Most people have had an ingrown toenail at some point in their life. However, just because it’s a common condition doesn’t mean that it’s something you have to live with. Ingrown toenails occur when the nail grows down into the skin, causing a considerable amount of pain.
If you notice painful swelling at the edges of your toenails, then you may want to schedule an appointment at Advanced Foot Care of NJ, LLC. Dr. Anant Joshi has years of experience, quickly identifying and treating this common foot problem.
What Causes Ingrown Toenails?
The way that a person cuts their nails may cause ingrown toenails to form. Cutting the toenails too short and with the curve of the toe will cause the nail to grow downward. Foot trauma, such as stubbing the toe, may cause a person to develop an ingrown toenail. However, the most common cause of ingrown toenails is wearing shoes that pinch the nail into your skin.
You may be at higher risk for ingrown toenails if you participate in the following activities:
These activities require footwear that may put pressure on the toes.
Signs and Symptoms
Detecting signs and symptoms of ingrown toenails may mean a faster treatment. The early warning signs of an ingrown toenail are painful swelling and tenderness near the end of the toenail. After a few days, the impacted area may become infected. This can cause increased pain. It is most common for an ingrown toenail to occur on the big toe. However, any toe can be affected.
Fortunately, you don’t have to live with painful ingrown toenails. There are both non-surgical and surgical options depending on the severity of the condition.
Non-Surgical Treatments: If ingrown toenails are identified early, it is possible to treat them with non-invasive solutions. Those options include:
Soaking feet in warm water multiple times per day
Wearing comfortable shoes that don’t compress the toe
Taking over-the-counter pain medications
Keeping the foot dry
Taking oral antibiotics
If these options don’t work, then it’s time to call Dr. Anant Joshi for further instructions.
Surgical Treatments: If non-surgical treatments don’t bring relief, you might need surgery. Dr. Anant Joshi may remove part of the nail, the underlying nail bed, and sometimes part of the soft tissue on the toe. It’s essential to remove all of the infection for a speedy recovery.
Your toe will remain bandaged for several days following surgery. Your doctor will ask you to keep your foot elevated and avoid unnecessary movement as much as possible. Wearing open-toed shoes and soaking your foot daily will promote a faster healing time. Usually, the toenail will grow back in a matter of months, but it may take as long as one year.
Protect Your Feet
Nobody wants to deal with the pain and discomfort of ingrown toenails. Patients can help themselves avoid this condition by protecting their feet. Always wear comfortable shoes for daily activity and appropriate shoes for sports and special activities. When cutting the toenails, patients should remember to cut straight across rather than with the curve of the toe. Surgery may be necessary if the shape of your toe makes you prone to ingrown toenails.
Schedule Your Next Visit
Living with an ingrown toenail can impact your daily life. Don’t assume that your ingrown toenail will heal on its own. If you notice pain and tenderness near your toenail, then you need to manage it right away. Contact us at Advanced Foot Care of NJ, LLC to receive your complete treatment plan. We look forward to working with you to find the pain relief you deserve!