Posts for tag: Ingrown Toenail
What is an ingrown toenail?
An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of the nail grows into the skin, causing redness, swelling, and pain. While this can happen to any toenail, it more commonly affects the big toe. While a minor ingrown toenail for an otherwise healthy individual may not be a cause for concern, some situations warrant turning to a podiatrist for care.
When should I see a podiatrist?
If you notice any of these signs of an infected ingrown toenail it’s time to visit a foot doctor:
- Increased pain, swelling, or redness
- Skin that’s hard to the touch
- Pus or drainage coming from the nail
Can you prevent ingrown toenails?
There are things you can do to reduce your risk of developing an ingrown toenail. Some of these steps include:
- Not picking, pulling, or tearing your toenails (especially torn edges)
- Making sure that you are trimming your nails straight across (never curved) and that you keep them level with the tips of your toes
- Wearing shoes that have a large toe box and don’t bunch up your toes (shoes with a pointed toe will put too much pressure on the toenails)
- Wearing the appropriate footwear for certain activities, such as construction work or sports, to prevent injuries
Home care may be enough to ease symptoms, but sometimes you simply need to see a podiatrist.
An ingrown toenail typically affects the big toe, causing the toenail to curve down into the skin. This can lead to swelling, redness and pain, and if the skin breaks open this can also leave you prone to infection. Luckily, there are many ways in which you can treat an ingrown toenail at home; however, there are many reasons to visit our Fairfax, VA, podiatrists Dr. Steven Vetter and Dr. Jugal Dharia for treatment. If you have numbness or nerve damage in your feet, issues with circulation or diabetes, you should see our foot doctors right away.
I have an ingrown toenail. Now what?
If you are an otherwise healthy individual you may try home care before turning to our podiatrists here in Fairfax, VA. You may wish to ease your pain and discomfort by soaking the affected foot in warm water or by taking an anti-inflammatory. While the toenail is trying to grow in properly, you’ll want to avoid any shoes that bunch up your toes or put pressure on the toenails. Whenever possible, go barefoot or wear open-toed shoes, to give your feet a breather from being in shoes all the time.
How do I prevent an ingrown toenail?
If this isn’t the first time that you’ve had an ingrown toenail you may be wondering what you can do to prevent one from happening in the future. Here are some tips to follow,
- Wear protective footwear to protect against toenail injuries
- Wear shoes that allow your toes enough space to wiggle and move freely
- Trim nails straight across, never at an angle
- Keep the nails level with the tips of your toes (trimming nails too short can lead to ingrown toenails)
When should I seek medical attention?
If you suspect that you might have an infected ingrown toenail (e.g. pus, severe pain and worsening redness) then you should call our doctors right away for care. Also, if you find home remedies just aren’t giving you the relief you need, we can help.
If you are dealing with a painful ingrown toenail our Fairfax, VA, podiatrists can provide you with the treatment you need. Call Oakton Foot and Ankle Center today at (703) 352-8888 to schedule an appointment with us.
Ingrown toenails may begin mildly but can quickly go from bad to worse. This frustrating and painful condition can affect anyone and cause significant issues. Unlike other foot-related conditions, which are often due to genetics or underlying conditions, ingrown toenails are almost always preventable and often come from lifestyle choices like the type of shoes you wear or the way you trim your toenails.
Do I have an ingrown toenail?
Ingrown toenails are easy to spot if you know what to look for. The nail begins to grow inward, curling in on one or both sides of the toenail and digging into the skin. An ingrown nail may begin with mild pain and discomfort and end up advancing quickly, producing symptoms like severe pain, difficulty walking, or even infection — which produces its own set of symptoms such as pus drainage or fever.
How can I prevent an ingrown toenail?
Preventing an ingrown toenail often boils down to the way you trim your nails and care for your feet. Always cut the nail straight across the top and never round off the corners to ensure that the nail grows straight. Wearing too-tight or narrow shoes which place pressure onto the toe can also contribute an ingrown toenail. Additionally, always keep your feet dry and clean and wear fresh socks daily.
Treating Ingrown Toenails
There are home remedies that may help stop the pain caused by ingrown toenails, such as soaking the foot in a warm foot bath and wearing better fitting footwear. Your podiatrist may be able to prescribe antibiotics to help avoid infection. In some cases, surgery by your podiatrist may be necessary. It's important to consult your doctor to see which method is best for you.
If you think you have an ingrown toenail or need help learning to better prevent them, a podiatrist can help you determine the best plan to healthier feet. Consulting with your foot doctor at regular foot examinations can help ensure that your feet stay healthy and pain-free for years to come.