Rogers Foot & Ankle Institute

When To Seek Professional Help For Your Ingrown Toenail

Dec 13, 2022
When To Seek Professional Help For Your Ingrown Toenail
Painful toenails can make standing and walking difficult. Ingrown toenails cause discomfort, edema, and infection as the nail grows into the skin. Big toes are most usually afflicted.

Painful toenails can make standing and walking difficult. Ingrown toenails cause discomfort, edema, and infection as the nail grows into the skin. Big toes are most usually afflicted.

Home remedies for ingrown toenails include warm water soaks and OTC medicines. You may develop complications requiring prompt medical intervention. Make an appointment with a foot specialist at Rogers Foot and Ankle Institute if you have signs of an ingrown toenail.

What Causes Ingrown Toenails?

When the nail grows into the skin, this is called an ingrown toenail. Teens and young adults are more sensitive because of sweaty feet. Perspiration softens the nail fold, causing ingrown toenails. Older people are at risk because their nails thicken.

Ingrown toenails can also happen if you play sports or if you have a health condition like diabetes. People who have poor circulation and severe nerve damage in their feet or legs are also at high risk.

The common causes of ingrown nails include:

  1. A toenail injury is caused by being stepped on, having an object dropped on your foot, or stubbing your toe.
  2. Too short toenails and an angle on the sides of the nail
  3. Putting on too small or too narrow shoes.
  4. Improper foot hygiene by not keeping your feet dry and clean.
  5. Genetic predisposition.
  6. Nail problems such as fungal infection
  7. Having nails that are significantly larger than your toes.

Soccer, football, and ballet are all examples of sports where you kick an object or put pressure on your foot over and over again.

Signs And Symptoms Of Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are typically painful and swollen in the early stages, and they worsen over time. Early symptoms of an ingrown toenail include:

  1. Pain when putting pressure on your toe.
  2. The surrounding skin becomes swollen.
  3. Fluid builds up around the toe.
  4. Pain or tenderness along the sides of the toenail.

An ingrown nail that cuts into the skin can expose you to a bacterial infection and aggravate your symptoms. You will notice redness or darkening of the skin, as well as swelling and discharge or pus coming from the toe. You will feel more pain and bleeding, and the skin around the nail fold will grow over the nail.

To avoid worsening symptoms, treat your ingrown toenail as soon as possible. Rogers Foot and Ankle Institute’s foot specialist will assist you in determining the severity of your problem and developing a long-term solution for pain relief.

When Should You See A Doctor?

When you notice any signs of infection, it is best to see a podiatrist for ingrown toenail treatment. Early signs can be treated with home remedies so that you don’t have to take more medicine.

Most ingrown toenails are not dangerous, but ignoring them will worsen your condition. Ingrown toenail infections can lead to foot ulcers, tissue decay, tissue death, and a reduction in blood flow to the infected area.

If you have signs of infection, you should go to the Rogers Foot and Ankle Institute right away to get ingrown toenail treatment. The foot specialists will use the most appropriate procedures and medications to get you out of pain and back on your feet as soon as possible.

Failure to treat an infected ingrown toenail on time can result in bone infection and, in extreme cases, toe amputation. Consult a specialist if:

  1. You have underlying health effects on the feet, such as diabetes.
  2. You have severe nerve damage.
  3. You have poor blood circulation.
  4. You show signs of infection.
  5. Your homecare treatments do not help you improve within 2 to 3 days.

How Do You Treat An Ingrown Toenail?

You can treat an ingrown toenail yourself as soon as you notice it and before it becomes infected. As soon as your toenail curves into the skin, you should see a podiatrist at Rogers Foot and Ankle Institute. Soak your feet in warm water with Epsom salts for 20 minutes, three to four times a day, to treat an ingrown nail.

Keep your feet clean and dry for the rest of the day, and wear sandals with enough room for your toes until the condition improves. Lift the nail edge gently while pushing the skin away, and sandwich some waxed dental floss or olive oil-soaked cotton between the nail and the skin. To relieve pain, take acetaminophen over-the-counter, and apply an antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.

If your condition worsens or you do not notice any improvement after two to three days of using home care treatment, you should consult your doctor. Once infected, your toe will require surgical treatment. To prevent the toenail from growing inward and cutting into the skin, the doctor may decide to remove it entirely or partially.

They may also prescribe antibiotics orally to treat the infection. To prevent reinfection, partial nail avulsion involves removing a portion of your ingrown toenail without disturbing the nail bed. The exposed nail bed may be painful, and you must avoid movement and wear special shoes to heal properly.

The complete removal of the entire toenail down to the nail matrix is known as complete nail avulsion. The procedure is right for children who have ingrown toenails and infections that keep coming back because their nails are getting thicker. Your toenail might take more than a year to grow back, but your doctor might decide to put a chemical compound on your toe to stop it from growing.

Both procedures are painless because the doctor will first administer a local anesthetic or pain injection. In addition, the doctor will advise you to wear open shoes and will recommend home care procedures to help you heal.

How Do You Prevent Ingrown Toenails?

You can prevent ingrown toenails by following several steps that include:

  1. Wear shoes that fit your feet. Try not to wear shoes that are either too tight or too loose.
  2. Trim your toenails straight and avoid rounding the edges.
  3. Avoid cutting your toenails too short.
  4. Use a clean nail trimmer.
  5. Do not rip or tear your nails.

If you have diabetes, your doctor will tell you how to take care of your feet so you don’t get ingrown toenails.

Looking For The Best Ingrown Toenail Treatment In Utah? Contact Rogers Foot And Ankle Institute Today!

A painful big toe ingrown toenail is easily addressed. At-home ingrown nail removal might cause complications and increase symptoms. Rogers Foot and Ankle Institute’s foot specialists can help.

Our experts know the latest procedures and therapies. We’ll treat your ingrown toenails so you can get back on your feet. Call 801-756-4200 to schedule an appointment.