Ingrown toenails can dig so deep into your skin that they cause constant, throbbing pain. At their offices in Clarksville, Nashville, and Erin, Tennessee, and Hopkinsville, Kentucky, the Gateway Foot and Ankle Center team realigns the nail’s growth using splints or removes especially severe ingrown toenails. For relief from ingrown toenail pain, call your nearest Gateway Foot and Ankle Center office or go online to arrange a consultation.
Ingrown toenails are ones where the nail grows into your skin, becoming embedded. Without treatment, the nail gradually penetrates deeper into your skin, becoming increasingly painful.
Toenails grow slowly, and it might not seem that important when they first start ingrowing. However, the longer you leave them, the more uncomfortable your toe gets. Treatment also becomes more involved.
Sometimes ingrown toenails damage the skin and allow bacteria to get in, causing an infection. This could be serious if it gets into your bones. People with diabetes are particularly vulnerable to ingrown toenail infections because their feet may be numb from nerve damage (diabetic peripheral neuropathy).
The most likely way of getting ingrown toenails is cutting the nails incorrectly. If you try to shape your toenails at the sides like you would with fingernails, the nail’s corner can easily grow into the skin because toenails are set deeper. Therefore you should always trim your toenails straight across.
Other risk factors for ingrown toenails include:
Cutting your toenails too short can also lead to ingrown toenails. It’s best to keep your nails level with the tips of your toes and not trim below this level.
The worst thing you can do if you have an ingrown toenail is attempt to clip the affected section of the nail out of the skin. This might seem like a solution, and you might get some temporary relief from your discomfort. However, as the nail regrows, it’s likely to embed itself even further into your skin.
The best course of action when you have an ingrown toenail is to visit Gateway Foot and Ankle Center. Your podiatrist can X-ray your foot to ensure there’s no infection in the bones and prescribe antibiotics if there are signs of infection.
For mild to moderate ingrown toenails, your podiatrist correctly trims the nail and puts a splint under it to lift it away from the skin. This helps to guide the nail back onto its correct path.
If your ingrown toenails are more severe, you might need minor surgery to remove the ingrown section or the entire nail. Your podiatrist can do this in their office under a local anesthetic.
If you spot an ingrown toenail, visit Gateway Foot and Ankle Center for prompt advice and treatment. Call their office or book an appointment online today.