An ingrown toenail is just what it sounds like: when the toenail grows into the skin surrounding the toe. Also called onychocryptosis, an ingrown toenail usually affects the big toe.
You may notice redness or swelling at the corner of your toe. It can be painful.
Cutting the nail too short, or such that the nail curves around the nailbed, can cause an ingrown toenail, as can frequently wearing too-tight shoes that crowd the toes together.
Ingrown Toenail Treatment Options
Soaking your foot in warm water may soothe symptoms, and proper-fitting footwear can help prevent the problem from occurring in the first place. If the area becomes infected, antibiotics may be required.
Visit your podiatrist if your symptoms are severe, or if the problem appears to be spreading (which may indicate an infection). Patients who are diabetic should pay close attention to the condition of their feet and see their doctor at the first sign of something wrong with their feet, such as an ingrown toenail.
If an ingrown toenail fails to heal on its own, your doctor may prescribe pain relievers or antibiotic creams.
Ingrown Toenail Removal
Your doctor may lift the edge of the nail, inserting a splint or other material between it and the skin. Removal of all or part of the nail may also be necessary.
In chronic cases, the podiatric surgeons at The Podiatry Group of South Texas may recommend a matricectomy, in which cells at the base of the nail are destroyed in order to prevent the nail from growing any further.
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Are ingrown toenails a problem for you? Find out what the foot and ankle professionals at The Podiatry Group of South Texas can do for you. Call the location nearest you to schedule an appointment or request one online.