When Should You See a Doctor About Your Ingrown Toenails?

Ingrown toenails can be a real nuisance, causing discomfort and inconvenience. While some people may try home remedies, there are cases where professional medical assistance is not just advisable but necessary. In this blog, we will explore ingrown toenails, reasons to consult our podiatrists, signs that warrant medical attention, and available treatments.

Understanding Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails, or onychocryptosis, occur when the toenail’s edge grows into the surrounding skin, leading to pain and possible infection. Typically, this issue affects the big toes but can happen to any toe.

Why Consult Our Podiatrists for Ingrown Toenails?

There are compelling reasons to see our podiatrists for ingrown toenails:

  • Infection Prevention: Ingrown toenails can invite bacterial infection. Our experienced team can diagnose and treat infections effectively.
  • Pain Management: Ingrown toenails can be painful, making walking and shoe-wearing uncomfortable. Our compassionate doctors can help alleviate this pain.
  • Preventing Tissue Penetration: If the toenail has pierced the skin, professional care is needed to prevent complications and ensure proper nail growth.

Signs That Warrant Medical Attention

Specific symptoms should prompt you to see our podiatrists:

  • Redness: If the skin around the ingrown toenail becomes red, it could indicate inflammation or infection.
  • Persistent Pain: Continuous or severe pain around the ingrown toenail signals the need for help. 
  • Presence of Pus: The presence of pus suggests infection, requiring professional treatment.
  • Nail Penetration: If the toenail visibly grows into the skin, it’s time to contact our office.
ingrown nail treatment. Hardware manicure. Concept body care.

Treatment Options for Ingrown Toenails

Our podiatrists will determine the appropriate treatment, which may include:

  • Partial or Full Toenail Removal: In mild to moderate cases, our podiatrists can trim or remove the ingrown section after numbing the area.
  • Permanent Removal of Problematic Nail Section: For recurring ingrown toenails, a procedure can permanently remove the troublesome part of the nail.
  • Antibiotics: If there’s an infection, our team may prescribe antibiotics.
  • Elevation and Warm Soaks: To reduce swelling and discomfort, elevating your foot and warm soaks can be recommended.
  • Proper Footwear: Wearing shoes that provide ample toe room is crucial for healing and preventing recurrences.
  • Topical Creams: In some cases, topical antibiotics or anti-inflammatory creams may be advised.
  • Orthotics: Custom orthotic devices can help distribute pressure evenly on your feet, reducing the risk of ingrown toenails.
  • Avoid Home Remedies: Do not attempt self-treatment; it can worsen the condition. Always contact our office for proper care.

close-up photo of a toenail infection in human

The Podiatrist’s Role

Podiatrists are trained to diagnose and treat various foot and ankle conditions, including ingrown toenails. They provide expert guidance on foot care and recommend measures to prevent future ingrown toenails.

Preventing Ingrown Toenails

Take preventive measures to reduce the risk:

  • Proper Nail Trimming: Trim your toenails straight across to prevent them from growing into the skin.
  • Comfortable Footwear: Wear well-fitting shoes that provide enough toe room.
  • Effective Foot Hygiene: Keep your feet clean, dry, and moisturized.
  • Avoid Trauma: Protect your toes from injury.
  • Cautious Home Pedicures: Be careful not to cut your nails too short or close to the skin.
  • Regular Foot Inspection: Check your feet for early signs of ingrown toenails.

Ingrown toenails can cause pain and complications if left untreated. Recognize when to contact our office for professional care. If you experience redness, pain, pus, or nail penetration, seek medical assistance promptly.

At Richardson Podiatry Center, our experienced podiatrists are ready to provide the care you need for ingrown toenails. Contact us to schedule an appointment and ensure your feet stay healthy and pain-free. Don’t let ingrown toenails hold you back – we’re here to help you put your best foot forward.