Has walking or wearing shoes become painful due to an ingrown toenail? Your McKinney and Prosper, TX, podiatrists at Advanced Foot and Ankle Center offer treatments that end the pain of ingrown toenails.
What causes ingrown toenails?
Ingrown toenails can be caused by:
- The way you cut your nails: Do you round the edges of your toenails? Rounding makes it much easier for the nails to grow into your skin. Cutting toenails straight across reduces your risk of ingrown nails.
- Curved nails: You're much more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if your nails curve downward.
- Nail trauma: Even if you cut your toenails straight across, you can still develop an ingrown nail if you stub your toe or something heavy falls on it.
- The shoes and socks you wear: Tight shoes and socks press against your skin, forcing the edges of the nails into the skin.
- Excessive sweating: Sweat moistens and softens the skin, making it much easier for your toenail to grow into the skin at the sides of your nails.
- Fungal infections: Toenail fungus thickens your nail, increasing your ingrown toenail risk.
When should you visit your podiatrist?
If your ingrown toenail has just begun to grow into the skin, you may be able to free it by inserting a piece of dental floss or cotton under the nail after soaking your foot in warm water. (Don't try to free your nail at home if you have diabetes, as you have a much higher risk for infection due to the disease.)
It's time to call your McKinney and Prosper foot doctor if your nail can't be gently freed at home. You'll also want to schedule an appointment if the pain is severe or interferes with your life, you have ingrown toenails often, or you think you might have an infection. Signs and symptoms of an infected ingrown toenail include redness, pus on your toe, red streaks on your skin, pain, tenderness, or a throbbing sensation.
Your podiatrist can perform a minor, in-office surgical procedure to remove the trapped part of the nail. You may also need to take antibiotics to prevent or treat an infection. If you have frequent ingrown toenails, removing the nail may be the best solution.
Do you struggle with ingrown toenails? Call your podiatrists in McKinney and Prosper, TX, at (972) 542-2155 to schedule an appointment.