Photo Of A Woman Standing On Her Toes - Donna Barrese, DPM East Windsor Lawrenceville Foot & AnkleOne of the most common problems podiatrists see in patients is ingrown toenails. An ingrown toenail occurs when the nail curves and grows downward into the toe. People of all ages and backgrounds develop ingrown toenails, and while they sometimes resolve themselves, many patients will experience pain, inflammation, and infection in the toes. In these cases, patients should contact their physician to find out about ingrown toenail removal and treatment options.

 

What Causes Ingrown Toenails?

There are a number of potential causes of the condition. It appears that some people’s tendency to develop ingrown nails may be inherited from their parents. Others may experience trauma to the foot that leads to ingrown nails. Still others develop the condition by cutting their toenails too short or wearing shoes that are too tight. People with certain medical conditions such as diabetes may have an elevated risk of developing an ingrown toenail because of poor circulation in the feet. Anyone experiencing pain, swelling, or other symptoms in the toe should contact their podiatrist about ingrown toenail treatment right away or risk developing infection or other complications.

Preventing Ingrown Toenails

Some patients are prone to ingrown toenails, experiencing multiple over the course of their lives. These may be preventable by adopting some simple nail care procedures, like trimming the nails straight across instead of at an angle to keep nails from growing into the skin. Additionally, wearing comfortable and properly fitting shoes and socks can help prevent the problem.

Ingrown Toenail Treatment Options

Sometimes ingrown nails will resolve themselves. If the area is red and swollen, patients can try soaking their feet in warm water with Epsom salt to fight infection. If the problem doesn’t disappear, it’s imperative to see a doctor for ingrown toenail treatment options. Doctors often prescribe antibiotics to clear up any infection in the nail or surrounding skin. In the worst cases, the podiatrist may recommend an ingrown toenail removal procedure, a quick surgery that provides pain relief by removing the nail.

Ingrown toenails can lead to severe complications for people with existing medical conditions, so it’s extremely important that anyone who suspects that they have this condition contact their doctor right away for a quick, effective ingrown toenail treatment.