Preventing and Treating Ingrown Toenails
The condition of an ingrown toenail is also called onychocryptosis. An ingrown toenail can be a severely debilitating problem, especially when it occurs in multiple toes simultaneously on both feet which can cause a never-ending battle with painful swelling and infections.
It isn’t always obvious that an inward growing toenail is the cause of your pain and discomfort. Symptoms include swelling around the nail and minor bleeding. If you notice redness, yellowing, and a warm feeling in the skin around the toe, there may be an infection that needs to be treated right away to avoid more serious complications including possible amputation.
The causes of ingrown toenails often include the following:
- Proper nail cutting technique—The main cause of a toenail growing into your skin is from improper cutting technique. Be sure to cut straight across and not too short so the nail edge remains away from your tender skin.
- Injury—When your toe experiences trauma such as by dropping a heavy object on it, it can cause the nail to grow into your skin.
- Poorly-fitting shoes—Narrow toe boxes can increase the pressure on the toes causing this condition and a variety of others including bunions and hammertoes.
- Fungal toenails—This infection can cause a nail to become enlarged and brittle and make it more likely to grow into the skin.
Treating ingrown toenails involves the following:
For the less severe type of ingrown toenails, warm water soaks and antibacterial medications may be enough to correct the issue. Inserting a small piece of cotton under the edge of the nail can help to prop it up and allow the nail to grow correctly. For severely infected or painful ingrown toenails, your podiatrist can often perform an outpatient procedure involving the numbing of the toe and removal of the ingrown piece of nail.
If you are currently experiencing problems with ingrown toenails, consult with our board certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!