Ingrown Toenail Treatment in Bellevue, NE
What is an Ingrown Toenail?
An ingrown toenail is a toenail corner that has grown into the toe's skin rather than on top of the toe. This takes place when pressure from the nail growing into the toe breaks the skin. It happens most frequently with the big toe, but can also happen to other toes.
What causes an Ingrown Toenail?
There are multiple things that can cause an ingrown toenail:
- Toenails that have been cut too short
- Toenails that have not been cut straight across
- Improper pedicure
- Picking at toenails
- Socks and / or shoes that are too tight
- Injury to the toe, such as when stubbed
- Playing sports
- Heredity, such as toenails that are curved under
Ingrown Toenail Prevalence
Older adults with thick, curved toenails are the most likely to get an ingrown toenail, but it is also possible for children to get them. Athletes are also more prone to ingrown toenails than the average person.
Ingrown Toenail Home Treatment
Most of the time, the condition can be treated and resolved with home remedies. However, if a person happens to be a diabetic, it can become a very serious issue that requires the attention of a healthcare provider. Since diabetics often have poor circulation in their feet and experience various levels of neuropathy (inability to feel minor breaks in the skin such as a scrape or cut) an undetected ingrown toenail can eventually result in issues with bone damage or lead to gangrene.
Ingrown Toenail Symptoms
An ingrown toenail may have one or more of the following symptoms
- Pain, especially in the toe and along the sides of the toenail
- Redness that surrounds the toenail
- Swelling of the toe and around the nail
- Puss and drainage
Ingrown Toenail Diagnosis and Treatment
Most of the time, a healthcare provider will diagnose an ingrown toenail through physical examination and by asking a few questions. Typically, an ingrown toenail can be treated with home remedies such as:
- Soaking the foot for 15-20 minutes per day, 3-4 times per day. After soaking, place a small piece of cotton or dental floss under the nail to help it grow out properly. The cotton or dental floss needs to be replaced each time after soaking the foot.
- Put antibiotic ointment on the affected area and cover with a clean bandage.
- Wear open-toed shoes or sandals until the toe is healed
- Take pain relievers for pain management
- Elevate the foot when sitting
In more severe cases when home remedies are not effective, outpatient surgery can be performed by a healthcare provider. This may involve an anesthetic injection, followed by partially removing the toenail. In more severe cases, your healthcare provider may completely remove the nail and some of the surrounding tissue when other options have not produced the desired results.
Request more information about ingrown toenail treatment today. Call (402) 289-8839 or contact Dr. Michael Powers online.
Foot and Ankle Specialists