If you are experiencing pain and discomfort surrounding the nail of your big toe, you may have what is known as an ingrown toenail. This uncomfortable condition is typically the result of a toenail that grows into the skin or over the edges of the nail. Bacteria may enter the area, and this may possibly lead to the development of an infection. There may be noticeable symptoms of this occurring, including an unpleasant odor or drainage coming from the toenail. There may be several causes for ingrown toenails to develop. These may include wearing shoes and socks that are too small, injuries the nail may have incurred, or trimming the toenails incorrectly. If you have an ingrown toenail, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist before it becomes infected, so the proper course of treatment can begin.
Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Jeffrey Wachtel of Wachtel Family Foot Care. Our doctor 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 our office located in Lansdale, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.