Ingrown Toenail

Foot & Ankle Concepts, Inc. -  - Podiatry

Foot & Ankle Concepts, Inc.

Podiatry & Foot & Ankle Surgery located in Oxnard, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Camarillo, Palmdale, & Westlake Village, CA

Ingrown toenails aren’t just uncomfortable or unattractive; they can also increase your risk of developing an infection. Reliable treatment of ingrown toenails is available at Foot & Ankle Concepts Inc. in Oxnard, Palmdale, Westlake Village, Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Camarillo, California. Save yourself from the pain of ingrown toenails and avoid treating them yourself by visiting podiatry experts with decades of experience. Schedule your visit now by calling or using the online tool.

Ingrown Toenail Q & A

What causes ingrown toenails?

Ingrown toenails occur when the corners or side of the nail dig into the surrounding skin. Common causes of ingrown toenails include:

  • Improperly trimmed nails
  • Heredity
  • Shoe pressure and crowding of toes
  • Repeated trauma to the feet from normal activities, like running or court sports

Ingrown toenails are the most common nail issue and are especially common among teenagers who are learning to groom themselves.

How do I know if I have an ingrown toenail?

Besides pain, you may also see some of the following signs that signal an ingrown toenail:

  • Redness and swelling around the nail
  • Drainage from the skin
  • Odor
  • Prominent skin tissue

Catching an ingrown toenail before it digs deep into your skin or causes an infection can decrease your need for surgical removal of all or part of the nail. Your doctor can teach you about steps you can take at home to decrease your pain and prevent your nail from becoming ingrown again.

What can I do for ingrown toenails?

For an ingrown toenail, your doctor recommends simple at home care methods, including:

  • Soaking your foot in a warm salt water soak or soapy water
  • Applying antiseptic to the area
  • Covering the area gently with a bandage

If you have diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, or another circulatory disorder, it is best to see your podiatrist for treatment. Do not attempt to remove any part of your nail or skin surrounding the nail as this increases your risk of injury and infection.

Some over-the-counter treatments contain harmful chemicals that may burn your skin, so avoid anything labeled “medicated” unless recommended by your podiatrist.

When should I see a podiatrist for an ingrown toenail?

If home remedies don’t improve your ingrown toenail within about a week, seek care from your podiatrist. Depending on the severity of your ingrown toenail, your doctor may splint the toe to prevent the nail from growing further into your skin. In severe cases, your doctor may surgically remove a portion of your nail. Before any surgery, your toe is injected with a pain-numbing solution so you can be comfortable. Afterward, your podiatrist applies a topical medication or prescribes an oral medication to prevent infection.

If you get ingrown toenails all the time, your doctor may recommend a minor surgical procedure to remove a portion of the nail and underlying nail matrix. This helps to prevent regrowth in the area and avoid future ingrown toenails.

For effective treatment of ingrown toenails, schedule a visit online or by phone with the team at Foot & Ankle Concepts Inc.