Posts for category: Ingrown Toenails
One of the most common problems we see here at Advanced Foot and Ankle Care are ingrown toenails. They can happen to anyone and some people are more prone to getting them. An ingrown toenail occurs when the nail is unable to grow upward, for a number reason, and instead starts to grown into the skin. They can be painful and due to the breaking of skin, they can get infected.
Ingrowns can cause the skin to become red and irritated. Since they are painful, many people try to dig or cut them out themselves. While this does work for some people, those who are diabetic or have compromised immune systems would be best to leave it to a doctor to remove the ingrown nail. Once an ingrown toenail becomes infected though, it is best to leave it alone all together, and call a doctor.
There are several reasons you do not want to pick at an ingrown toenail that is showing signs of infections. First of all, you can make the infection worse. There are many different types of infection and opening the area up can welcome more bacteria, viruses or fungi into the wound. Picking at the site can also push the infection deeper into the tissue, and eventually bone. Having an infection in the skin and tissue is bad enough, but a bone infection can comprise the entirety of your health. If you think you have an ingrown, the best thing to do is call the doctor and have a professional remove it. This can save you pain, money and time.
What causes them?
Ingrown toenails are most common in the big toe, and occur most often from poor-fitting footwear. This is because tight shoes can put pressure on the nail, and force them to grow downwards instead of growing outwards.
They can also occur from direct trauma, such as in dropping a heavy object on your toe. Some people are more prone to getting ingrown toenails simply because their nails tend to grow in curved.
One of the best ways you can prevent ingrown toenails is cut your toenails straight across, without rounding out the corners. When cutting your toenails, it is important to make sure that you do not cut your toenails too short, as this can also increase the chance of developing an ingrown toenail.
Wearing appropriate-fitting shoes, like those with a wide toe box, will also help prevent ingrown toenails by preventing the deforming pressure on the nails that can lead to ingrown toenails.
Most patients with ingrown toenails report pain on the sides of the toenail where it digs into the skin. This may be accompanied by swelling, redness, and discharge if infected.
Treatment for ingrown toenails depends on its severity. For some patients, simply removing a portion of the offending nail will solve the problem. This must be done correctly, however, or it will likely come back. For this reason, when toenails are ingrown it is best to leave this to a professional. For more severe cases, more of the nail might have to be removed and a chemical can be used to make sure that portion of nail will not grow back.
If left untreated, ingrown toenails will usually not resolve on their own, and can lead to infection; for this reason, if you think you might have an ingrown toenail, make an appointment with myself or any of our doctors at Advanced Foot and Ankle Care in Sidney OH, Piqua OH, Troy OH and Huber Heights OH, to have it evaluated.