By itself, an ingrown toenail is a mildly irritating but manageable condition that can happen to anyone. However, infected ingrown toenails and ingrown toenails linked to diabetes can cause severe complications. At Tola Foot & Ankle Center in Hamilton, New Jersey, Pamela C. Tola, DPM, helps you manage your ingrown toenail and the infection that may come with it. For help with an ingrown toenail, book an appointment with Dr. Tola by phone or online today.
An ingrown toenail is a common and typically harmless condition that occurs when the side of your toenail begins to grow into the skin surrounding your nail bed. If you don’t take the right steps to care for your toenail, it can become infected, painful, and inflamed.
Thankfully, there are ways to prevent an ingrown toenail from causing such complications. If it’s already infected and doesn’t get better with home care, Dr. Tola and her team can help you manage the infection.
Even without an infection, an ingrown toenail can cause uncomfortable symptoms, even at rest. An ingrown toenail might cause:
An infection exacerbates these symptoms. You must call Dr. Tola for treatment immediately if you notice pus around your ingrown toenail or if you have diabetes, which causes poor circulation in your feet and makes you vulnerable to complications.
Ingrown toenails have numerous common causes. Your ingrown toenail may be due to:
You can’t always prevent an ingrown toenail, but taking the time to maintain and groom your toenails properly can help. You don’t have to shell out for expensive pedicures: simply cut your toenails straight across at a moderate length.
If your ingrown toenail isn’t infected but causes pressure or discomfort, you can care for it by taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications and soaking your foot several times daily. The pain can get worse if your toe is constricted in any way, so be sure to wear wide shoes with plenty of room.
It’s important that you don’t attempt to cut out your ingrown toenail. You could worsen an existing infection or raise your chances of getting one in the first place.
If the condition doesn’t improve with home care, or if you get an infection, Dr. Tola can cut the toenail free from under your skin by partially removing it or lifting it. She may also prescribe antibiotics to manage the infection, if you have one.
If your ingrown toenail makes it hard to walk comfortably or if you have an infection, don’t hesitate to call Dr. Tola or request an appointment online today.