What causes ingrown toenails?
- Footwear that crowds the toes
- Cutting toenails too short on the sides of the big toe
- Injury – dropping something on your toe or kicking something too hard
- Poor foot structure - posture or how you walk or stand.
- Unhealthy foot hygiene – excessive sweating is a risk factor
What do ingrown toenails look like?
- Red and painful around the nail
- Skin near the nail is swollen and tender
- When the nail pierces the skin, bacteria can get in and cause an infection and you may see blood or pus. Time to ask the doctor in case an infection is starting.
How can I prevent an ingrown toenail?
- Cut nail straight across – no rounded corners
- Make sure shoes fit well and are not too tight
- Keep feet clean and dry
- Drug store antibiotic medications
- Surgically remove the ingrown portion of nail - procedure is called toenail avulsion
- Permanent removal – this removes the cells in the nail bed so the toenail will not come back
Recovery time for the permanent removal procedure is 1 to 2 weeks with minimal inconvenience. You will need to wear soft spacious shoes or open toed sandals during recovery time. If you need any type of treatment it should be as soon as symptoms appear especially if you have diabetes or nerve damage in or near your foot. You can start with home remedies; like soaking in warm water 3 to 4 times a day and using gauze to gently push the skin away from the nail. If any of the symptoms persist call for an appointment at 812-945-9221 in our New Albany, IN office and get it taken care of quickly before it grows into a bigger problem!