Do you have an ingrown toenail? Is your skin around the toenail red or swollen? Ingrown toenails occur when the edge of the toenail grows into the skin. They are not only inconvenient but can also be painful. Sometimes ingrown toenails can turn into a bone infection. In severe cases, it can mean the loss of a toe.
Newtown Foot and Ankle Specialists are here to help. Our doctors and specialists provide high-quality podiatry services to patients in the Newtown, PA, and Bucks County area. We work with our patients to determine which treatment options are right for their budget, needs, and goals.
Treating Ingrown Toenails
If you have no history of foot problems and are not diabetic, you can treat an ingrown toenail at home. Use an over-the-counter antibiotic cream and soak your feet in saltwater. If you do not see an improvement after a few days, you should contact our office. Patients who are diabetic or suffer from chronic foot problems should schedule an appointment with our foot doctors.
Our podiatrists may prescribe topical or oral antibiotics depending on your needs. They may also need to drain the toe of fluid. Part or all of the toenail may need to be removed in severe cases.
Causes of Ingrown Toenails
Ingrown nails can be caused by a variety of conditions, including:
- Trimming nails too short and in the wrong shape
- Wearing compressive shoes
- Not keeping feet clean and dry
- Irregular and curved toenails
- Toenail injury
- Poor posture
- Genetic predisposition
Putting pressure on the feet for long periods of time can increase your risk for ingrown toenails. If you use your feet for sports such as soccer, kickboxing, or dance, you may be more prone to developing ingrown toenails than other patients. There are also several symptoms that accompany ingrown toenails.
Symptoms of Ingrown Toenails
When toenails become ingrown, they can result in these symptoms:
- Overgrowth of skin around the toe
- Toe pain
- Red and swollen skin
- Oozing pus
Ingrown Toenails FAQs
Want to know more about treating ingrown toenails? Learn the answers to frequently asked questions about ingrown toenails below.
Can an ingrown toenail heal itself?
Typically, an ingrown toenail will grow out on its own if the issue is not severe. If it’s causing severe pain and keeps coming back, it will not go away on its own without medical assistance. In the meantime, you can treat a toenail at home where it can be soaked in warm saltwater. However, if pain persists and worsens, our podiatrists can provide treatment in our Newtown, PA office.
What happens if you leave an ingrown toenail alone?
In the most severe cases, an ingrown toenail can lead to bone infection, open sores, foot ulcers, and more. The infection can be especially difficult for patients with diabetes as it decreases blood flow and can damage nerves in the foot.
How do I prevent an ingrown toenail from coming back?
Taking simple precautions can reduce the chances of your ingrown toenail from coming back. Cut your toenail with toe clippers and in a straight pattern. Do not cut it back too short as this can cause it to burry itself back into your skin. Also, try to wear shoes that do not fit too tight. This is a common contributor to ingrown toenails.
Is removing an ingrown toenail painful?
The ingrown toenail itself is typically what causes most of the pain. If you need to have some of the nail removed, we will use local anesthetic to numb your toe. This will ensure you do not feel pain during the procedure. Afterward, however, you may experience some discomfort or mild pain. While you are healing, we will advise you on what type of pain medication you can take.
When should I see a podiatrist for an ingrown toenail?
If you are showing signs of an infection, it may be time to visit a doctor. This includes seeing pus, red streaks, or spiking a fever. Also, if you are in immense pain or have diabetes or circulation problems, you may be at a higher risk of complications. In these cases, you should visit Newtown Foot and Ankle Specialists as soon as possible.
Can I treat my ingrown toenail at home?
If you feel like you have a mild case, you can try to treat it at home first. Soak your foot in warm water first. Then gently lift the ingrown edge of nail using a clean piece of cotton or dental floss. Apply an antibiotic ointment cream to prevent infection. However, if your condition gets any worse or becomes infected, you need to visit your podiatrist.
Get Ingrown Toenail Treatment in Newtown, PA
Do you have an ingrown toenail or toenails? Call Newtown Foot and Ankle Specialists at 215.234.3772. You can also schedule an appointment with our professionals online. We will be happy to help treat you in our Newtown, PA office. Our podiatrists can also give you tips on how to properly take care of toenails to prevent further problems.