Ingrown toenails, a common foot problem, may make walking and wearing shoes painful. Fortunately, your New Albany, IN, podiatrist, Dr. Zahid Ladha of Foot First Podiatry, provides treatments that will relieve your pain.
What causes ingrown toenails?
You may be more likely to develop ingrown toenails if:
- You don't use proper cutting techniques: Rounding your toenails makes it easier for the edges of the nails to grow into the skin. Cutting your nails straight across reduces your risk of ingrown toenails.
- Your nails curve: Do your toenails curve downwards? The position of your nails may increase your likelihood of painful ingrown nails.
- You wear tight shoes or socks: Tight shoes and socks apply constant pressure that can drive your toenails into your skin.
- Your feet sweat: It's easier for toenails to grow into the skin when your skin is soft and moist. Changing your socks and shoes often and using foot powder may keep your feet drier.
How are ingrown toenails treated?
If your toenail has just begun to grow into the skin, it may be possible to treat your ingrown nail at home. Soak your foot in warm water for about 15 or 20 minutes, then place a small piece of cotton or dental floss under the nail to free it. Replace the floss or cotton daily until the nail is no longer in danger of growing into the skin again. If the nail won't budge, don't force it. Don't try to treat ingrown toenails at home if you have diabetes. Call your New Albany, IN, foot doctor instead.
Make an appointment with your podiatrist if:
- Your nail is firmly embedded in your skin.
- You notice signs of infection, which may include redness, pus, pain, red streaks on your toe, warmth, or fever.
During your visit to the podiatry office, your foot doctor will numb your foot and removed the trapped part of the nail. He may also prescribe antibiotics to treat an infection or reduce the risk of infection. If ingrown toenails are a frequent problem for you, a minor procedure to remove the nail may be an option.
Have you been struggling with ingrown toenails? Call your podiatrist, Dr. Ladha, of Foot First Podiatry in New Albany, IN, at (812) 945-9221 to schedule an appointment.