Ingrown toenails are an incredibly common problem, but they’re also painful and annoying. If over-the-counter treatments aren’t providing significant relief, don’t hesitate to seek professional medical help. At Downstate Foot & Ankle Podiatry in Fort Greene, Flatbush, East Flatbush, Brownsville, and Bedford Stuyvesant, in Brooklyn, New York, Loretta Cacace, DPM, and Bryan Makower, DPM, specialize in the treatment of ingrown toenails. Make your appointment today by calling or clicking the booking tool.
An ingrown toenail occurs when your toenail curves downward and grows into the skin surrounding your nail bed. It’s possible to develop an ingrown nail on any toe, but they’re especially common in big toes.
Ingrown toenails typically aren’t considered a major problem. However, if you have diabetes or another chronic condition that negatively affects your circulatory system, you’re at a higher risk of developing an infection or other more serious complications.
If you have an ingrown toenail, you’ll likely know it. In the early stages of development, you might notice pain when you place pressure on your toe. You might also notice fluid building up around your toe. As the infection progresses, your symptoms may include:
You might also notice that skin starts growing over your toenail.
Anyone can develop an ingrown toenail, but there are certain factors that can increase your risk. For example, if you wear tight shoes that crowd your toenails, you might place extra pressure on your nails, increasing your risk.
Other causes of ingrown toenails include toe injuries, cutting your toenails too short, or cutting your toenails at a curved angle. Believe it or not, you can significantly reduce your risk of an ingrown toenail by clipping your nails straight across.
The team at Downstate Foot & Ankle Podiatry diagnoses ingrown toenails by physically examining your foot and asking you about the symptoms you’re experiencing.
If conservative methods of care, like soaking your feet in warm water or taking over-the-counter painkillers, are unable to provide relief, your provider might recommend lifting your nail using a splint. Lifting your nail helps your nail grow above the skin, limiting further infection.
For more serious ingrown toenails, the team might recommend partially removing your nail. Prior to this procedure, your doctor administers a local anesthetic, numbing your toe and nail to ensure you feel no pain.
If you regularly develop ingrown toenails on the same toe, your provider might recommend removing your entire nail and tissue. Depending on the severity of your condition, this may involve treatment with a laser or a chemical solution.
Ingrown toenails are a common, but treatable problem. If you’re seeking relief, contact the team at Downstate Foot & Ankle Podiatry. Make an appointment today by calling or clicking the online booking tool.