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Monday, 07 January 2019 00:00

What Causes an Ingrown Toenail?

A red, tender, and swollen area will appear on the side of the big toe if you are experiencing an ingrown toenail. This uncomfortable condition is typically a result of wearing shoes that fit too tightly, enduring an injury to the toe, or trimming the toenails incorrectly. In more severe cases, there may be an excess of fluid that builds up surrounding the affected area, or the toe could bleed or have pus draining from it. Ingrown toenails develop when the nail grows into the skin on the side of the toe, and pain generally accompanies this ailment. It is suggested to seek treatment as quickly as possible, and this may prevent infection. There are several ways to prevent ingrown toenails from developing, including wearing shoes that fit properly, wearing clean socks, and washing the feet daily. Research has shown that a common treatment method is referred to as a partial nail avulsion, and this involves removing a portion of the infected toenail. If you feel you have developed an ingrown toenail, it is advised to counsel with a podiatrist, so the best treatment option can be determined.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of Southeast Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Fairhope, Brewton, and Atmore, AL and Jay, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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