If you experience severe pain, redness, and swelling around the ingrown toenail, or if the area becomes infected and pus drains from it, seek medical attention. If antibiotics are needed to treat an infection, they can be prescribed by your doctor at Aloha Foot and Ankle Associates.
Sometimes, a minor surgical procedure may be necessary to remove part of the nail or the entire nail. Your doctor can provide more information about this procedure and what to expect during recovery.
It is also important to take steps to prevent future occurrences of ingrown toenails. Make sure your toenails are trimmed regularly, keep your feet clean and dry, and wear well-fitting shoes that don’t put too much pressure on the toes.
An ingrown toenail is a common and usually treatable condition; some symptoms include pain, redness, and swelling in the affected area. The major causes of an ingrown toenail include:
- Improper nail-trimming technique: The right technique is to cut the nails straight across, not curved downward or too short.
- Wearing tight shoes: When your toes are constricted, they have no room to move and can cause an ingrown nail.
- Trauma includes any injury that could cause the skin to tear around the nail, resulting in an ingrown nail.
- Fungal infection: A fungal infection can cause the nails to become thick and hard, resulting in an ingrown nail.
- Heredity: If you have a family history of ingrown toenails, you may also be predisposed to them.
Your doctor will diagnose by examining your toenail and taking a swab for culture if an infection is present. Treatment options include:
Soaking the toe in warm water
This strategy helps reduce inflammation and soften the nail, making it easier to cut. The next process is to cut away the nail at a 45-degree angle.
Antibiotics can help treat infection and reduce inflammation. These are usually taken by mouth or as topical medications. Your doctor may also recommend an oral corticosteroid to help reduce swelling and discomfort.
Sometimes, a minor surgical procedure may be necessary to remove part of the nail or the entire nail. This type of surgery is typically done in a doctor’s office with local anesthesia and can have a quick recovery time. Your doctor can provide more information about this procedure and what to expect during recovery.
It is important to care for an ingrown toenail as soon as possible to prevent complications such as infection, worsening pain, and other issues. Your doctor can help you determine the best course of treatment for your particular case. By taking some simple preventative steps, you can often avoid future occurrences of ingrown toenails.
What type of doctor is best for an ingrown toenail?
Your primary care physician can diagnose and treat an ingrown toenail. If the infection is severe, you may need to see a dermatologist or podiatrist specializing in foot care.
The ingrown portion of the nail will be cut out by a podiatrist, who may also recommend a topical or oral medication to treat the infection. Your podiatrist can perform a procedure to permanently prevent ingrown nails if they are a persistent issue.
Contact your doctor for more information if you have any further questions about ingrown toenails.