The mild pain and discomfort of an ingrown toenail may seem like a minor annoyance, but ignoring this condition can lead to serious health risks. From infections to disability, the consequences of leaving an ingrown toenail untreated can be more severe than you might expect. It’s important not to neglect an ingrown toenail, and you should seek treatment right away.  Treating ingrown toenails

Understanding Ingrown Toenails

An ingrown toenail, also known as onychocryptosis, develops when the corner or side of the nail (usually the big toenail) grows into the skin around it. This results in painful, swollen, inflamed skin and often an infection. The main cause of an ingrown toenail is cutting your nails too short. If you cut your nail down too far, the nail can grow back into the skin around it. Additionally, if you make a round cut on your nails, they won’t have clear corners. And when a new corner grows, it can get stuck under the skin.

Other Causes of an Ingrown Toenail

  • Wearing shoes that are too tight, too short, or put pressure on the toes can force a toenail to grow into the skin around it.
  • Suffering a toe injury, such as stubbing your toe or someone stepping on it, can cause the nail to fall off, and the new nail that grows back can dig into the skin.
  • Repeating certain activities or sports maneuvers can lead to an ingrown toenail.
  • Having a genetic predisposition—for some people, ingrown nails are inherited.

Symptoms of an Ingrown Toenail

  • Fluid or pus that seeps from the toenail area
  • Inflammation or swelling around the toenail
  • Infection near the ingrown toenail site
  • Pain when standing or walking
  • Skin discoloration around the ingrown nail (typically, the skin becomes red)
  • Tenderness when touching the nail or toe
  • Unpleasant odor emanating from an infected area of the toe

Many people who suffer an ingrown toenail first try home remedies to treat them. But these treatments are frequently ineffective, and they may even lead to serious medical problems. Relying on common home remedies or simply leaving the ingrown nail untreated both come with a high risk of infection. That can turn a minor pain annoyance into a serious health concern very quickly. That’s why you should see a skilled podiatrist if you have symptoms.

Why You Shouldn't Ignore an Ingrown Toenail

It’s important to have an experienced podiatrist treat an ingrown nail right away before your condition becomes more serious. Having a simple procedure now can help ensure you won’t need a more invasive treatment later. In serious cases, an ingrown toenail infection can spread to other areas of the body. It’s possible to develop a bone infection or even gangrene, which can sometimes require amputation.

Getting the proper care for your feet is important for any patient, but it’s critical for patients with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Due to the potential for poor blood circulation in the feet, diabetic patients should address conditions such as ingrown toenails immediately.

How a Podiatrist Can Treat Your Ingrown Toenail

In many cases, an ingrown toenail can be successfully resolved by a podiatrist in a single office visit. The procedure is usually handled on an outpatient basis, so there’s no reason to put off getting treatment. Depending on the severity of the ingrown toenail and its associated medical issues, treatment could consist of:

  • Excising the sides of the nail where the ingrowth has occurred
  • Removing the full toenail completely
  • Utilizing medication to handle pain and treat any infection

Are You Looking for Ingrown Toenail Care in Twin Falls, ID?

If you are experiencing an ingrown toenail, you should reach out to an experienced podiatristBurley patients can get in touch at 208-678-2727, or call us in Twin Falls at 208-733-0436. Appointments are also available for request through our online portal.