When a toenail cuts into the side of the toe, it is often referred to as an ingrown toenail. Common causes for this condition may be shoes that are not fitting properly and toenails being trimmed incorrectly. Wearing shoes with pointed toes or high heels may cause the toes to have limited room to move freely, resulting in the nails burrowing into the side of the toe. General symptoms may include pain around the toe, and the skin becomes red and swollen. Drainage from the area may indicate an infection, which may require taking an antibiotic for treatment. It may be beneficial to avoid wearing shoes that fit tightly, and sandals with an open toe are recommended until the nail is healed. Prevention of this condition may include properly cutting the toenails, which ideally is performed straight across, and keeping the feet dry and clean.
Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Jeff Pawlowski of Red Mountain Footcare. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.
- Bacterial infections
- Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
- Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
- Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
- Genetic predisposition
Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.
Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Mesa, AZ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.