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The Formation of Ingrown Toenails

Tuesday, 23 November 2021 00:00

When a curved toenail begins to grow into the skin on the sides of the nails, it digs into the skin and the skin grows around it, which results in pain, redness, and swelling. This is known as an ingrown toenail. Ingrown toenails can form due to genetic factors, trauma to the toe, improperly trimmed toenails (make sure they are cut straight across), or shoes that are too tight. If the ingrown toenail is severe enough, it can become infected, which is often indicated by drainage and a bad odor. Patients with ingrown toenails should consult with a podiatrist if they have diabetes, the nail is infected, or they have recurring ingrown toenails. A podiatrist will look to find the best treatment option for the nail (which may include surgery) and treat any potential infection.  

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Eugenio Rivera of Calo Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • 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

Prevention

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.

Treatment

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 Bellaire, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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