Ingrown toenails are a condition that is common and has the potential to be very painful for the average patient. For some patients, including those with diabetes, it can even be dangerous if untreated and allowed to advance. While painful, ingrown toenails can typically be treated at home by the patient. If this proves unsuccessful, it’s important that you see your physician for help as soon as possible. Appalachian Foot & Ankle Associates helps those suffering from ingrown toenails treat them quickly and safely.
What Is An Ingrown Toenail?
Ingrown toenails are what happens when the nail of your toe grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. This most often occurs with just one corner of the toenail but can involve one or both full sides as well. This condition can be the result of a number of factors, and some medical conditions can put you at greater risk for them, such as diabetes. Factors related to ingrown toenails include:
- Tight Shoes –If you have shoes that cause your toes to be pinched, ingrown toenails may result.
- Cutting Your Toenails –If you cut your nails too short or cut them at an angle, you are at greater risk for ingrown toenails.
- Injury –Damage to the toenail can also result in ingrown toenails.
- Curved Toenails –If you have toenails that curve more than is normal, they may cause ingrown toenails.
What Are The Symptoms of Ingrown Toenails and When Should I See The Doctor?
Most patients begin to notice their ingrown toenails after they have become painful or tender. At this stage, the toenails are already ingrown, but you may be able to take care of them at home without doctor intervention. Once symptoms worsen, you’ll need the assistance of a physician to prevent complications. Signs you need to see your podiatrist include:
- Swelling and redness around the nail that indicate possible infection.
- Severe pain, even without the presence of infection.
- Signs of infection, including pus and extreme tenderness.
If you have diabetes and suspect an ingrown toenail, see your podiatrist immediately.Patients with diabetes or conditions that result in low blood flow to the feet are at high risk of developing complications from toenails. What is a simple ingrown toenail for someone without these conditions may lead to severe problems that can require amputation of the toe, foot, or in extreme cases, the entire leg.
Ingrown toenails are, at best, an inconvenience, and at worse, can be a serious health risk. Appalachian Foot & Ankle Associates provides effective treatment and care for patients suffering from conditions like these. Call us today at 1-828-277-8042 to schedule an appointment with one of our podiatry specialists at our Asheville or Marion locations in North Carolina. As a part of your appointment, your physician will examine your suspected ingrown and provide treatment options for it. These can include antibiotics and home treatment in mild cases, or in-office procedures that can help preserve the health of your nail. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help prevent ingrown toenails!