It’s incredible how much a tiny paper cut can put us in a world of pain in seconds. An ingrown toenail is even worse! As tiny as it is, it can hurt all the way up to our head.
An ingrown toenail happens when the corner of the affected toenail begins growing into the soft flesh surrounding it.
This can lead to symptoms like pain, swelling, redness, and even an increased risk of infection. In the event you happen to notice pus or spreading redness, or you have severe pain in the area, it is important to contact one of our Doctors at Da Vinci Foot & Ankle and request an appointment for the professional treatment you need!
Whereas this condition can technically happen to any of the toes, it is most frequently experienced in the big toe.
There are several common causes for ingrown toenails including:
- Structure – This is an inherited feature like a curve in the nail that causes it to grown into the flesh of the toe.
- Physical trauma – Dropping something heavy onto your foot increases your risk of developing an ingrown toenail.
- Improper toenail trimming– Patients who trim their nails too short or round them off have a greater rate of ingrown toenail occurrence.
- Improper footwear– Shoes that are too tight create or contribute to a host of issues, including this ingrown toenails.
It is always best to seek a consultation with your Doctor before any ailment gets worse, however; you can try this at-home treatment if your ingrown toenail is only in its beginning stages.
- Soak your foot in a basin of warm water for 15-20 minutes. If you have any tea tree oil we suggest a couple of drops into the water as this is an all natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.
- After soaking, place a fresh bit of waxed dental floss under the edge that has become ingrown and once the “extra” toenail edge is revealed, trim it with sanitized nail clippers.
- Use antibiotic ointment immediately following this on the full area, and bandage it properly .
When home treatment is insufficient, or your ingrown toenail is not in its very beginning stage, professional treatment is necessary. We provide treatment for ingrown toenails which includes lifting the nail, partial nail removal and, for recurrent cases, even removing the affected nail tissue altogether.
You might think removing a toenail would be painful—but this is not something to worry about. Anesthesia is used to numb the area prior to the procedure. After your surgery, your nail will be covered with antibacterial ointment and gauze.
Prevention is Key
Prevention is much better than having to treat a condition, especially when the steps are relatively easy and straightforward.
- Proper nail trimming – Always clip your nails straight across, instead of rounding them off. Keep them even with the edge of the toes.
- Footwear that fits – When buying shoes, make sure they are not tight in the front and have enough room that toes can wiggle.
- Protect your feet – If your job requires frequently moving heavy items, invest in a quality pair of steel-tipped work boots.
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