Our podiatrists treat ingrown toenails in the areas of Bentonville, AR 72712. Call our office today at (479) 271-5353 if you are dealing with ingrown toenail.
An ingrown toenail is a toenail that grows sideways into the nail bed, causing pain and swelling. Ingrown toenails can worsen and cause drainage, turning into a serious infection.
Symptoms of Ingrown Toenail
Signs that may indicate the formation of an ingrown toenail include redness, pain, swelling of the surrounding skin, possible bleeding or oozing of pus, and an overgrowth of the skin around the nail. The surrounding skin may also feel tender and become swollen or hardened. Most ingrown toenails are diagnosed by a simple physical exam; however, an x-ray may be required to show how deep the nail has grown into the skin of the toe.
Causes of Ingrown Toenails
Many factors influence the likelihood of developing an ingrown toenail. The most common way ingrown toenails are formed is due to an incorrect method in how the toenails are trimmed. If you cut your toenails too short or cut them at an angle, you’re putting yourself at risk of getting this condition. Another main factor that contributes to ingrown toenails is the choice of footwear. Those who commonly wear tightly fitted shoes, such as high heels, that do not give the toes enough room, put too much pressure on the big toes. This can create an ingrown toenail. To alleviate the pain, a small piece of cotton may be fitted underneath the nail. However, in more serious cases, total removal of the nail may be necessary.
How to prevent ingrown nails
Ingrown toenails can be preventable with certain measures. For starters, allowing your toe nails to grow slightly longer in length will help prevent them from becoming ingrown. If you have already developed an ingrown toenail, soak the affected toe in warm water. This will alleviate the pain and help prevent an infection from forming. Antibiotic soap or Epsom salts may be added to further help the relieving process and avoid infection. Placing cotton beneath the affected area is also suggested, as this may help the toenail grow upwards and not into the nail bed. Swelling and redness can be reduced by resting with your feet elevated.
A podiatrist should be seen if the pain becomes so serious that it prevents you from doing your everyday activities. If a red streak running up your leg appears or if you suspect your infection has spread, contact a podiatrist immediately. Fast treatments can be undertaken to lessen your pain and have you walking comfortably.
Ingrown Toenails Treatment
Treatment for an ingrown toenail varies between patients and the severity of the condition. In most cases, it is best to see your podiatrist for thorough and proper treatment. After examining your toe, your podiatrist may prescribe oral antibiotics to clear the infection if one is present. In more serious cases surgical removal of either a portion of the nail or the entire nail may also be considered. In some cases, complete removal or destruction of the nail root may be required. To prevent the nail from growing back, medication will be placed directly into the nail bed. This procedure would be performed under local anesthesia and is a faster method to alleviate discomfort from an ingrown toenail. Most patients who undergo nail surgery experience minimal pain afterward and can return to normal activity the following day. For a proper diagnosis and advised treatment plan, we recommend you seek the care of a podiatrist as soon as you notice the warning signs of an ingrown toenail.