The pain that comes from having an ingrown toenail cannot be ignored. The medical term for this condition is referred to as onychocryptosis, and it generally affects the big toe. It happens when the nail grows into the skin instead of over it, and noticeable symptoms may be redness, soreness, and swelling. Effective prevention methods for an ingrown toenail can consist of wearing shoes that fit properly and trimming the toenails straight across instead of in a curved direction. An ingrown toenail also can happen if a toe injury has occurred, or if the shoes and socks that are worn are too tight. Patients may find temporary relief when the foot is soaked in warm water, and the nail is gently pulled away from the skin by using a small piece of cotton. Permanent relief can be found when a podiatrist is contacted, who can perform minor surgery, if necessary for removal of the nail. If you have developed an ingrown toenail, it is suggested that you contact this type of doctor who can determine what the best course of treatment is for you.
Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Matthew McQuaid, DPM of Lake Mendocino Podiatry. 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 offices located in Lakeport and Ukiah, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.