While most toenails grow straight, it’s not uncommon for the sides or corners of the nail to curve into the flesh, creating an ingrown toenail. This condition causes redness, pain, and swelling, and when it becomes severe, the toenail may become infected and lead to drainage or discharge. This condition most often affects the big toe, but other toenails can also become ingrown.
A range of issues can cause ingrown toenails, and some of the most common include:
In many cases, ingrown toenails are preventable. Improper trimming usually causes ingrown toenails. To ensure a proper trim, cut toenails straight across with toenail clippers. Don't cut down or dig into the corners to give them a rounded shape. If need be, you can round corners with a nail file.
Nails should not reach past the tip of your toe, and you should avoid shoes with pointed, narrow, toe boxes or those that crowd your toes. Practice proper foot hygiene, including washing, soaking, and keeping feet dry in shoes and boots, as germs and bacteria thrive in moist, warm environments.
If the nail doesn't heal on its own, is draining, or the pain and redness worsen, contact Dr. Yadegaran. She can evaluate the problem and provide the proper treatment. If you have diabetes or other circulation issues, schedule an appointment with Dr. Yadegaran at the first signs of an ingrown toenail.
At the first signs of an ingrown toenail, Dr. Yadegaran and Dr. Feradouni
recommend soaking your foot in warm water with white vinegar or epsom salts. After drying, use an antiseptic and bandage the toe She does not recommend attempting to remove any part of the nail on your own, including that which is ingrown. They also suggest elevating the foot and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, if you experience discomfort.
When you see Dr. Yadegaran or Dr. Feradouni for an ingrown toenail, she removes the ingrown portion of your nail. If needed, she may prescribe an oral or topical antibiotic to treat the infection.
If your ingrown toenail problem is chronic, she can perform a permanent procedure to stop ingrown toenails from occurring. During this treatment, Dr. Yadegaran and Dr. Armin Feradouni use a laser, chemical, or other means to destroy the nail’s root, or matrix, stopping that portion of nail growth.
If you struggle with ingrown toenails, don’t walk around in pain. Contact Professional Foot and Ankle Center in Burbank, or in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, today. You can even schedule your appointment online.