Learn more about ingrown toenails and how to prevent them in the future.
Most people will deal with an ingrown toenail at some point; however, if you find yourself dealing with this problem rather regularly then it’s important that you get to the bottom of what’s causing this to happen and discover measures you can take to safeguard yourself from this issue in the future. Our Spokane Valley, WA, Hayden and Kellogg, ID, podiatrist Dr. Jacqueline Babol is here to tell you more.
What is an ingrown toenail?
An ingrown toenail is when the edge of the toenail grows into the skin around it, sometimes causing the nail to puncture the skin. When this happens, the body reacts as if it’s being attacked by a foreign invader. This results in inflammation around the affected toenail that is often painful. Since the skin around the toe is inflamed it can cause the skin to thicken, which also causes the nail to push deeper into the skin.
What are the causes?
There are several factors that can increase your chances of developing in ingrown toenail such as:
- Wearing shoes that are too tight
- Wearing high heels
- Improperly trimming your nails
How do you treat an ingrown toenail?
If the ingrown toenail is mild you can often treat the problem with simple at-home measures such as soaking your feet in warm water and wearing properly fitted shoes that don’t put pressure on the toe. If there is pus present or if the skin is warm to the touch these are signs of an infection, in which case our foot doctor should examine and treat the infection right away. Patients with diabetes who develop an ingrown toenail should come in right away for treatment to prevent further complications.
Your podiatrist might prescribe an oral or topical antibiotic to treat an infection or to prevent an infection. If the ingrown toenail doesn’t go away with proper treatment, surgery may be necessary to remove some of the nail or the whole nail.
Is it possible to prevent an ingrown toenail?
As we mentioned above, how you trim your toenails and the shoes you wear can increase your chances of developing an ingrown toenail. Avoiding shoes that bunch up your toes or compress the toes is one surefire preventive measure you can take.
Furthermore, knowing how to trim your toenails is also important. Never trim the nails below the tips of your toes also keep them level. Also, trim nails straight across and never rounded.
If you are dealing with ingrown toenails or other foot problems don’t hesitate to call Foot & Ankle Clinic in Spokane Valley, WA, Hayden and Kellogg, ID, today to schedule a consultation with us. Don’t just live with the pain. We can work together to find the right treatment plan to fit your needs.