Ingrown nails occur when the toenail begins to curve and grow into the skin, which can be a result of many different factors. Some of these cannot be prevent, such as genetics making some individuals naturally more prone to ingrown toenails. Controllable factors that may lead to the growth of ingrown toenails are tight shoes and cutting the toenails too short. The main reason individuals seek treatment for an ingrown toenail is the pain. Other symptoms that may coincide with pain include:
Even if there is no pain, it is important to pay attention to toenail health because an ingrown toenail could lead to an infection. Those with diabetes, nerve damage, or poor circulation should never attempt to treat their ingrown toenails at home. For others, pain is mild to moderate, soak the foot in warm water -- perhaps with Epsom salts -- and begin to massage the side of the nail. Do not try to fix the nail by continuing to cut it. If pain persists or does not get better, visit a doctor who will determine a proper course of treatment. If infection is causing the pain, your doctor will prescribe an oral antibiotic. In some cases minor surgery may be necessary to remove the toenail.
Dr. DeBrule treating an Ingrown Toenail at our Richfield Clinic.