Most people trim their toenails on a regular basis. However, your trimming technique could make you susceptible to ingrown toenails. When you trim your nails and taper the corners so that the nail appears curved like your toe, you can possibly open the door for the toenail to grow into the skin of your toe. The nail begins to curl downwards and digs into the skin causing pain and irritation. You can also cause an ingrown toenail by wearing shoes that are too narrow, too tight, or too short for your feet.
If an ingrown toenail is identified early on, before an infection starts, home treatment may be effective in relieving the problem. It is recommended that you keep your feet clean by washing and soaking them in warm water a few times per day. Change your socks regularly and wear shoes that fit. You may take ibuprofen to relieve pain. It may also help to push away the skin gently using a cotton bud. Contact a doctor at Advanced Foot & Ankle Center of North Texas if home care does not show improvement after a few days.
The exact treatment your doctor uses to treat an ingrown toenail will depend on the severity of the condition. Dr. Miller or Dr. Myer may be able to lift the nail and insert dental floss or cotton under it to prevent further growth into the skin. Otherwise, if the toe is swollen, red, and discharging pus, surgery may be required.
During surgery, your doctor will apply anesthesia to numb your toe and remove the ingrown portion of the nail by trimming it away. If the problem persists after partially removing the nail, your doctor may decide to completely remove the toenail and some of the adjacent tissue of your nail bed. In this case, your nail will not grow back. Rest assured—It is perfectly safe to not have a toenail if this is required.
"It was my first time ever seeing a podiatrist, and I am glad it was Dr. Myer."
"FINALLY found Dr. Miller who not only is the nicest guy you would every want to meet, but who actually figured out what was wrong and fixed my toe!!!"
"This doctor did what five other podiatrists could not do, he figured out the problem with my foot and corrected it. "
"Great doctor and seems to care about his patients, not just a number."