Houston Foot and Ankle Care
DPM, FACFAS, FAENS
Podiatrist located in Houston, TX
Ingrown Toenail Q & A
What causes ingrown toenails?
Ingrown toenails generally result when the edge of a curved or bent (incurvated) toenail grows into the surrounding skin. An ingrown toenail can be very painful and it usually happens to your big toe as a result of one or more of the following:
- Cutting your toenail too short
- A hangnail
- Stubbing your toe
- Wearing tight-fitting shoes
Ingrown toenails easily become infected, leading to swollen toenails, tenderness, and pain. Men and women with circulation problems or diabetes are more likely to experience complications from ingrown toenails than those who do not have circulatory issues.
Why should I see a podiatrist for an ingrown toenail?
If your symptoms go beyond discomfort or tenderness around the nail and don’t respond to home remedies like soaking your toe in warm, soapy water or using antibiotic cream, you may need medical attention. If the pain begins to spread beyond your affected toe, or there’s significant redness, swelling, or pus leaking from the area, contact Dr. Maislos as soon as possible so he can treat the infection before it causes additional complications.
Left untreated, a swollen toenail can infect the bone inside your toe and cause more complicated health issues, especially if you’re diabetic. Untreated, ingrown toenails may also lead to nerve damage in your foot. If you have a painful toenail and you have trouble with wounds that don’t always heal properly, seek medical attention to avoid foot ulcers or other serious conditions.
The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons recommends that you seek the care of a professional podiatrist like Dr. Maislos to treat an ingrown toenail because over-the-counter remedies aren’t always effective. These treatments may initially relieve your pain, but they won’t always solve the underlying cause of the ingrown nail or infection.
How are ingrown toenails treated?
Medical treatment for ingrown toenails depends on the severity of your condition. Typically, Dr. Maislos repairs your toenail during an in-office procedure that removes part, or all, of the affected toenail and some of the surrounding skin. Dr. Maislos uses a local anesthetic to numb the affected toe so you don’t feel pain during the procedure. Relief from painful toenails is often immediate with little downtime from your usual activities.
If you have an ingrown, swollen toenail, it’s best to seek treatment before it gets worse. Call Houston Foot and Ankle Care or use online booking to schedule an appointment.