About 40 million Americans 21 and older suffer from ingrown toenails, making it one of the most persistent (and most irritating) foot problems today. At Foot and Ankle Institute of Colorado in Colorado Springs, Colorado, board-certified podiatrists and foot and ankle surgeons Matthew Hinderland, DPM, Jordan Cameron, DPM, Tyler Gloschat, DPM, and Joseph Fleck, DPM can treat ingrown toenails to prevent long-term problems. Call the office nearest you to speak to a friendly team member or book with online scheduling anytime.
Ingrown toenails are toenails (usually on the big toe) that curve to grow into your skin at your nail borders. This causes swelling, redness, warm-feeling skin, and often discomfort or pain.
An ingrown toenail can grow infected, which may lead to pus leakage and odor at the point where the nail punctures your skin.
Ingrown toenails can happen for a few reasons, including:
Toenail trauma can happen if you stub your toe, drop something heavy on your toe, kick something very hard, or for many other reasons.
Footwear can cause ingrown toenails if shoes are too short or too tight. Tight socks could contribute, too.
Improper nail care is the most common reason for ingrown toenails. Cutting nails too close to the skin or in a curved shape are both common mistakes because it allows your bordering nail skin to overlap the nail.
Other nail conditions, like toenail fungus, can contribute to nail weakening and may make the nail more vulnerable to becoming ingrown.
You can also inherit a tendency for ingrown toenails in some cases.
Ingrown toenails can be tricky to treat effectively at home because infection risk is so high. If you have symptoms of an ingrown toenail, schedule an appointment at Foot and Ankle Institute of Colorado promptly.
In the meantime, you can soak your toe in a warm water bath. Avoid cutting a notch in the nail or trimming the nail borders, as you can make it worse. Never put cotton under the ingrown toenail. This greatly increases the odds of infection.
Your providers at Foot and Ankle Institute of Colorado treat your ingrown toenail with as little discomfort as possible.
If you have an infection, your provider can prescribe oral antibiotics. In some cases, the best way to address an ingrown toenail is partial removal.
Your podiatrist can administer local anesthetic and remove the corner of the nail that's buried. If your nail becomes ingrown repeatedly, you may need nail root removal to prevent regrowth.
In the future, you can prevent ingrown toenails by cutting your nails in a straight line and avoiding tight shoes. Your Foot and Ankle Institute of Colorado providers may have further preventive care tips.
Book your appointment with the online tool, or call either office of Foot and Ankle Institute of Colorado now.