Ingrown toenails are a painful condition that occurs when the toenail grows into the skin instead of over it. This common problem most often affects the big toe, and it is easily treated when it is dealt with early. Some ingrown toenails can be successfully treated with home care, but in other cases, you may need to see a podiatrist to fix it. No matter what, don’t count on an ingrown toenail going away on its own—it won’t, and ignoring it runs the risk of making it worse.
A variety of factors can cause ingrown toenails. One of the most common causes is footwear that is too tight, crowding the toes and toenails. Cutting your toenails too short or improperly can also lead to an ingrown toenail, as can a toenail injury such as dropping something heavy on your foot or stubbing your toe. Poor foot hygiene can also contribute to your risk, as excessive moisture and warmth may encourage ingrown nails. Finally, unusually curved toenails may predispose some people to develop ingrown nails more frequently.
The first signs that you have an ingrown toenail are usually tenderness, warmth, and swelling where the nail is growing into the skin. You may also experience pain when pressure is put on the toe, and a buildup of fluid in the area. If the nail is allowed to continue to grow under the skin, it can cause an infection. When this happens, the toe can bleed and/or ooze pus and will grow increasingly painful.
If your ingrown toenail is mild—that is, not infected—you can try treating it at home before you come to see Dr. Kelly. Soak the affected foot in warm water with Epsom salt for 15 to 20 minutes three to four times a day to help reduce swelling and tenderness. Afterward, gently press the skin away from around the nail. In between soaks, make sure your feet are kept clean and dry, particularly around the affected toenail. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes that do not pinch or crowd your toes; sandals are a good choice to give your toes extra space. If you need some pain relief, try taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen. You can also apply an over-the-counter antibiotic cream to the tender area to prevent possible infection.
Not every ingrown toenail will be helped by at-home treatments. Here’s when to come in:
Especially in cases where you have an underlying condition that would make a foot wound or infection particularly dangerous, you should come in right away for treatment. Timely care is the key to avoiding complications.
Your recommended treatment will vary depending on the severity of the ingrown toenail, your age, and your overall medical situation. In general, treatment of an ingrown toenail involves removing the affected portion of the nail under anesthesia. At Las Vegas Footcare, we’ll present your options, explain what’s involved, and get you back on your feet pain-free as fast as possible.
Just as importantly, Dr. Kelly will assess the cause of your ingrown toenail and recommend a plan of action to avoid them in the future, including recommendations for lifestyle changes and proactive treatment options. For example, for patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes, we offer medical nail trims to prevent ingrown nails. We also offer Onyfix, a nonsurgical, painless nail correction system to naturally reshape nails that may be prone to ingrowth.
Remember, that ingrown toenail isn’t going away on its own! Don’t wait for complications to set in. To schedule an appointment, contact us online or call our office at 702-605-6220.
If you are suffering from toenail pain or an ingrown toenail, we welcome you at our office for treatment. We have some special foot and ankle care programs for residents from the Ridges Community, you must show proof of residency. Get golfing, walking and embrace the lifestyle you have chosen to the fullest. If you are a diabetic, ensure you get on foot and ankle check up program, wound care treatment plan and much.