Ingrown toenails, where the toenail begins to grow into the skin surrounding it, often begin as nothing but a nuisance. Unfortunately, they can lead to infection if not properly treated.
Ingrown toenails are common, and can be caused by everything from trauma to genetic factors. However nice a rounded edge on your toenails might look for sandal season, cutting your toenail in this way can encourage your nail to grow into the flesh of your toe.
Ingrown toenails are characterized by pain, swelling, redness and a feeling of warmth in the affected toe. If the nail digs into the flesh around the nail and causes the skin to break, bacteria can enter, resulting in an infection. The infection can increase the level of pain in the toe and create additional problems.
You should see your podiatrist at the first sign of an ingrown toenail, especially if you have poor circulation or are a diabetic. Whatever you do, do not attempt to cut the nail free your own! This can worsen the infection, or create one where there wasn’t one before.
If your ingrown toenail doesn’t improve within a few days, make an appointment with our trusted podiatrist. Antibiotics may be prescribed to manage the infection, and an outpatient surgical procedure may be necessary to remove the nail.