The definition of an ingrown toenail is described as the toenail growing into a portion of the skin on either side of the nail. This condition may cause little discomfort in the early stages of development and may worsen as time progresses. Swelling, redness, or a possible infection may occur as a result of the nail piercing the skin, and this may lead to an infection. The body’s natural response for healing is to have a specific type of skin that may grow at the site of the infection, which is known as hypergranulation. This will generally dissolve once treatment has begun and the infection dissipates. There are several causes for this ailment to occur, and these may include wearing poorly fitting shoes or socks, having a family history of ingrown toenails, or improperly trimming the toenails. If you feel you have developed this uncomfortable condition, it is suggested to seek the advice of a podiatrist who can properly assist in the correct treatment.
Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.
- Bacterial infections
- Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
- Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
- Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
- Genetic predisposition
Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.
Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.