Ingrown Toenail Q & A
What is an ingrown toenail?
An ingrown toenail occurs when the corner or side of your toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding your nail. It’s an uncomfortable condition that can make even walking painful.
In addition to the nail growing into the soft flesh, you may notice accompanying symptoms, such as:
- Pain or tenderness along the outside of your toenail
- An infection on the base of your toe
You should see Dr. Deacon right away if you notice redness that appears to be spreading, sores, signs of infection, or any pus.
What causes an ingrown toenail?
Common causes of an ingrown toenail include:
Wearing shoes that are too tight and crowd your toes
Keeping your toenails cut too short
An injury to your toenail
Abnormally curved toenails
A common risk factor that can increase your chances of developing an ingrown toenail is having a condition that causes poor blood flow to your feet, such as diabetes.
How can I prevent ingrown toenails?
There are clear-cut ways to prevent or at least drastically reduce your risk of developing an ingrown toenail.
Make sure to wear shoes that fit you properly and don’t crowd your toenails. You may also want to try orthotics, or foot inserts, as a preventive measure. Limit your wearing of high heels, also. As for trimming your toenails, make sure not to cut them too short and always cut them straight across to avoid curves.
If you have diabetes, check your feet daily for signs of an ingrown toenail.
How is an ingrown toenail treated?
Dr. Deacon usually recommends treating your ingrown toenail with home remedies and conservative measures. At-home remedies that can really help include soaking your feet in warm water, applying an antibiotic cream, and lifestyle modifications such as wearing more comfortable shoes.
Over-the-counter pain medication can help relieve much of the pain of an ingrown toenail, too. However, if your ingrown toenail doesn’t resolve itself, Dr. Deacon may opt for a minimally invasive procedure to partially remove the nail or fully remove the nail and underlying tissue.
If you have an ingrown toenail, call Milwaukee Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinic or use the online booking tool and schedule an appointment with Dr. Deacon today.