Do you have pain in one or more toenails? Does it look red and swollen? Is it uncomfortable or even painful when you put on shoes? If you answered “Yes” to one or more of these questions, you may have an ingrown toenail.
An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of the nail grows into the nearby skin and tissue. This condition often results from cutting the toenail improperly. Toenails should always be cut straight across, not rounded at the corners. You may also get an ingrown toenail from any trauma that affects the toe, such as if you have dropped a heavy object on your foot.
How We Treat an Ingrown Toenail
Please come in to see us if you suspect that you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you notice any signs of infection like a discharge.
Before you can get to our office, soak your toe frequently in warm soapy or salty water. Dry the area carefully, then apply an antibiotic ointment and keep it bandaged for protection.
To heal your toenail completely, we can remove the portion of the nail that has grown into the toe. This simple procedure is handled right in our office. We will then apply medication to the nail root to prevent that portion of the toenail from growing back and becoming another problem. Then we usually prescribe oral medication to clear up any infection.
You Can Prevent Ingrown Toenails!
Whether you are doing your own pedicure at home or are visiting a nail salon, be sure that the nails are cut straight across without any rounded corners.
Choose shoes that fit well and have lots of room in the toe box. Narrow or tight shoes – or high heels – put too much pressure on the toes and may cause problems.
Always wear the right protective footwear for both work and leisure activities.
If you have diabetes, please take special care of your toes and feet. Check them every day and let us know if you see any damage or changes. For a person with diabetes, even an ingrown toenail can quickly worsen into a sore or an ulcer.
Don’t Wait – Let Us Relieve the Pain from an Ingrown Toenail
Foot or toe pain is not normal! If you have any discomfort or are worried about something that you see on your feet, please call Michele Kurlanski, DPM. Dr. Kurlanski offers expert and professional podiatry services in Cumberland County, Maine. Please call us today at 207-774-0028 to schedule your appointment in our Scarborough office.