Diagnosing and Treating an Ingrown Toenail

By Loren Colon DPM, FACFAS

An ingrown toenail is a common condition especially in children and young adults, where the nail begins to grow into the side of the nail fold and cuts into the skin next to the nail. This can become painful when wearing close toe shoes or when pressure is applied. If the ingrown proceeds to remain for an extended amount of time, the skin next to the nail may become infected, demonstrating redness, swelling, and purulent drainage.

While any toe can be affected, the big toe is the most common ingrown toenail problem area. Generally, tight-fitting shoes are the first place to look for the cause of ingrown toenails. They may also develop in people who cut their toenails very short and round as oppose to cutting the nail straight across. Also trauma or having the nail stepped on is a common reason children develop ingrown toenails.

Treatments can include daily conservative care and antibiotics if infected. Additionally, a small procedure to remove the ingrown toenail fold for prolonged relief and decreased chances of the condition reoccurring is commonly employed. If you are experiencing this condition, seeing a podiatrist can prevent the problem from becoming worse.

© 2019 American Foot & Leg Specialists. All rights reserved.