Ingrown toenails make wearing shoes, or even walking, difficult and painful. If your toenail is causing you discomfort and distress, and at-home treatments haven’t offered relief, a podiatrist can help. F. Keith Nebeker, DPM, is a skilled podiatrist serving the community of Reno, Nevada. To learn more about treatments for ingrown toenails, call the office or book an appointment online.
When your toenail has an edge that grows into the skin and soft tissue at the side of the nail, rather than straight out from the nail bed, it is known as an “ingrown” toenail. It’s more common for the nail on the big toe to become ingrown than other toes.
Ingrown toenails can resolve on their own as the nail grows out. More advanced cases may need to be addressed by a podiatrist. Infected toenails that are left untreated can lead to a serious infection that can permanently damage your nail, skin, or bones.
The most common causes of ingrown toenails are improper cutting, wearing ill-fitting shoes, or an injury to the nail bed. Hereditary factors may also contribute to ingrown toenails.
When cutting toenails, cut straight across, and be sure you can see the edge of your toenail. If the edge is hidden, it could have a jagged point that will cause trouble as it grows into your skin.
Pain is the most common symptom of an ingrown toenail. Other symptoms of an ingrown toenail are:
If your toenail is infected, it may appear raw with a red lump overlapping the nail edge.
In the early stages, ingrown toenails can be treated at home. Foot soaks, an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment, and wearing loose or open-toed shoes are recommended for treating mild pain from ingrown toenails.
More advanced ingrown toenails require the attention of a podiatrist. If your nail isn’t too deeply ingrown, Dr. Nebeker can use special tools to lift the edge of the nail away from the skin that it irritated. The area can then be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected to avoid further irritation.
For a more deeply ingrown nail, Dr. Nebeker may use a local anesthetic before removing a vertical strip of the nail, allowing the nail to regrow without an ingrown edge.
If you suffer from chronic or severe pain from an ingrown toenail, Dr. Nebeker can help. Call the office today or schedule an appointment online.