An ingrown toenail sounds like a minor problem. But if you’ve ever had one, you know the extreme pain they cause — not to mention the risk of infection. The experienced podiatry team at Formé Medical Center and Urgent Care has helped many patients overcome the pain of an ingrown toenail with effective treatments and tips for preventing future problems. To schedule an appointment, call the office in White Plains, New York, or use the online booking feature today.
You develop a painful ingrown toenail when the edge of the nail grows into the skin instead of over it. The problem most often affects the big toe, but it can occur in any toenail.
Ingrown toenails most often develop due to:
If you cut your toenail too short or in a rounded shape, the skin can easily fold over the nail. Then as the nail grows, it goes deep into the skin.
If your shoes don’t leave enough space for your toes, they press against the toenail and force it into your skin. High heels and shoes with pointed toes also cause ingrown toenails.
Stubbing your toe and frequently engaging in sports like kicking and running increase your risk of developing an ingrown nail.
You can inherit a tendency to develop ingrown toenails.
Ingrown toenails usually cause incredible pain. You may also have swelling and redness that appear alone or signal an infection. A skin infection makes the skin feel warm and causes pus that leaks from the injured area.
If you have diabetes or a vascular condition such as peripheral artery disease, you should never treat your own ingrown toenail. These conditions disrupt circulation, interfere with healing, and put you at risk of serious complications. As a result, it’s best to have the podiatrist at Formé Medical Center and Urgent Care treat the problem.
Otherwise, you can initially treat an ingrown toenail at home as long as you don’t have signs of an infection. Try soaking it in warm water to loosen the nail, but don’t cut away the nail because it’s easy to nick the skin.
Treatment for an ingrown toenail usually involves gently lifting the nail and inserting a tiny splint until the nail grows over the skin. Depending on the severity of the problem, your podiatrist may apply an anesthetic and cut out the ingrown portion of the nail.
If you have recurrent ingrown toenails, your podiatrist removes a portion of the nail along with some of the underlying tissue. That stops the corner of the nail from regrowing, effectively preventing future ingrown nails.
If you need help with an ingrown toenail, call Formé Medical Center and Urgent Care or request an appointment online today.