Ingrown toenails, also known as onychocryptosis, are the most commonly occurring toenail ailment. They form when the corner or side of the toenail presses into the sides of the toe instead of growing straight out of the nail bed. When ingrown toenails are left untreated, they can result in serious infection.
When diagnosed early, ingrown toenails can often be treated without surgery. Our podiatrists always look to conservative (non-surgical) treatments first and recommend surgical treatment only when absolutely necessary.
The irregular growth pattern of ingrown toenails has several common causes:
- Improperly trimmed toenails
- Repeated trauma to the feet from normal activities
- Shoe pressure; crowding of toes
Our podiatrists can help you determine the best way to cut your toenails, what type of shoe you should be wearing, and develop a treatment plan to recover from and avoid ongoing foot trauma.
Symptoms & Identification
Many of the common symptoms and identifiers of ingrown toenail are:
Anyone with chronic illness and disease, such as diabetes or immune deficiency, should immediately schedule an appointment for a professional diagnosis if these symptoms develop.
Care & Treatment
There are ways to care for your toenails that can help prevent ingrown toenails from ever happening. You should always trim your nails straight across, keep them shorter than the edge of your toes, and use toenail clippers.
If you believe you have an infection from an ingrown toenail, you can submerge your foot into warm salt water or soapy water let it soak and then bandage the area.
Patients should avoid “do-it-yourself” treatments, like cutting and removing an ingrown toenail on your own, or using over-the-counter medications. Ingrown toenails should be evaluated and treated by a podiatrist, who can diagnose the ailment, and prescribe medication or other appropriate treatment.
If you currently have an ingrown nail problem, we can cut out the ingrown portion of the nail and may prescribe medication to treat the infection. If ingrown nails are a chronic problem, surgical procedures that permanently prevent ingrown nails may be suggested, such as partial toenail removal.
Our top priority when treating ingrown toenails is to provide the gentlest treatment resulting in the least amount of pain or discomfort for you.
An early examination and diagnosis can allow our podiatrists to develop a treatment plan just for you that will usually allow for a quick resolution to your ingrown toenail problem.