By Foot & Ankle Specialists of Orlando
July 08, 2016
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Ingrown Toenails  

Avoiding painful ingrown toenails is as often as easy as making a few foot care changes. Dr. Timothy Mason, your Orlando, FL podiatrist, explains what causes an ingrown toenail and shares information on treatment options.

Common causes of ingrown toenailsIngrown Toenails

You may be more likely to develop ingrown toenails due to:

  • Nail cutting techniques: Rounding the edges of your toenails, rather than cutting them straight across, makes it easier for the edge of a nail to grow into your skin. ingrown toenails can also occur if you accidentally cut a nail too short.
  • Nail injuries: You may notice a dent in your nail if a heavy can falls on it or you stub it. As the dented area grows out, it may begin to dig into your skin.
  • Poorly fitting shoes: Tight shoes put pressure on your toenails and may force them to grow into your skin.
  • Heredity: Some people inherit curved or thick nails, which raises the risk of an ingrown toenail.
  • Sports: Playing soccer or another sport that involves constant pressure to the foot may also increase your ingrown toenail risk.

Ingrown toenail symptoms

It usually only takes a quick glance to determine that your nail is growing into your skin. When the nail pierces the skin, you'll experience pain, which will worsen if the area becomes infected. Other signs of infection include redness, swelling, red streaks on your toe and pus. If you notice any symptoms of infection, it's important to see your foot doctor as soon as possible.

Treatment options in Orlando

Home treatment can be effective in treating an ingrown toenail, particularly if you start it as soon as you notice the problem. Soak your toe in warm water several times every day, then place a small piece of cotton under the nail to help free it from the skin. If you have diabetes, don't attempt to treat an ingrown toenail on your own. Call your podiatrist instead.

If home treatment doesn't help, it's time for a visit to your foot doctor. Depending on the severity of your condition, he may recommend removing all or part of your nail. He'll also prescribe antibiotics if you have an infection.

Prompt treatment is essential if you have an ingrown toenail. Call Dr. Mason, your Orlando, FL podiatrist, at (407) 365-9511 to schedule an appointment. Relieve ingrown toenail pain with a visit to your foot doctor!