Is the side of your toe red and painful? An ingrown toenail may be to blame for your symptoms. Fortunately, podiatrists Dr. William McCann, Dr. Jeffery Davis and Dr. Thomas Detwiller of Affiliates in Podiatry in Meredith and Concord, NH, offer treatments for ingrown toenails and other foot and ankle conditions.
What is an ingrown toenail?
An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of the nail grows into the skin at the side of the nail. Ingrown nails can be very painful and can become infected in some cases.
What caused the problem?
Ingrown toenails can be due to:
- Cutting Issues: Your nail is much more likely to become ingrown if you round the edges instead of cutting the nail straight across.
- Genetics: You and other people in your family may have nails that naturally curve downwards. Curved nails become ingrown more often than straight nails.
- Toenail Fungus: In addition to making nails look yellow, fungal infections can also thicken them, making it easier for them to grow into the skin.
- Tight Shoes and Socks: Tight shoes and socks may press the nail into your skin.
- Trauma: Dropping something heavy on your toe or stubbing it could increase your risk of an ingrown nail.
- Other Conditions: You may be more likely to develop ingrown toenails if you have arthritis, diabetes, bunions or other conditions.
What can be done to treat ingrown toenails?
If the nail has just begun to grow into the skin, you may be able to free it yourself at home. Soak your foot in warm water for about 15 minutes, then place a piece of cotton or dental floss under the edge of the nail. Replace the cotton or floss every day under the nail grows out. Don't try this if you have diabetes. Ingrown toenails can lead to foot infections that are difficult to treat. Get in touch with your foot doctor if you notice an ingrown toenail and have diabetes.
When should I call the podiatrist?
Although some ingrown toenails can be treated at home, it's best to pay a visit to the Meredith and Concord, NH, podiatry offices if you can't free the nail yourself or you notice signs of infection, which may include:
- Throbbing sensation
- Pus around the nail
- Red streaks on your skin
Your podiatrist will remove the trapped part of your nail and prescribe antibiotics if needed.
Do you need treatment for ingrown toenails? Make an appointment with your Meredith and Concord, NH, podiatrists, Dr. McCann, Dr. Davis and Dr. Detwiller of Affiliates in Podiatry. Call (603) 279-0330 to reach the Meredith office or (603) 225-5281 for the Concord office.