to complications like severe infection, open sores, and gangrene.
An ingrown toenail occurs when the sides of your toenail grow into the surrounding soft tissue. There are a number of issues that can contribute to ingrown toenails, like toenail injuries, having abnormally curved nails, or wearing shoes that crowd your toes. In many cases, ingrown toenails are caused by improper nail trimming. Cutting your nails too short or at an angle can increase your chances of developing an ingrown toenail.
Wake Forest Foot and Ankle provides a number of conservative treatments for ingrown toenails. If your condition is mild, your podiatrist may recommend at-home remedies like soaking the affected foot or placing cotton under the edge of the ingrown toenail. Taking over-the-counter pain relievers and wearing comfortable shoes can help relieve your pain as your toe heals. If your condition is more severe, your podiatrist may apply a splint under the affected toenail to allow it to grow properly.
In some cases, your ingrown toenail may require surgery for effective treatment. Your podiatrist may recommend surgery if your condition becomes infected or if you suffer from repeated ingrown toenails. During the procedure, your doctor may remove the ingrown portion of your toenail along with the nail bed. Ingrown toenail surgery relieves your symptoms and can prevent the ingrown portion of your nail from growing back. To find out which treatment is right for you, call or book an appointment online today.