Ingrown Toenail? Here’s What You Need To Do
If you’ve ever had an ingrown toenail, you will know that they can be very painful. They can also cause nasty complications, including infection in the bone of your toe and ulcers. Fortunately, they can be treated. So, if you suspect that you have an ingrown toenail, here is what you need to do.
What Are Ingrown Toenails?
Ingrown or ingrowing toenails occur when the edges or corners of your toenails grow into the skin around the nail. This is most likely to happen to your big toe. You might notice:
- Skin next to the nail becoming swollen and tender
- Pain when you place pressure on the toe
- Fluid building up around the toe
These are early stage symptoms and if you notice them, you should seek treatment. If you leave them, the toe may get infected and this can cause symptoms such as:
What Are The Treatment Options For An Ingrown Toenail?
It is possible to treat an ingrown toenail at home. You can do this by soaking your feet in warm, salty water for 15-20 minutes four times a day – and ensuring that your feet are kept dry for the rest of the time. If the symptoms don’t alleviate after a few days – or if they worsen – you should make an appointment with a podiatrist.
The podiatrist will be able to assess the severity of your ingrown toenail and recommend treatment options. These will depend on the cause of your ingrown toenail.
If you need surgery, this could be in the form of a partial or full nail removal. With a partial nail removal, only the piece of nail that is digging into your skin is removed. Full nail removal may be required if your ingrown toenail is caused by thickening.
After surgery is complete, your podiatrist will tell you what you need to do to care for your nail and avoid infection. It is important to follow these instructions carefully.
What Can I Do To Avoid Getting Ingrown Toenails?
In order to avoid getting ingrown toenails, you can:
- Trim your toenails straight across, making sure that the edges do not curve in.
- Make sure that you don’t cut your toenails too short.
- Wear properly fitting shoes and socks.
What Should I Do If I Have Concerns?
If you are worried that you might have an ingrown toenail, or if you have an ingrown toenail that is not healing properly, you should make an appointment with a podiatrist. They will be able to treat your foot and give you advice to avoid this occurring again in the future. At Northwich Foot Clinic & Physio, we are experts at treating ingrown toenails. You can book an appointment online. We’re easily accessible from across the North West, and we look forward to helping you.