No podiatrist goes a day without facing an ingrown toenail. The painful condition arises from causes that are avoidable but often not obvious to patients. Read how Dr. Maislos treats them, and most importantly, how to avoid suffering one again.
How do ingrown toenails develop?
Ingrown toenails grow into the skin instead of over it. The result is an infection followed by pain and swelling. Sometimes, the site will accumulate pus.
People with curved or thick nails are more likely to develop them. Older adults are more susceptible although children will also suffer an ingrown toenail after trimming their own nails carelessly. Causes of ingrown toe nails also include poor-fitting shoes, foot injuries, and cutting nails too short.
How are ingrown toenails treated?
Some patients attempt ‘bathroom surgery’ as a do-it-yourself ingrown toenail treatment. This is not recommended as it is often unsuccessful. The infection may escalate or the condition returns months later. A skilled podiatrist should be consulted as soon as an ingrown toenail is detected. Treatment involves removing the nail margin so the root of the ingrown nail is destroyed. Our Houston podiatrists will use acid to kill the root or trim the nail back after numbing the area first.
There are normally no restrictions after the procedure. Most patients return to wearing shoes, bathing, and enjoying activities the same day they receive treatment. Some patients require pain medication and antibiotics, but that is not common.
How can patients avoid ingrown toenails in the future?
Podiatrists often recommend first examining footwear. Wear shoes that fit and socks that do not rub. Workers in dangerous environments should consider wearing steel toe boots to prevent injury and protect their toes. Examine hygiene habits in terms of toenails. Cut nails straight across to prevent edges from catching on skin. Leave the nail a little longer to ensure it grows over the skin and not into it.
If suffering from diabetes or a circulation problem, trim toenails with caution as feeling in the feet is often affected by those conditions. Cuts and injuries increase chances of ingrown nails. Consider visiting a foot care clinic for help in this hygiene task if risk of injury is high. Start these precautions immediately after ingrown toenail treatment, as the condition can return if not properly managed. Make an appointment with our Houston podiatrist, Dr. Maislos if ingrown toenails are suffered frequently despite preventative measures.
Want More Information About Ingrown Toenails? Contact Dr. Maislos
For more information on ingrown toenails and other podiatry issues, contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Gabriel Maislos to set up an appointment. The Houston office number is (713) 541-3199.