An ingrown toenail develops when the nail grows into the soft flesh of your toe. Several factors can lead to the development of ingrown toenails: shoes that pinch your toes, a genetic predisposition, trauma to your foot, or trimming your toenails in a rounded way, rather than straight across.
Regardless of why you developed an ingrown toenail, you want to get it back on course to grow above the skin. Often, simple at-home treatments like foot soaks and topical antibiotics are enough to resolve an ingrown toenail.
When these treatments fail, however, and you’re tempted to perform “bathroom surgery,” it’s time to get help from a professional.
If your toenail is showing signs of infection or you have poor circulation, you should also make an appointment with Dr. Mark Forman at Put Your Feet First in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Here are some reasons for you to visit our office to resolve an ingrown toenail.
You have significant pain
Ingrown toenails most often occur in the big toe. As you might expect, a nail growing in the wrong direction can cause pain, especially if it’s affecting one of your big toes, which take the brunt of most of your steps.
If you find the pain is unbearable and interferes with your ability to do daily tasks or fun activities, it’s time to make an appointment at Put Your Feet First for care that provides relief.
You suspect an infection
Ingrown toenails are usually minor inconveniences, but they can put you at risk of infection. You may have an infection if you experience:
- Feelings of warmth to the touch
- Oozing pus
You also want to have your ingrown toenail checked out if the red area is getting larger, which can indicate the spreading of your infection. In rare cases, an untreated infection can reach your bone.
People with diabetes are at risk of circulatory problems that often affect their feet. Diabetics have elevated blood sugar levels that affect the small blood vessels and nerve endings in their feet, causing compromised blood flow and pain sensations.
When you have diabetes and develop an issue in your foot, such as an ingrown toenail, you’re at greater risk of it becoming infected. Even if your ingrown toenail doesn’t show symptoms of infection, it’s smart to contact Dr. Forman as soon as you notice the issue so he can provide treatment to prevent complications.
Other conditions may require you to seek podiatric care if you have an ingrown toenail. Examples include peripheral artery disease and Raynaud’s disease, which is a condition that affects blood flow to your fingers and toes when you’re cold or under stress.
Professional management of an ingrown toenail reduces your risk of it turning into something more serious.
Treatment for an ingrown toenail
Dr. Forman wants nothing more than for you to get pain relief, which he can provide in just a few minutes at the office. For a simple ingrown toenail, he cuts away the nail that’s embedded into your skin to provide the relief.
If you frequently have ingrown toenails that cause problems, he may remove part of your nail at the root to prevent it from growing back and causing more problems.