Your feet must be optimally healthy to support your body when walking, running or performing any other activity that requires you to be on your feet for extended periods. Ingrown toenails can significantly disrupt these activities. The good news is that ingrown toenails are generally easily treated and preventable. Dr. James Mintzer from Providence Foot Health Center is skilled at treating an ingrown toenail in Washington, DC.
What causes ingrown toenails?
Ingrown toenails occur when your toenail is digging into the skin of your toe. They can occur on one toe or multiple toes at the same time. They generally appear at the sides and corners of your toenail. The most common cause of ingrown toenails is wearing shoes that do not fit well. Some other causes are:
- Improperly clipping your toenails
- Trauma to the foot, such as if something were to fall on your foot or stubbing the toe
- Tear of a toenail
- Congenital conditions may predispose you to develop ingrown toenails. This could involve something such as a deformity of the foot. Also, you may have been born with nails that grow to larger sizes than the toe is capable of accommodating.
What are the symptoms of ingrown toenails?
Mostly, they will cause pain. You may experience a hard and swollen area around the deviant toenail at first which can lead to infection if not promptly treated. Some accompanying symptoms to look out for are:
- Pus seeping from the area
- Redness of the toe or other discoloration
- Warmth and swelling of the toe
What are treatments for ingrown toenails?
Your podiatrist will recommend treatment for an ingrown toenail in Washington, DC depending on its severity and if an infection is present. Usually, ingrown toenails caught early can be treated at home. More severe cases may require minor surgical intervention to remove a part of the nail.
However, ingrown toenails will rarely progress to this severity, because once the toenail begins to dig into the surrounding skin you will feel pain, hopefully prompting you to take action. Please be aware that if you have diabetes or other conditions that may cause nerve damage or affect circulation, you need to see a podiatrist immediately. If you have a condition that disrupts pain signals from the nerves, be sure to check your feet regularly for any changes or abnormalities. Some conservative measures to help ingrown toenails are:
- Wearing shoes roomy in the toe area.
- Soak your feet in warm water a few times a day, especially before clipping your toenails.
- Clean your nail clipper before using it.
- Taking NSAIDs like Ibuprofen to help with pain and swelling
- If you have diabetes, practice proper foot care recommended by your doctor.
- Call your doctor if symptoms don't go away in several days.
Dr. Mintzer from Providence Foot Health Center wants to get your feet back to maximal health as quickly as possible. Schedule a consultation to treat your ingrown toenail in Washington, DC by calling (202) 269-4062.