If the edge of a cuticle on one of your toenails becomes red, swollen, and very painful, then you might have an ingrown toenail. Ingrown toenails don’t discriminate; they can form on the feet of people of any age or activity level. But fear not, ingrown toenails are generally easy to treat, and even better, easy to prevent. Let’s talk about ingrown toenails and how you can win the fight against them.
Ingrown toenails occur when the toenail begins to grow into the flesh surrounding the nail rather than straight over the edge of the toe. Therefore, to prevent ingrown nails, the goal is to ensure that your nails are always growing on the right track. You can do this by:
Trimming with caution – when you cut your toenails, make sure to always cut them in a clean, rounded shape that will allow them to grow without merge with the skin.
Wearing properly fitted shoe – cramping your toes for hours on end is a surefire way end up with an ingrown toenail. Talking to your podiatrist about custom orthotics can also help.
Treat toe injuries – if you’ve stubbed or fractured your toe, make sure to keep an eye on the toenail to ensure that it’s not growing crooked.
Like all foot injuries, the first step in treatment should be scheduling an appointment with your podiatrist. He or she will be able to determine the best course of action for your feet. If you’re experiencing an ingrown toenail, some treatments may include:
Minimize the pain – in the time before your appointment; you can reduce the pain and swelling by soaking your affected nail in warm water and taking an anti-inflammatory like Advil.
Remove the nail border – your foot doctor will apply a local anesthetic and remove the ingrown nail. This minor surgery is a quick process that rarely encounters complications.
Take prescribed medications – your podiatrist may prescribe an antibiotic to rid the area of infection.
If you have an ingrown toenail, there’s no reason to tough it out. Treatment is quick, easy, and can get you back to doing the things you love in no time. Our board-certified doctors are ready to help you win the fight against ingrown toenails. The Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are proud to offer convenient locations in Northwest Houston, Northeast Houston, Tomball, Liberty Dayton, The Woodlands, Atascocita, Cleveland and Livingston. Make an appointment online or call today at (281) 444-4114.