When Should You Seek Medical Treatment for an Ingrown Toenail?

Posted by Dr. Brian Nagy on October 19, 2017

girl shruggingAre you suffering from the pain of an ingrown toenail? This fairly common foot problem occurs when the edge or corner of your toenail starts to grow into your skin instead of over it and are most often seen in the big toe. They are usually caused by improper trimming of your toenails but can also develop if you wear shoes that don't have enough room for your toes or you injure your toe. If you have diabetes or curved toenails, you are more susceptible to getting ingrown nails. 

When to See Your Podiatrist About an Ingrown Toenail

The typical ingrown nail is somewhat red and swollen, and may cause you some discomfort. If your ingrown toenail is relatively mild, you may be able to resolve the problem by keeping your feet and socks clean, soaking your affected foot for approximately 20 minutes several times each day to reduce inflammation, taking aspirin for mild pain, and applying antibiotic cream to prevent infection.

You may also want to try wearing shoes with more room in the toe box and, of course, always trim your toenails straight across. These at-home remedies may be enough to relieve the discomfort of an ingrown toenail. 

However, you should call your podiatrist if you experience any of the following moderate-to-severe symptoms:

  • Serious pain with or without pressure
  • Pain when the affected toe is touched
  • Severe redness and swelling of the affected toe
  • The presence of oozing pus, a sign of infection
  • The skin around your toenail feels warm to the touch

Contact your New Hampshire podiatrist right away if you notice any of these warning signs. If you leave an ingrown toenail untreated, it can become a bigger - and more painful - problem. An infection will not go away on its own, so don't ignore an ingrown nail that is causing more than just a little discomfort. Your podiatrist can properly diagnose an ingrown toenail or any other foot and toe problems, and provide you with the treatment plan that's right for you. 

Treatment Options for Ingrown Toenails

Conservative treatment for your ingrown nail might be enough. Your podiatrist can help you understand how to treat your mild ingrown toenail problem at home by soaking your foot, taking aspirin, wearing proper footwear, and applying antibiotic ointment. But if you're experiencing moderate-to-severe symptoms, foot surgery may be necessary

Ingrown toenail surgery is a fairly simple procedure that requires no stitches, takes only about 15 minutes, and can be performed right in your podiatrist's office.

If your podiatrist determines that you need this quick fix, he will first inject your toe with an anesthetic so you won't feel anything. He will then cut the ingrown portion of your nail out and cauterize the root of the nail.

You will be able to walk within minutes of undergoing this procedure, but the best part of the surgery is that it's a permanent fix for chronic ingrown toenails. 

You don't have to suffer from a painful or chronic ingrown toenail! Conservative treatments guided by your New Hampshir podiatrist can be very effective in relieving the problem of ingrown toenails. If surgery is needed, it's an easy and permanent solution.

At Nagy Footcare, we believe you shouldn't have to suffer from the pain of an ingrown toenail - or any other foot problems. We believe you should be taken seriously when talking about your foot or toe pain, and that you deserve access to friendly, caring professionals who can provide you with the most modern technologies and treatments.

If you're suffering from an ingrown toenail or have questions about your feet, contact us today and let us help you. At Nagy Footcare, our best day is when you wake up with no foot pain!

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Topics: Ingrown Toenails

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