Signs of an Ingrown Toenail
Ingrown toenails are a painful condition that can lead to serious foot pain and other complications if left untreated. Understanding why and how toenails become ingrown, who is most likely to develop the condition, and what to do if one develops can help reduce the risk of infection and worsening pain.
Signs That a Toenail is Ingrown
- Swelling and tenderness at the corners of the toes where the nail stops
- Redness around the infected area
- Ongoing pain and discomfort
- Skin has grown over the toenail
How & Why Ingrown Toenails Form
The most common reason why a toenail becomes ingrown is by trimming the sides of the nail too short, especially on the big toe.
Another common cause of an ingrown toenail is wearing shoes that are too tight in the toes. Tight socks or stockings can also cause this problem. When the toenail bed is compressed, it has no other place to grow except into the skin, resulting in improper growth location and an ingrown nail.
Who Is Susceptible to Ingrown Nails?
People who wear shoes that crowd the toes, such as pointed high heeled shoes, put them at risk of an ingrown toenail. Additionally, anyone who cuts their toenails too short or has unusually curved toenails is also at risk.
Treating & Preventing an Ingrown Toenail
Most of the time, a person can treat the ingrown toenail at home by soaking their toes in a bath of warm soapy water several times each day. In cases of a severely ingrown toenail, however, a McKinney podiatrist should be counseled for help. Sometimes, the treatment involves surgically removing the ingrown portion of the nail.
Pro tip: To prevent any more toenails from becoming ingrown, trim your toenails straight across, avoid tightly fitting shoes, and keep your feet clean.
For more information or to schedule treatment for an ingrown toenail, call us at Premier Foot & Ankle at 214-778-1239.