Ingrown Toenail Symptoms, Treatments, Surgery and Removal
The most prevalent nail impairment, ingrown nails, are nails that dig into the soft tissue of the nail grooves, causing pain near the corners and sides of the nail. This digging leads to irritation, redness, and swelling of the toe around the nail. We offer treatment, surgery and removal at our locations in Highland and Sandy Utah.
Ingrown nails are abnormal, since usually nails grow straight out. Ingrown nails curve and grow into the flesh. Most of the time, the big toe is the affected toe, but other toes can also be afflicted by ingrown nails that could eventually lead to ingrown toenail removal or surgery.
Symptoms of Ingrown Toenails
There is several signs of ingrown toenails. The most common are pain in the toe and redness and swelling around the sight of the growth. There can also be drainage in the area, an odor, and prominent skin tissue (also called proud flesh).
Causes of Ingrown Toenails
There are several causes of ingrown toenails including:
- Repeated trauma to the feet from normal activities
- Pressure on the toe/feet from shoes or crowding of the toes
- Improperly trimmed nails
Home Treatment of Ingrown Toenails
If you think you have an ingrown toenail, there are things you can do to treat it at home. Immerse your foot in warm salt water in a bath or use a basin of soapy water. Afterwards, apply an antiseptic and put a bandage on the area. If this home treatment doesn’t improve the condition, then you should see your podiatrist. If there is any drainage or excess redness around the toenail, then you should skip the home treatment and set up a visit with a foot specialist.
As you are treating yourself, there are some things you shouldn’t do. Don’t try to removed any part of the infected nail. Don’t use over-the-counter medications either, as nail problems should be diagnosed by your podiatrist. They will evaluate the condition and the prescribe the correct medication and/or another appropriate treatment.
If you have diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, and other circulatory disorders, you shouldn’t try to treat yourself at home. Ingrown toenails can lead to more severe complications when coupled with these conditions. Instead, seek medical care from a foot specialist as soon as you can.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Ingrown Toenails by a Podiatrist
When you visit one of our offices, they will remove the part of the nail that is ingrown. They may prescribe oral or topical medication to remove the infection. If you are experiencing problems with ingrown nails chronically, the podiatrist can permanently prevent ingrown nails with a procedure. Using a chemical, a laser, or other safe methods, the corner of the nail that is ingrown consistently, as well as the root (or matrix) of that piece of nail, will be removed. We offer full ingrown toenail surgery for whatever needs you may have.
How You Can Prevent Ingrown Nails
There are several things you can do to avoid having ingrown toenails. One of the most important ways to to trim your toenails properly. You should cut them straight across, making them no longer than the tip of the toes. Don’t dig into the corners of the toes. Instead, gently round off the corners with a nail file. We recommend using clippers specifically designed for toenails. Part of properly caring for your nails is also avoiding ripping or tearing the edges of your nails. Doing so increases your chances of an ingrown nail. The last thing you can easily do to help prevent ingrown toenails is to stay away from shoes that have pointy or narrow toe boxes. These types of shoes cram your toes together and give the nail less room to grow out from the toe. We offer a wide range of options to take care of ingrown toenail removal, surgery and many other needs at any of our Utah offices. We serve surrounding areas of Highland, Utah including Lehi, American Fork, and Pleasant Grove, as well as at our Sandy location, also serving South Jordan, Midvale and Draper, Utah areas.
For information on our other services and podiatry resources go to Our Utah Podiatrist Services here.