Do you have an ingrown toenail that’s bothering you or even causing you pain? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, research tells us that ingrown toenails are one of the most common reasons people seek medical care for podiatric problems, accounting for 2 out of every 10 visits.
Because it’s possible for ingrown toenails to go away on their own, it can be tricky to know when you should treat them at home and when it’s time to take a trip to see Matthew Hinderland, DPM, Jordan Cameron, DPM, Trevor Whiting, DPM, DPM, Joseph Fleck, DPM, and the rest of our podiatry team at the Foot and Ankle Institute of Colorado.
So, in this blog, we’ve compiled some ways to know when your ingrown toenail requires our expert care.
Explaining ingrown toenails
Ingrown toenails happen when your nail starts to grow into the skin surrounding it. Your big toe is most often affected, but it’s very possible for it to happen to your other toes as well.
When you have an ingrown toenail you might experience symptoms such as:
- Pain when you apply weight to your toe
- Redness and swelling
- New tissue growth around the edge of your toe
If your ingrown toenail becomes infected, you may notice pus drainage around the nail.
Many different things can cause ingrown toenails. The kinds of shoes you wear are often the culprit, especially if you wear shoes that don’t fit well or have an especially narrow toe box. In addition, cutting your nails too short, injuring your toe in some way, or having toenail fungus can bring about an ingrown toenail.
How to treat an ingrown toenail at home
When you have an ingrown toenail, you don’t need to rush in for medical care. You can start by trying some simple home remedies as long as your symptoms are mild.
Soak your toe in warm water for about 15 minutes and then dry it off completely before wrapping it in a bandage with antiseptic. Repeat this process every day until your toe is completely healed, and make sure to wear open toed shoes during the duration of your home treatment.
When to seek podiatric care
It’s easy for an ingrown toenail to become infected. So, if your toe doesn’t seem to be getting any better with at-home treatment, or if you notice signs of infection such as redness, swelling, or pus drainage, make sure to see us right away.
If your ingrown toenail is infected, we can prescribe oral antibiotics to clear it up. If you have trouble with repeated ingrown toenails, we may suggest partial nail removal to keep it from recurring.
For ingrown toenail treatment, contact our team to set up an appointment. Call us or book online today.