Foot problems can get in the way of your daily life, including ingrown toenails. This common condition develops when the skin on one or both sides of a nail grows over the nail edges, or the nail grows into the skin. Usually, an ingrown toenail affects the big toe and results in swelling, skin inflammation, and pain. When you have an ingrown toenail, it’s important to see a podiatrist before it becomes infected. Canyon Foot + Ankle has extensive experience treating this foot condition, and their podiatrists can help treat yours.
Causes of Ingrown Toenails
Both men and women develop ingrown toenails, but the National Health Services (NHS) reports that seniors may be more likely to develop this condition because toenails tend to get thicker with age. Also, ingrown nails are common in people with sweaty feet, such as athletes and teenagers. Ingrown toenails can also be hereditary. Genetic tendencies include the shape of the nail and nails that curve or are pinched. Additionally, shoes that don’t fit right can lead to this painful condition.
No matter what causes an ingrown toenail, it’s important to watch for signs that tell you it’s time to see a podiatrist.
Symptoms of an Ingrown Toenail
- Fluid, ooze, or pus near the nail
- Redness and/or skin discoloration
- Sharp pain when standing or walking
- Tenderness to the touch
Treating an Ingrown Toenail
While an ingrown toenail doesn’t usually require a trip to the emergency room, it often calls for an appointment with a podiatrist. They can usually treat the nail with an inpatient procedure that may include:
- Using a simple procedure to excise the sides of the nail
- Removing the nail completely
- Prescribing medication to handle any infection
Preventing Recurring Ingrown Toenails
To prevent a recurrence of an ingrown toenail, you should work with your podiatry team to come up with a plan for the future. This may involve:
- Performing daily foot exams to check for any problems—this is especially important for diabetic patients.
- Wearing protective footwear that can help insulate your feet from trauma such as stubbing your toes or dropping heavy objects on your feet.
- Planning regular toenail clippings, so your nails don’t grow too long.
- Keeping your toenails at a medium length to stay even with the tip of your toes.
- Trimming your nails straight across, rather than maintaining the natural curve or clipping into a sharper V shape. Keeping a straight line with the nail fitting loosely on the edges is the best way to avoid the pressure that can lead to an ingrown toenail.
- Wearing shoes that have a spacious toe box that won’t put pressure on your toes and that allow your toes to stay flat. In some cases, that may simply require looking for new shoes, or you may need customized orthotics to fit your foot shape.
- Wearing moisture-wicking socks, so your toes can move freely inside your shoes.
- Keeping your feet as dry as possible.
Visit a Foot Specialist in Magic Valley for Ingrown Toenail Pain Relief
If you have an ingrown toenail that is painful and interfering with your daily life; you notice signs of infection; or have recurring ingrown toenails, request an appointment with the skilled podiatrists at Canyon Foot + Ankle. Ingrown toenails can be treated easily and quickly, usually in a single office visit. Because the aftercare is fairly minor, most people are back on their feet and enjoying their normal activities in a day. Request an appointment online here, or call the Canyon Foot + Ankle directly at:
- Burley: 208-678-2727
- Twin Falls: 208-733-0436