Ingrown ToenailsThayne, WY
While people may attempt to treat ingrown toenails at home, the chance of infection and other health issues greatly increases without professional help. An infection will complicate the healing process and increase pain in the toe. A podiatrist can remove an ingrown toenail and help prevent the condition from recurring.
Ingrown toenail care is available at Ambulatory Foot & Ankle Clinic in Thayne and the surrounding area. Do not let pain interfere with your everyday life. Call us today at 1-307-243-4080 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.
Understanding Ingrown Toenails
An ingrown toenail is a common condition in which the nail grows into the skin rather than over the skin. It happens most frequently in the big toe, occurring more regularly with toenails than with fingernails. Patients typically experience redness, swelling, and pain as a result. It is also not uncommon to undergo an infection.
Many times, patients can manage ingrown toenails without professional care. However, if the pain is severe or continues to spread, patients should seek help from a podiatrist. Our doctors can address pain at the source to help relieve discomfort and avoid potential complications. It is especially important for patients to seek medical attention if they have diabetes or another medical condition affecting blood flow to the feet.
Symptoms of Ingrown Toenails
Once a toenail starts growing into the skin, the patient will typically begin experiencing symptoms in stages. The toenail will first undergo swelling, then tenderness, and be followed by hardness. It will be vulnerable to infection at any of these points. Signs of infection include bleeding, redness, pus coming out of the toe, pain, and feeling hot or feverish. Patients should seek immediate medical attention if they experience severe discomfort in the toe or any spreading pus or redness.
Causes of Ingrown Toenails
Some groups are more at risk for ingrown toenails than others. Though ingrown toenails occur in both men and women, they occur more frequently in people with sweaty feet. As such, they are particularly prevalent in teenagers and older people, whose toenails thicken with age. Several different factors can cause ingrown toenails, including:
- Cutting toenails incorrectly
- Footwear that places excess pressure on the big toes
- Genetic predisposition
- Improper foot hygiene
- Irregular, curved toenails
- Poor posture
- Toenail injury
Athletes (such as those who practice ballet, football, kickboxing, and soccer) are also especially prone to ingrown toenails since they use their feet extensively. Repeatedly kicking an object or putting pressure on the feet for long periods can make one prone to toenail damage, thus increasing the risk of ingrown toenails.
Treating Ingrown Toenails
Patients can typically treat ingrown toenails at home as long as they have not been infected. However, they should seek medical attention if the nail has pierced the skin or there are any signs of infection. These may include warmth, pus, redness, and swelling in the affected area.
There are many home remedies for ingrown toenails. Many people find it beneficial to soak the affected foot in warm water for approximately 15 to 20 minutes three or four times a day, taking care to keep the feet dry at all other times. Others push the skin away from the edge of the toenail with a cotton ball saturated in olive oil. Over-the-counter medicines can also help alleviate any pain, and topical antibiotics can help prevent infection.
If the pain persists or it is challenging to walk or carry out other day-to-day activities, patients should seek the help of a local podiatrist. One of our doctors can carry out any necessary surgical procedures to remove the nail that is digging into the skin. These procedures involve numbing the toe and narrowing the toenail. Partial nail removal can also have a 98% success rate in preventing future ingrown toenails.
Call Us Today
Ingrown toenail pain can be incapacitating. We at Ambulatory Foot & Ankle Clinic can help. Call us today at 1-307-243-4080 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.
Frequently Asked Questions
How are ingrown toenails diagnosed?
A physical examination will usually be the only thing necessary to diagnose an ingrown toenail. However, if our doctors suspect an infection, they may also recommend an X-ray to determine how deeply the nail has grown into the skin. This can also help reveal if an injury caused the ingrown nail.
What will happen after my ingrown toenail is surgically removed?
One of our doctors will bandage your toe before you are sent home. You will likely need to keep your foot elevated for the next day or two and wear special footwear to allow for proper healing. Limit any excess movement as much as possible. We will typically remove the bandage two days after surgery, and we advise patients to wear open-toed shoes and soak feet in saltwater daily until the toe heals. We can also prescribe pain relief medications and antibiotics to prevent infection.
How long will it take for my toenail to grow back?
Toenails typically take at least a few months to grow back after a partial nail removal surgery. However, if an entire toenail has been removed, then it can take over a year to grow back.
What are the potential complications of ingrown toenails?
An untreated ingrown toenail infection can lead to an infection in the bone in the toe. Additionally, it may lead to foot ulcers, open sores, or a loss of blood flow to the affected area. As such, tissue decay and tissue death at the site of infection are also possible. Patients with diabetes are at a heightened risk due to their lack of blood flow and nerve sensitivity.
How can I prevent ingrown toenails?
Several lifestyle changes can help prevent ingrown toenails. Make sure to trim your toenails properly: straight across without the edges curving in, and do not cut them too short. Wear only shoes, socks, and tights that fit correctly, and consider steel-toed boots if you work in hazardous conditions.
How can I treat ingrown toenails in my baby?
Soak your child’s feet in warm, soapy water two to three times per day. Dry the feet, then apply a thin coat of an over-the-counter antibiotic cream or ointment. Put a piece of sterile gauze or dental floss under the nail, lifting it over the skin edge. Change this piece of gauze or dental floss several times a day. Call us immediately if you see any signs of infection.
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