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Can Ingrown Toenails Become Infected?

Monday, 04 June 2018 00:00

An ingrown toenail can become infected if treatment is not started as soon as possible. It may lead to open sores on the foot, loss of blood flow and tissue decay. This condition typically develops when the corners of the toenail cut into the surrounding skin, causing discomfort and pain. Research has shown trimming the toenails straight across may prevent ingrown toenails from forming. Additionally, wearing shoes and socks that fit properly and cutting the nails to a proper length may aid in the prevention of developing this condition. Soaking the toe in warm water frequently during the day will help the toe feel more comfortable and relief may be noticed in a few weeks. For serious toenail infections, surgery may be an option which generally consists of a partial removal of the nail. A consultation with a podiatrist is suggested if you are afflicted with this condition, and would like additional information about how to properly treat ingrown toenails.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Henry Miller of Freehold, New Jersey. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Freehold, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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