Most of us take our feet for granted – toenails too! But we need to treat our feet well to keep them in tip-top condition. One way to stay on top of foot health is to build a foot and toenail check into your daily routine. Examine toes frequently for anything out of the ordinary.
Ingrown Toenails Are Painful
A toenail becomes ingrown when it’s side or corner grows into the soft flesh of a toe. Sometimes heredity plays a part when our toenails are excessively curved. Ingrown toenails are also caused by improperly rounding the nail when trimming instead of cutting straight across, a toenail injury and wearing shoes that are too tight at the toes.
Do you have any of these symptoms?
- Tenderness and pain on either side of the toenail
- Toe swelling around the nail
- Nail or toe redness
- Signs of infection
Ingrown nails sometimes heal by themselves if helped with warm foot soaks with Epsom salts and elevation, but if the pain becomes severe or if there are signs of infection like pus or redness, come in to see us at Your Next Step. If the infection is allowed to go on too long it may expand into the underlying bone. Patients with diabetes or restricted blood flow to the feet must take extra care with any signs of an ingrown toenail.
Our Solution to Chronic Ingrown Toenail Pain
Ingrown toenails usually require professional treatment because over-the-counter remedies just don’t work. We will assess your condition and prescribe antibiotics to clear the infection. If necessary, our foot doctors will remove the infected portion of the tissue and trim the nail border – all in our office under local anesthetic. We’ll then apply a painless solution that will prevent that portion of the nail from growing back. The healing period is very short and you’ll soon be back to all your normal activities.
Preventing Ingrown Toenails
Prevention is key to avoiding ingrown nails:
- Always trim toenails straight across, not rounded down the sides.
- Keep toenail length even with the tips of your toes – not too long and not too short.
- Wear well-fitting shoes that don’t crowd the toes.
- Check your toes and feet every day, especially patients with diabetes.
- Wear shoes and boots that are appropriate to your work and exercise activities to protect feet from injury.
We Can Treat Ingrown Toenails
Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen, board certified and qualified podiatrists, have extensive experience in treating ingrown toenails. Contact us through our website or call us to set up an appointment at our Ardmore, Paoli or Downingtown offices. Don’t suffer any longer from ingrown toenails – we can help!