Ingrown toenails can be painful and unsightly, and they may cause serious problems if they become infected. If your toenails are starting to become ingrown, Marc House, DPM, of Kinetic Foot and Ankle Clinic in Aurora, Colorado, is a skilled foot and ankle surgeon with extensive expertise in treating ingrown toenails. If you get your ingrown toenails treated promptly, you can avoid a great deal of pain and inconvenience, so call the clinic today or book an appointment online.
A healthy toenail grows away from the surrounding soft tissues. When a toenail becomes ingrown, the toenail grows directly into the soft flesh. The side or corner of the nail pushes into the skin and flesh around it, causing pain and swelling if left unchecked.
It’s possible for ingrown toenails to become infected, which could potentially spread to the bones in the toe and cause a serious infection. Ingrown toenails usually affect the big toe, but can affect any of your nails.
The most common causes of ingrown toenails are:
You can help prevent ingrown toenails from forming by taking good care of your feet and not squeezing your toes into tight shoes. Always cut your toenails straight across rather than shaping them like you would your fingernails, and keep them the same length as your toes.
In the early stages, you may be able to manage the ingrowing nail yourself:
These treatments can help in the early stages of an ingrown toenail, but if the toe is painful, red, or swollen, or looks infected, visit Dr. House for a thorough examination. If you have diabetes, you should see Dr. House as a matter of course, as foot problems in people with diabetes can lead to serious complications.
Dr. House assesses the severity of the problem at your assessment and prescribes the least invasive option available that’s suitable for your case.
By separating the nail from the skin and other tissues into which it’s growing, the nail is redirected back to its correct path away from your toe.
In severe or chronic cases, Dr. House removes the affected part of the nail to allow your toe to heal and the nail to regrow correctly. The procedure may be done as an outpatient procedure under local anesthetic.
If the toe is infected, Dr. House can prescribe a course of antibiotics and antibiotic cream to treat the infection.
Whether you’ve just spotted an ingrown toenail, or you have an ongoing problem, Dr. House can help. Call Kinetic Foot and Ankle Clinic today, or book an appointment online.