An ingrown toenail may seem like a minor nuisance, but without proper treatment, it can progress to a serious infection. David Biss, DPM, provides comprehensive care for ingrown toenails at two Concord Podiatry locations in Concord and Plymouth, New Hampshire. Call the nearest office or book an appointment online today to prevent complications of ingrown toenails.
An ingrown toenail is a curved nail that grows into the skin, usually at the side of the nail. As the nail digs into the soft flesh, it causes symptoms like pain, redness, swelling, and warmth.
If an ingrown toenail breaks the skin, bacteria can enter and cause an infection. Signs of an infected ingrown toenail include drainage and a foul odor. An ingrown toenail can become infected even if it’s not red or painful.
Improper nail trimming technique is the leading cause of ingrown toenails. Cutting your nails too short, or rounding them at the corners, encourages your skin to grow over the nail.
Other possible causes of ingrown toenails include wearing shoes that are too small, injuring the toenail, and toenail fungus. Inherited differences in toenail shape can also make you more susceptible to developing ingrown toenails.
Untreated ingrown toenails can lead to a serious bone infection. People with diabetes are at greater risk for complications of ingrown toenails due to poor circulation and nerve damage that can result in undetected wounds and sores.
In most cases, ingrown toenails resolve with simple home treatments like soaking your feet in warm water for 15-20 minutes 3-4 times a day. Don’t place cotton beneath the nail; this creates an environment for harmful bacteria to grow.
Call Dr. Biss at Concord Podiatry if soaking the foot and wearing well-fitting shoes and socks don’t work. You should also avoid attempting to cut the nail yourself. Repeated nail cutting often causes the condition to worsen.
People with diabetes should call Dr. Biss at the first sign of an ingrown toenail.
After examining your toe, Dr. Biss recommends the best course of treatment for you. If your toe is infected, he may prescribe an oral antibiotic.
Sometimes, ingrown toenail treatment involves a minor, in-office surgical procedure to relieve pain and remove all or part of the offending nail. Dr. Biss administers a local anesthetic for the procedure. You won’t need stitches or pain medicine. He covers the nail with a light bandage, and you can resume normal activities the next day.
For timely treatment of ingrown toenails, call Concord Podiatry, or book an appointment online today.