Your big toe has become so sore that you can hardly walk on it. It's red and puffy, and the nail appears to be digging into the skin. These common podiatric symptoms likely stem from an ingrown toenail. The podiatrists at Advanced Foot and Ankle Center in McKinney and Prosper, TX Dr. Eric Silvers, Dr. Dustin Lloyd and Dr. Christopher Witt have seen and treated many ingrown toenails and offer medical solutions for this condition and ways to avoid future problems.
Symptoms of an ingrown toenail
Besides the pain, swelling, and redness, patients with ingrown toenails may have an infection with pus and a strong odor. The nail itself can discolor and separate from the nail bed.
Many times, symptoms of athlete's foot accompany an ingrown toenail. There's a generalized itchiness, blistering and flaking of the skin.
Medically-termed onychocryptosis, ingrown toenails plague people of all ages but more so occur with individuals who:
- Are obese
- Have diabetes
- Are prone to abnormalities in gait and toe and foot structure
- Experience pedal edema, or foot swelling, due to compromised circulation
- Engage in athletic activities which involve repeated pressure on the foot and toes (such as running)
- Wear shoes with improper fit (both too large or too small)
What your foot doctor in McKinney and Prosper can do
Our podiatrists advise patients to seek professional care for ingrown toenails to prevent further damage and infection. At Advanced Foot & Ankle Center, your foot doctor will visually inspect and palpate (feel) your feet, including your painful toe. Depending on his findings, he may:
- Trim the intruding nail away from the skin
- Apply a chemical called phenol to the nail to aid in its partial or total removal (matrixectomy)
- Prescribe an oral antibiotic and applying antibiotic ointment
After trimming or nail removal, our podiatrists recommend rest and elevation of the foot. Feet treated for ingrown toenails recover quickly, and people generally resume normal activities within the next day.
Preventing ingrown toenails
Here are some common sense strategies to prevent ingrown toenails:
- Using a clean clippers, trim all toenails straight across. Do not trim the corners at an angle.
- Wash your feet daily, and change your socks.
- Wear properly fitting shoes with adequate room in the toe box.
Do you need treatment?
Contact Advanced Foot & Ankle Center in McKinney and Prosper, TX if you have symptoms of an ingrown toenail. Phone (972) 542-2155 for either the McKinney or the Prosper office.