Ingrown toenails can be extremely painful and can lead to an infection if left untreated. Fortunately, several options are available for treating ingrown toenails and preventing them from occurring again. The experienced podiatrists at Clintonville Foot & Ankle Group in Columbus, OH, can treat your existing ingrown toenails and help you prevent additional problems with ingrown nails in the future.
Causes of Ingrown Toenails
Ingrown toenails occur when the nail grows too closely to the skin. The nail puts pressure on the skin, which often causes redness, swelling, and discomfort. Any toenail can become ingrown, but the nails of the big toes tend to be affected most often. Factors that increase the likelihood of the toenail growing too closely to the skin and becoming ingrown include:
- Trimming the toenails too short
- Not trimming the nails straight across
- Wearing shoes and socks that are too tight
- Fungal infections on the toes or feet
- An injury to the toes or feet
Ingrown Toenail Treatments
There are several ways to treat ingrown toenails. The knowledgeable podiatrists at our office in Columbus, OH, can explain different treatment options and recommend a specific approach for you. Your treatment plan can also include taking specific steps to prevent further ingrown toenails. Some ways to treat existing ingrown toenails include:
- Soaking the feet in warm water mixed with Epsom salt daily
- Massaging the side of the nail while soaking the foot to reduce inflammation
- Oral antibiotics to eliminate an infection
- Anti-fungal ointment to clear up a fungal infection
- Medication to alleviate pain or discomfort
- Surgical removal of all or part of the ingrown nail
Preventing Ingrown Toenails
Several steps can be taken to prevent ingrown toenails from developing. Trimming the nails properly can play a significant role in preventing ingrown nails. It is important to trim nails straight across rather than giving them a curved or rounded edge. Additionally, take care not to trim nails too short. When toenails are cut really short, the skin is more likely to fold over the nail.
Another way to prevent ingrown nails is by wearing socks and shoes that fit properly with enough room for the toes to move. Socks and shoes that are tight put pressure on the nails and skin and can lead to ingrown toenails. Finally, keeping the feet clean and dry helps prevent fungal infections from developing, which can also contribute to ingrown nails.
There are many ways to both treat and prevent ingrown toenails. The podiatrists at Clintonville Foot & Ankle Group in Dublin and Columbus, OH, can recommend an appropriate treatment, as well as help you implement changes to prevent ingrown nails in the future. To schedule an appointment, call (614) 267-8387 for the Clintonville office; (614) 761-1466 for the Dublin location; and (614) 272-2637 for the Southwest Columbus location.