If you've ever had an ingrown toenail, then you know how painful this condition can be. You'll feel pain around the sides of the nail and the skin and tissue will be tender. You may observe redness and swelling at the spot too.
Ingrown toenails happen when the toenail is cut too short or is rounded at the corners, which allows the nail to grow into the flesh of the toe. Ingrown toenails can also be hereditary - thank your family for that! - but more often this painful condition occurs from improper trimming of the nail and wearing shoes that are too tight without enough room for the toes. Even trauma, such as when a heavy object is dropped onto the toes, can cause an ingrown nail.
Having an ingrown toenail can be annoying but the pain can become severe. Also the area may become infected, exhibiting swelling, bleeding and oozing pus.
Treating an Ingrown Toenail
If your ingrown nail is persistent or accompanied by signs of infection, it's important to contact the Podiatry Group of Annapolis, P.A. right away. For most cases we perform a simple, one-day surgery right at our office to remove part of the tissue and nail so it can't grow back. Alternatively, we will lift the nail to allow it to grow above the skin's surface. We'll prescribe topical or oral antibiotics to stop any infection.
Ingrown Toenails Can Be Prevented
Prevent this problem before it starts by:
- Wearing well-fitting shoes that have plenty of room in the toe box. Shoes that are too tight or narrow for the toes put too much pressure on the nails.
- Checking your toes and feet every day, looking for anything unusual or painful.
- Trimming toenails straight across instead of rounding the corners. Don't cut nails too short or the pressure of the shoes may push them into your skin.
- Be sure to wear protective footwear, such as shoes with steel toes, that are appropriate for your work.
A Special Note for Patients with Diabetes
Foot care is extra-important for those with diabetes. Be sure to contact us as soon as possible if you notice any nail, skin or tissue damage. Even something as small as an ingrown toenail can worsen into a real problem. Wearing roomy shoes is essential for patients who have neuropathy and we offer a full line of diabetic shoes in our in-office podiatry store. If you have diabetes, or any other condition that causes poor circulation in your feet, we'd be happy to trim your nails in our office.
Get Help for Ingrown Toenail Pain Today!
Dr. James M. McKee, DPM, board certified podiatrist at the Podiatry Group of Annapolis, P.A. has the right experience to diagnose and treat any type of foot and ankle pain or problem. Please call us at 410-224-4448 to make an appointment at our office in Annapolis, MD. You can also request an appointment at the website. You don't have to live with the pain of an ingrown toenail - give us a call!