Ingrown toenails, what are they? What are my symptoms?

An ingrown toenail is easily one of the most painful, common, debilitating foot and ankle issue we see at the Ankle and foot Centers of America. It is a very common condition for pediatric patients and adult patients alike.  As Franklin podiatrist, we treat ingrown toenail across all ages.

Ingrown toenail affects the great toe, and it usually becomes painful when the side of the nail starts to grow into the skin fold of your toe.  As a result, it causes inflammation, swelling, and pain. Eventually, the area can become infected causing drainage and even abnormal growth. Other than the great toenail, it can be common in other toes as well.

What causes ingrown toenail?

Below are some of the common reasons for ingrowing toenail:

  • Not trimming your toenail properly and leaving one side to grow into the side of your toe
  • Stubbing or injuring the toe causing the nail to grow abnormally
  • Wearing tight shoes long term causing injury to the nail bed over long periods of time
  • Picking or tearing the corner of your toenail
  • Having a genetic predisposition to certain nail structures, such as curved nails

What are my treatment options?

At home care for ingrown toenail is simple. Warm soak of the affected toe in an Epsom salt bath can soften the skin and provide some relief. Afterwards, clean the area and apply some topical antibiotics to prevent any infection. Cutting or trimming the ingrowing nail is not recommended. If you think you need to have it cut out, it’s better to consult your Franklin podiatrist.

What to expect during your visit to your Franklin podiatrist?

If care at home fails, and the problem continues to become worse, it is advisable to seek help from your Franklin foot and ankle doctor.  Your ingrown nail treatment should be a long term solution.

After performing a physical exam, your doctor will go over your options based on your presentation and symptoms. Usually, a permanent procedure to remove the affected portion of the nail is recommended, and this procedure usually takes about five minutes. This is done by first administering a local anesthesia for comfort, (which isn’t as painful as you think). The nail plate is then trimmed such that only the ingrowing portion is removed. Finally, medication is applied to the root of the nail, preventing the removed portion from coming back. This does not affect the growth of the rest of the nail. A small dressing is applied, and you are on your way home! You are able to walk and take a shower after the procedure. Your Franklin podiatrist will provide you with a detailed home care instructions. Overall, it takes about ten days for the area to heal.

If you have a progressively worsening painful ingrown nail, soak and apply topical antibiotics. Do not cut the nail! If you think it needs to be cut out, see a podiatrist near you.

Make an Appointment Today!

If you have any additional questions or concerns regarding a possible ingrown toenail or any other toenail pain, please contact Ankle and Foot Centers of America by dialing our Franklin, Tennessee office at (615) 814-0885 or click HERE to complete an appointment request and we will contact you to get you set up to start your path to living life pain free.

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