Ingrown Toenail Care & Treatment in North Texas
An Ingrown toenail is a condition in which the edges of the toenail grows into the skin next to the nail, most commonly the big toe. When this occurs, the toe begins to turn red at the affected area, swell and you may feel pain. If it is not treated on time, it may get infected.
Most ingrown toenails can be prevented by proper care and grooming of the toenails.
If you feel severe pain or if it is getting infected, you need to see your doctor for medical treatment.
Causes of ingrown toenails
Individuals with sweaty feet, thickened nails and irregular curved nails are more prone to ingrown toenails. Also, individuals who have diabetes or other conditions that prevent the free flow of blood to the feet are at higher risk of complications of ingrown toenails.
There are several issues that can cause ingrown toenails. These include:
- Having an irregular curved toenails
- Incorrect or improper cutting of the toenails.
- Not cutting or trimming the toenails on time.
- Wearing of footwear that exerts a lot of pressure on the big toe.
- Wearing very tight socks and narrow shoes without enough space for the toes.
- Genetic and hereditary
- Improper foot hygiene
- Poor foot posture
- Involved in high impact sports which requires a lot of running and quick stops
Symptoms of ingrown toenails
The symptoms of ingrown toenails include:
- The skin at the affected area turns red
- The toe becomes swollen
- The skin becomes tender
- Pain in the affected area
- Feeling of more pain when pressure is applied on the toe
- Fluid begins to build up in the toe
- Overgrowth of skin around the toe
- The skin becomes hardened
- Infected toe begins to produce pus
Your doctor will conduct a physical examination of your toenail and the surrounding skin. If there is any sign of infection, an X-ray may be conducted so your doctor can view the internal structure of the toe to ascertain the extent of damage and the root cause of the condition.
There are different treatment options for ingrown toenails depending on the severity of the condition.
You can treat ingrown toenails with home remedies. These include:
- Soaking your feet in warm water – Soaking your feet with warm water for about 15 to 20 minutes 3 to 4 times in a day helps to relieve tenderness and reduce swelling. It also helps to kill bacteria and prevent infections.
- Place cotton or dental floss under the toenail – After soaking the toe, place a bit of cotton or waxed dental floss underneath the ingrown edge to help the toenail grow above the skin edge.
- Apply antibiotic cream – Apply antibiotic ointment on the tender area and bandage the toe.
- Choose sensible footwear – Put on sandals or open-toed shoes until your toe gets healed.
- Take pain relievers – You can take over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) to help relieve pain.
For more severe conditions, other treatment options include:
- Removing the ingrown portion of the nail – If you feel severe pain or if the toe is infected, your doctor may remove the ingrown portion of your toenail. You may be given an anesthetic to help numb the pain before the procedure is done.
- Removing the nail and tissue. This is a procedure whereby the portion of the nail along with the underlying tissue is removed. This is to prevent the toenail from growing back. This procedure is done if the ingrown toenail keeps growing back inside the skin or if you have repeated issues on the toe.
- Use of topical or oral antibiotics – If the toe is infected or at risk of becoming infected, your doctor may also recommend using topical or oral antibiotics to prevent bacteria from infecting the toenail.
If an ingrown toenail is not treated on time, it can lead to an infection in the bone in your toe. A toenail infection can likewise prompt foot ulcers, or open wounds, and loss of blood flow to the infected area. It may also lead to tissue rot and tissue death in the infected area
A foot infection can progressively get more severe if you have diabetes.
If you have a hereditary inclination to ingrown toenails, they may keep growing back or show up on different toes at various times or at once.
If you have diabetes, there may be increased complications leading to poor blood flow to the feet and nerve damage. A minor foot injury may lead to open sore that may require surgery so as to prevent tissue decay and death.
You can prevent ingrown toenail by:
- Trimming your toenails straight across – Try not to bend your nails to coordinate the state of the front of your toe. In the event that you have your toenails done at a salon, make certain to advise your pedicurist to trim your nails straight over. If you have a condition that causes poor blood flow to your feet and you can’t trim your nails, see a podiatrist normally to have your nails cut.
- Keep toenails at a moderate length – Trim toenails so that they are at the same length with the tips of your toes. In the event that you trim your toenails excessively short, the weight from your shoes on your toes may guide a nail to develop into the tissue.
- Wear shoes that fit appropriately – Shoes that spot an excessive amount of weight on your toes or squeeze them may make a nail develop into the encompassing tissue. If you have nerve harm to your feet, you will be unable to detect if your shoes fit too firmly. Wear appropriately fitted shoes, ideally from a shoe store gaining practical experience in fitting shoes for individuals with foot issues.
- Wear defensive footwear – In the event that your work puts you in danger of harming your toes, wear defensive footwear, for example, steel-toed shoes.
- Check your feet – In the event that you have diabetes, check your feet every day for indications of ingrown toenails or other foot issues.