Ingrown Toenail FAQs

By Providence Foot Health Center
April 13, 2022
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Ingrown Toenail  

Do you want to know more about ingrown toenails?

Ingrown toenails are annoying and painful little problems. Whether you’ve had them before or you’re currently dealing with an ingrown toenail, chances are good that you may have questions for our Washington, DC, podiatrist Dr. James Mintzer about why they happen and how to treat them. Here are answers to some of the top questions regarding ingrown toenails.

What are the signs and symptoms of an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail happens when the edge of a toenail, often the nail of the big toe, grows into the skin. This can cause redness, swelling, tenderness and even pain in the skin around the nail. If you notice any of these symptoms and you can see the corner of the nail is piercing the skin then you could very well be dealing with an ingrown toenail.

What causes ingrown toenails?

You may be more likely to deal with ingrown toenails if,

  • You trim your nails too short or you curve the edge of the nail when trimming
  • You wear shoes that are too tight and put pressure on your toenails
  • You sustained an injury to the nail (common in athletes)

How are ingrown toenails treated?

If you are a healthy individual who doesn’t have diabetes or nerve damage in your feet then you may be able to treat your ingrown toenail yourself with simple home care. You may be able to gently lift the edge of the nail away from the skin and place a pick of a cotton ball under there to help the nail grow out properly.

You may also choose to soak your feet in warm Epsom salt water a couple of times a day to reduce pain and swelling. Most people should see an improvement in their ingrown toenails within 2-3 days. If you don’t, it’s time to call our Washington DC podiatrist.

When should I turn to a doctor for treatment?

Apart from turning to us when home care just isn’t enough to treat your ingrown toenail, you should turn to us as soon as possible if you have diabetes or nerve damage and you develop an ingrown toenail. You should also turn to us if your ingrown toenail shows signs of an infection (e.g. pus or drainage; skin that’s severely red or hard to the touch).

Are you dealing with a severe or recurring ingrown toenail? If so, you may want to schedule an evaluation with our Washington, DC, foot doctor Dr. Mintzer. To schedule an appointment, call Providence Foot Health Center at (202) 269-4062.

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