Ingrown Toenails

Our office treats ingrown toenails with topical and oral antibiotics, and temporary and permanent surgical procedures

If the side of the toenail has grown into the skin, you may have a condition referred to as an ingrown toenail. It is typically a painful ailment and is often amplified when touched or put into a shoe. There are several causes for this to develop, including toenails that are improperly trimmed, wearing shoes that fit poorly, or a predisposed inherited gene in which the toenails may naturally curl. It is generally simple to notice if you are afflicted with this condition: observe the surrounding area of the nail to see if it is red, swollen, and painful. Treating the toenail as soon as possible can help ease discomfort, and this can be accomplished by soaking the foot in lukewarm water several times during the day. An infection may be avoided by applying an antiseptic on the toe and following by placing a small piece of cotton on the toe for protection. Consult a podiatrist if you have developed an ingrown toenail for more information on treatment options and care.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. John Hoy of Seattle Foot and Ankle Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

Bacterial infections
Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Seattle, WA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Ingrown Toenail Care

An ingrown toenail is a toenail that grows sideways into the nail bed, causing pain and swelling. Ingrown toenails can worsen and cause drainage, turning into a serious infection.

Several factors affect whether a person is at risk from an ingrown toenail. The many causes include being overweight, diabetes, participating in sports, having a fungal infection of the toe, and cutting your nails too short. Ingrown toenails also have a genetic predisposition, causing some people to be more prone to receive the condition than others. Other causes include improperly fitting shoes and shoes that keep the feet damp.

Ingrown toenails can be preventable with certain measures. For starters, allowing your toe nails to grow slightly longer in length will help prevent them from becoming ingrown. If you have already developed an ingrown toenail, soak the affected toe in warm water. This will alleviate the pain and help prevent an infection from forming. Antibiotic soap or Epsom salts may be added to further help the relieving process and avoid infection. Placing cotton beneath the affected area is also suggested, as this may help the toenail grow upwards and not into the nail bed. Swelling and redness can be reduced by resting with your feet elevated.

A podiatrist should be seen if the pain becomes so serious that it prevents you from doing your everyday activities. If a red streak running up your leg appears or if you suspect your infection has spread, contact a podiatrist immediately. Fast treatments can be undertaken to lessen your pain and have you walking comfortably.

An ingrown toenail can be easily treated with a Band-Aid. Simply wrap the affected toe with a Band-Aid to prevent infection and keep the nail from growing out at a painful angle.

In more serious cases, your podiatrist may decide to make a small incision to remove a portion of your toenail. To prevent the nail from growing back, medication will be placed directly into the nail bed. This procedure would be performed under local anesthesia and is a faster method to alleviate discomfort from an ingrown toenail. Post-procedure directions will have you stay off the affected foot for a day. Afterwards, normal activities can be resumed.