Ingrown toenails occur when the corner or the side of your toenail begins growing into the soft flesh of your toe. This usually occurs on one of your big toes rather than your other, smaller toenails.
An ingrown toenail can become reddened, swollen, and be painful. It can also result in an infection that may require professional treatment.
How to Help Prevent Ingrown Toenails
To keep ingrown toenails from occurring in the first place, there are a few things you can do on a regular basis to keep toenails in good shape.
- When trimming your toenails, cut straight across, never on a curve
- If you have a blood flow issue, such as diabetes, have a foot specialist trim your nails for you regularly
- Do not trim the nails too short, or your shoe’s pressure may direct the nails to grow into skin tissue
What You Can Do At Home
If an ingrown toenail is bothering you, there are some home treatments you can try to alleviate the problem.
- Soak your foot in warm water for 20 minutes, 3-4 times a day to reduce pain
- Put cotton or waxed dental floss beneath your toenail after the soak to help let the nail grow above the skin
- Use antibiotic cream and a bandage
- Wear open-toed shoes until the toe is healed
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers
After a few days of treatment, if the ingrown toenails are still painful, red, and swollen, you may need to be treated by an Atlanta foot specialist.
When To Visit Your Atlanta Foot Specialist
If your ingrown toenail has become very uncomfortable or has pus or redness around the area is spreading, you could have an infection that needs treatment. If you have ingrown toenails and suffer from diabetes or any condition that limits blood flow to the feet, you should visit your doctor or a physician at American Foot and Leg Specialists for a consultation. If you have diabetes, you are at a greater risk for developing complications that can lead to deformities of the foot, making prevention and prompt care the best defense against these risks.
If ingrown toenails are not treated, complications can result. The ingrown nail can end up infecting your underlying bone, causing a possibly serious bone infection.
If you are having any issues with your feet, including ingrown toenails, visit us at American Foot and Leg Specialists, where there is an expert team of doctors prepared to care for you.
The American Foot and Leg Specialists have four convenient locations for you to choose from. They serve the South Atlanta Metro area, including Fulton, Cobb, Douglas, Fayette, Henry, and Clayton Counties. Contact our friendly staff for an appointment. We are open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
This informative article does not take the place of professional medical advice. Please give us a call if you need more information about ingrown toenails or other foot or leg issues.