Do I Have an Ingrown Toenail?
If you have an ingrown toenail find out how to best treat the problem.
Many people have experienced an ingrown toenail; however, if you never have before and you are noticing pain or swelling near a toenail you may wonder if your symptoms could be indicative of an ingrown toenail. From the office of our Wesley Chapel, FL, podiatrists Dr. George Tjamaloukas and Dr. Kathy Tjamaloukas, find out the telltale signs of an ingrown toenail and what you should do.
What is an ingrown toenail?
This condition occurs when the edge of the nail grows into the skin. While this can occur in any toenail, it most often happens to the big toe.
Why do ingrown toenails happen?
Anyone can develop an ingrown toenail; however, there are certain factors that can increase your chances of developing this painful condition. The most common factor is cutting your toenail improperly. A lot of people still try to trim their nails so they are curved or a bit too short. If you trim your nails too short (below the tips of your toes) or at a curve you are leaving your nails at risk.
Also, if you wear shoes that are too small or narrow and they put pressure on your toes, this could lead to an ingrown toenail. Athletes can also be at an increased risk for developing an ingrown toenail.
What are the symptoms of an ingrown toenail?
In the beginning, you may just notice localized pain at the corner of the nail where the nail meets the skin. The skin may be swollen or tender to the touch. You may also notice increased tenderness when wearing shoe.
If you experience pain, pus or redness around the area then you could be dealing with an infection. It’s important that you turn to our Wesley Chapel, FL, foot doctors if you think you might have an infected ingrown toenail, especially if you have a weak immune system or diabetes (as this same problem could easily turn into a more serious health complication).
How is this problem treated?
If you aren’t dealing with an infection then your ingrown toenail can easily be managed from the comfort of your own home. Soaking your feet in warm water for up to 20 minutes several times a day can help ease discomfort. You can also try to carefully lift the edge of the toenail away from the skin by placing a part of a cotton ball under the nail.
In some cases, our podiatrists may even prescribe an antibiotic or steroid gel to prevent an infection from occurring. If symptoms don’t improve after a couple of days of at-home care, or if the pain gets worse, then it’s time to come into our office for treatment.
If you are in doubt, don’t hesitate to call Comprehensive Foot and Ankle Center in Wesley Chapel, FL, to find out whether it’s worth coming into our office for care. Our podiatry team is here to make sure that you get the comprehensive care you deserve.