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Can an Ingrown Toenail Become Infected?

Monday, 16 December 2019 00:00

A condition that is referred to as an ingrown toenail typically affects the big toe. It happens as a result of the sides of the toenail growing into the skin surrounding it, and can cause severe pain and discomfort. The symptoms that often accompany ingrown toenails can consist of redness, swelling, or a possible discharge at the edge of the nail. There are a variety of reasons why this condition may develop. These can include trimming the toenails improperly, wearing shoes that are too tight, or having a toe injury. Moderate relief may be found when the feet are washed and dried thoroughly, followed by using a small piece of cotton to gently push the affected nail away from the skin. Additionally, it generally helps to wear shoes that are larger in the toe area, as this may help to accelerate the healing process. If you have an ingrown toenail that has become infected, it is advised that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who can properly diagnosis and treat this condition, which may include surgery for removal of the nail.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Henry Miller of New Jersey. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • 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

Prevention

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.

Treatment

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 our office located in Freehold, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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