While an ingrown toenail sounds like a small, inconsequential problem, it causes extreme pain for most people and comes with the risk of an infection. As an expert in foot care, Steven N. Klein, DPM, has plenty of experience treating ingrown toenails and preventing them from occurring down the road. If you have pain due to an ingrown toenail, call one of the offices in Mountain View or Redwood City, California, or use the online booking feature to schedule an appointment today.
Ingrown toenails develop when the edge of the nail grows into the skin. This problem often occurs due to:
Trimming your toenails too short or in a rounded shape allows the skin to fold over the nail. As the nail grows, it goes deeper into the skin.
If your shoes don’t leave enough wiggle room for your toes, pressure from the shoe pushes the toenail into your skin.
Stubbing your toe, engaging in activities like kicking and running, and sustaining other foot injuries can increase your chances of an ingrown nail.
Just as you can inherit a higher risk of developing a foot deformity like bunions, you can also have a genetic tendency for ingrown toenails.
Ingrown toenails are notorious for being quite painful. You may also have redness and swelling, which can occur alone or be signs of an infection. If you develop a skin infection, you should also notice that the area feels warm or has pus leaking from the area.
You can try soaking your foot in warm water to loosen the nail. It also helps to avoid tight-fitting shoes and socks. But don’t try to cut the nail because that typically makes the problem worse.
You should never attempt to treat an ingrown toenail at home if you have diabetes or a vascular condition like peripheral artery disease. These conditions interfere with healing and increase your risk of serious complications, so it’s safer to let Dr. Klein treat the problem.
Ingrown toenail treatment typically involves gently lifting the nail and inserting a splint until the nail grows over the skin. Dr. Klein may apply an anesthetic and remove the ingrown portion of the nail, depending on the severity of the problem.
If the problem keeps repeating, Dr. Klein may recommend removing a portion of the nail and the underlying tissue. This procedure stops that part of the nail from regrowing, so you don’t have to worry about future ingrown toenail problems.
If you need to find relief from an ingrown toenail, call Steven N. Klein, DPM, or book an appointment online today.