An ingrown toenail occurs when the nail grows into the surrounding skin on the sides of the nail. This condition can affect people of all ages (even babies). Ingrown toenails can be quite painful and may even become inflamed and infected. Rounding your toenails off when trimming them (rather than cutting them straight across) or cutting them too short can lead to an ingrown toenail. Wearing high heels and improperly fitted shoes that force the toes to squish together can also lead to ingrown toenails. Other possible contributing factors to ingrown toenails include injuries to the toenail, fungal toenail infections, nail deformity, and certain medications which can sometimes cause nail dystrophy. If you develop an ingrown toenail, make an appointment with a podiatrist who can treat your ingrown toenail with a variety of methods, while avoiding possible infection and preventing it from becoming ingrown again.
Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of PA Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.
- Bacterial infections
- Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
- Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
- Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
- Genetic predisposition
Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.
Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Allentown, Easton, Northampton, and Chew Street in Allentown, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.