Ingrown Toenails 101
If you have swelling, pain, redness, or infection near your big toe; you may have an ingrown toenail. Ingrown toenails result when the corner of a nail grows into the soft flesh that surrounds it. While ingrown toenails may cause minimal pain at first, they can spread and worsen very quickly. People who have diabetes or other serious conditions that cause poor blood flow to the feet are at a higher risk of developing ingrown toenails. Nevertheless, there are at-home remedies that can be performed in order to treat minor cases of ingrown toenails. One method is to soak your feet in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes a few times per day. Soaking will help reduce swelling along with tenderness in the feet. If you have an ingrown toenail that is progressively worsening, you should seek the assistance of a podiatrist right away.
Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Spencer Hardy 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.