If you’re in pain due to an ingrown toenail, you’re not alone. Ingrown toenails are a common foot ailment, and 2 out of 10 people who seek help from a podiatrist are suffering from an ingrown toenail. However, you might be wondering if this foot issue always requires medical attention, or if you can treat it on your own.
Our expert team of podiatrists at the Foot and Ankle Institute of Colorado, located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, wants you to know a little bit more about ingrown toenails and the importance of treatment.
Understanding ingrown toenails
Ingrown toenails happen when your nail starts to grow into the skin that surrounds your nail bed. It most commonly occurs in your big toe, although it can happen to any of your toes.
Symptoms of ingrown toenails typically include:
- Redness around your toenail
- Swelling and tenderness along the sides of your toenail
- Buildup of fluid around your toenail
- Pain when you put any pressure on your toe
The pain will most likely get worse as the ingrown toenail develops.
Common causes of ingrown toenails
While there a number of things that can cause ingrown toenails, these are some of the most common:
- Wearing shoes that are too tight
- Trimming your toenails too short
- Having fungal infections
- Losing a nail
- Sweating excessively
Having a family history of ingrown toenails can also increase your risk for developing them.
Treating ingrown toenails
All ingrown toenails require treatment in order to prevent infection. However, you don’t always need to go see your podiatrist right away. There are plenty of treatments you can try doing at home on your own first.
As soon as you notice an ingrown toenail, these are some things you can try:
- Soaking your foot in warm water multiple times a day
- Keeping your foot clean and dry
- Wearing shoes with plenty of toe room
- Taking over-the-counter pain medications
Make sure to avoid trimming the affected toenail or putting any cotton underneath it. Doing these things can increase your risk of infection.
If you notice any signs of infection, such as bleeding or pus discharge, come see our team right away so we can treat it properly. When your ingrown toenail is infected, we can either prescribe oral antibiotics or remove part of your nail. If you have recurring ingrown toenails, we may need to remove the root of your nail bed to discourage regrowth.
If you have an ingrown toenail that needs treatment, come see our team right away for expert care. To schedule an appointment with us, you can contact our friendly staff by giving us a call or using our online booking tool today.