Don’t Ignore your Toe Pain.

A common cause of toe pain is due to Ingrown toenails.  A toenail is ingrown when the corner or side grows into the surrounding skin. Ingrown toenails usually affect your big toe. Ingrown toenails cause pain, redness, and swelling, and sometimes lead to infection.

The most common cause of ingrown toenails is improper grooming but can also be caused by trauma or improper shoe fit. To prevent ingrown toenails, you should cut your toenails straight across. If they’re too short or have rounded or jagged ends, they’re likely to become ingrown.

Ingrown toenails may follow a toe injury. They can also develop in response to excess pressure on your big toe, especially if your socks or shoes are too tight.

Ingrown toenails are usually minor and treatable at home. However, if you have an ingrown toenail that’s severely painful, appears to be infected, or isn’t getting better, have one of the doctors at Renaissance Foot & Ankle take a look.

Do I need a doctor to treat my ingrown toenail?

Generally, you can tell how serious an ingrown toenail is by how much it’s bothering you. If the discomfort and other symptoms are minor, it should respond to at-home care, including:

  • Soaking your feet in warm water with Epsom salt
  • Applying antibiotic ointment to the area
  • Putting a bandage on the area
  • If possible, it helps to wear open-toed shoes like sandals when you have an ingrown toenail. Closed-toed shoes can irritate ingrown toenails.

You should schedule an appointment at Renaissance Foot & Ankle Center if your ingrown toenail appears to be infected or has not improved in a couple of days. You may have an infection if there’s draining from the nail or if the pain, redness, and swelling is getting worse.

Dr. Deroy or Dr. Duggirala can treat infected ingrown toenails with antibiotics. In some cases, you may need surgery to remove the infected part of the nail.

It’s a good idea to get attention for an ingrown toenail if you have diabetes or another condition that affects your circulation. If you have diabetes, small cuts and wounds like ingrown toenails are more likely to lead to infections with serious complications, but early intervention and proper foot care can prevent this from happening.  

How do I prevent ingrown toenails?

Though ingrown toenails can be an annoying, recurring problem, they’re usually preventable. It’s essential to practice good foot care and hygiene. This includes:

  • Trimming your toenails straight across
  • Wearing shoes and socks that fit properly
  • Washing your feet and toes every day
  • Letting your feet breathe after high-impact exercise like running and soccer

Schedule an appointment at Renaissance Foot & Ankle Center over the phone or request online

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