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Can Ingrown Toenails Be Prevented?

Monday, 04 March 2019 00:00

Patients who have ingrown toenails are often aware of the pain they may cause. It occurs when the side of the nail grows into the skin surrounding the big toe, and may often look red and swollen. Additionally, some people may notice a discharge coming from the affected area, and may have chills or feel warm. There are measures that can be implemented, which may prevent ingrown toenails from developing. These may include trimming the toenails to the correct length and width, and wearing shoes that fit correctly with adequate room for the toes to move freely in. Mild relief may be found if the toe is soaked in warm water several times per day, in addition to wearing open-toe sandals. If you are a diabetic patient, or if your ingrown toenail causes extreme pain, it is suggested to seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Peter C. Smith of Lancaster Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Lancaster, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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