Health Tips & Blogs
Posts for tag: Ingrown Toenails
In addition to being incredibly painful and uncomfortable, ingrown toenails can become infected, and cause potentially serious health complications for people who are also suffering from diabetes. Although they can happen to anyone, there are several precautions that diabetes sufferers in particular, and everyone can take to avoid painful ingrown toenails and infections.
What is an Ingrown Toenail?
If your toes are resting comfortably in your shoes and you are completely unaware of the existence of your toenails, congratulations, they are probably not ingrown. However, when the edge of a toenail grows in at an angle and begins to dig into the skin, it can lead to painful swelling, and cause an infection which might require a trip to your Torrance, CA podiatrist. They are most common in the big toes, but can develop in any toe. The most common cause is unevenly trimmed or filed toenails.
Other potential causes are:
- Tight, narrow shoes that box in the toes and cause prolonged pressure
- An injury or trauma to the toe
- A fungal infection
- Anatomy of the foot
- Hereditary condition (if mom or dad frequently gets them, there's a chance you might too)
The Torrance, CA-based podiatrists at Precision Foot and Ankle Centers advise their patients to cut the toenails carefully, straight across with nail clippers to avoid rough, jagged edges. If a toenail does become ingrown and begins to show signs of infection, such as painful swelling, throbbing, and discharge of pus that does not alleviate after a few days, it may require treatment. Although rare, severely ingrown toenails can become abscessed. Patients with diabetes are at an even greater risk for serious complications, even from common foot problems like blisters and corns, and should make regular appointments with a foot doctor for routine maintenance and check-ups.
Find a Podiatrist in Torrance, CA
For more information on ingrown toenail prevention, diabetic foot care, or for treatment for pain and a foot or ankle injury, contact a podiatrist at Precision Foot and Ankle Centers by calling 310-791-1092 to schedule an appointment today.
Ingrown toenails, also known as onychocryptosis, can be embarrassing, annoying and painful. This common condition occurs when the surrounding skin on one or both sides of the nail grows over the edges of the nail, or when the nail itself penetrates the skin. As the nail digs into the skin, redness, swelling, and pain are often the result.
People develop ingrown toenails for various reasons. Poor nail-trimming is the most common cause, as this encourages the skin to fold over the nail. Other causes include trauma, such as stubbing a toe, or skin conditions, such as fungal infections or nails that are simply too large. In some cases, the condition may even be inherited. Poor-fitting shoes generally aggravate the condition, making it worse.
Many cases of ingrown toenails may be prevented by:
- Wearing well-fitted shoes and socks
- Protecting feet from trauma when possible
- Trimming toenails straight across and avoiding repeated trimming of the nail borders
- Keeping feet clean and dry to prevent infection
If an infection is not suspected of your ingrown, it can usually be safely treated from home by soaking your foot in warm water. Avoid "bathroom surgery" and repeated cutting of the nail as this will only make the condition worse.
When attempts to reduce your symptoms from home fail, or when pain, inflammation, swelling or discharge accompany your ingrown, the toenail is most likely infected and should be treated by a podiatrist at our Torrance office. People with diabetes, nerve damage or poor circulation should always seek care immediately if an ingrown nail is detected, regardless of the severity.
A podiatrist can examine the affected toe and determine the best treatment for your condition. For an infection, an antibiotic may be prescribed. Other treatments may involve trimming or removing the infected nail with a minor in-office surgical procedure.
Ingrown toenails may be annoying, but rest assured that they can easily be prevented and treated with the help of your podiatrist. If you think you have an ingrown toenail, visit Precision Foot and Ankle Centers for quick and easy treatment.