Ingrown Toenail Removal Treatment
Ingrown toenails have a knack for making our toes curl—in more ways than one. Quite literally, an ingrown toenail happens when a nail’s edge grows into the skin of a toe. While highly common, ingrown toenails don’t make for pleasant sights. Plus, they can become quite painful if left unaddressed.
Ingrown Toenail Treatment & Removal
If you have diabetes, it is important to protect your feet from ingrown toenails.
Here you will learn about:
Symptoms for Ingrown Toenails
- Redness around your toenail
- Swelling of your toe around the toenail
- Pain, tenderness on the side of your toenail
- Might get infected which could include
- Pus coming out of the infection
- The toe feels hot
Why Do I Have An Ingrown Toenail?
We all know our nails grow—but it can surprise us by how fast. What may also surprise are the ways it grows: lengthwise, yes, but also by width. That’s right, our toenails grow wider as well as longer.
If we don’t cut them regularly, the edges of the nail will dig into the skin surrounding it. The ensuing pain and inflammation signal a problem in foot care.
Also, cutting the toenails too short or incorrectly can cause in-growing.
Foot trauma also serves as a common cause for ingrown toenails; even something as simple as stubbing your toe. A stubbed toe or other foot trauma can cause a bend to form in the toenail, which can offset a toenail’s growth trajectory. If the toe starts to grow at an angle, it can curve into the skin as an ingrown toenail.
Shoes that don’t fit properly can also lead to ingrown toenails. When toes squish together due to overly snug shoes, the pressure also carries the risk of curling your toes in over time. If your go-to shoes feel cramped, it might be time to toss them in the trash for your foot health.
Sometimes the cause could be a genetic one. Some people have curved toenails.
Complications and when to see a doctor
Left untreated or unrecognized, ingrown toenails can cause serious infection of the bone and result in a severe and painful condition that could be life-threatening.
If you have diabetes, your feet can become damaged from poor blood circulation and nerve damage. Minor foot injuries (e.g. cuts, scrapes, corns and ingrown toenails) can turn into serious infections.
- You feel severe discomfort in your toe,
- Pus is coming out of it,
- Redness is spreading from your toe to other part of the foot,
- You have conditions that cause bad blood flow, such as diabetes, and have an infection, you must visit your local foot doctor.
How to treat ingrown toenails?
Since ingrown toenails are quite common, treatment options do exist—and are relatively easy to access.
Solutions to ingrown toenails can vary in a couple of ways. For less extreme cases, a toenail could be filed down without the aid of an anesthetic in-house. If the ingrown nail requires more attention, the sides of the nail, or even the nail entirely, may have to be removed. Major cases may demand more extensive treatments, such as ingrown toenail surgery. A podiatrist can help point you in the right direction—and give you the best foot forward.
Medical treatment for ingrown toenail
A foot specialist can do the following procedures:
Partially remove the toenail - your doctor may need to cut or remove the ingrown portion of the nail. In addition, an anesthetic may be injected into it.
Removing the whole nail - If you have a recurring issue with a toe nail, your doctor may suggest removing a portion of the nail. This prevents the nail from growing back as well as promotes healthy nail growth.
For slightly ingrown nails the doctor might just lift the toenail and separate it from the skin.
Home remedies for ingrown toenails
If you don’t experience any serious discomfort, you can try home remedies.
The most common one is soaking your feet in warm water for 20 minutes. Do this a few times a day. This will prevent any swelling and you can also try to lift your nail after soaking. You can put cotton or waxed dental floss between the nail and the skin. This way the nail will grow above the skin edge.
Something to have in mind - after soaking your feet always dry them well. Having wet/moist skin in your shoes for the whole day can lead to other problems.
You can also buy special antibiotic ointment from your local pharmacy.
Some might suggest taking pain relievers, but if you have reached a level of pain which needs over-the-counter pain medication, then it’s probably best to visit your doctor.
How to prevent ingrown toenails from happening?
There are a few things you can do in your everyday life to prevent ingrown toenails from happening.
First, always wear the right shoes. Avoid tight, pointy shoes. If a shoe is too tight around your toes, this creates a big predisposition for ingrown toenails.
And speaking of shoes, if you work in a factory or a place where foot injuries might occur, always wear protective footwear, such as steel-toed shoes.
Don’t cut your toenails too short and always cut them straight across the nail, not the edges. If a nail is too short it can start digging into the skin.
A good rule of thumb if you have diabetes is to check your feet regularly for signs of ingrown toenails.
How Foot Specialists of Birmingham Fit
Much like the right shoe, the right foot specialist has to fit. Our foot care requires it. If you’re experiencing an ingrown toenail, or any foot problems for that matter, make an appointment with Foot Specialists of Birmingham.
Whether it’s for nail care or some other foot issue, our specialists come equipped to handle it. Plus, our office is conveniently located in Birmingham, AL. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to get you, and your feet, back on track.