Ingrown toenails cause pain and possible infection when they dig into the skin. At Hosey and Murphy Foot & Ankle Centers with multiple locations in Clinton Township, Sterling Heights, and Mount Clemens, Michigan, the expert podiatrists help you prevent and treat ingrown toenails so you have healthy, functional feet. Call the nearest location or schedule an appointment online to take care of ingrown toenails and prevent complications.
A toenail that is curved and grows into the skin, usually at the nail border, is known as an ingrown toenail. As it penetrates your soft flesh, it causes irritation in the form of redness and swelling. You may also experience pain and warmth at the site. If the toenail breaks the skin, you may be vulnerable to a bacterial infection that causes drainage and a foul smell.
Some people are predisposed to ingrown toenails because of their genes. Trauma, such as stubbing, dropping an object on the toe, or repeated kicking or running, also makes you vulnerable. Wearing socks and shoes that are too tight make ingrown toenails more likely to develop. Fungal infections or a loss of a toenail due to trauma are other causes.
Often, you can successfully treat an ingrown toenail at home with soaking and proper toenail trimming and filing. Avoid repeatedly trimming the nail edges as this can encourage growth of the nail into the soft tissue. Also, do not place cotton under the nail -- doing so encourages infection and gives a place for bacteria to grow. The doctors at Hosey and Murphy Foot & Ankle Centers can advise you on the best way to care for your nails and discourage ingrowns.
If you have diabetes, nerve damage in the foot, or poor circulation, seek medical support for an ingrown toenail. If your toenail shows signs of infection, it’s also a good idea to contact Hosey and Murphy Foot & Ankle Centers.
If you have the presence of an infection, the doctors prescribe an oral antibiotic. A minor surgical procedure performed in office eases your pain and removes the offending nail. In some cases, the nail grows back and becomes ingrown again, requiring a slightly more involved surgery to remove the nail root. If you do have surgery, you usually experience very little pain during recovery and can return to most normal activities the next day.
If you have an ingrown toenail, call one of the offices of Hosey and Murphy Foot & Ankle Centers or schedule online to learn about your treatment options.