Ingrown toenails can be painful, but you don’t have to live with this uncomfortable nail condition. The team at the Center for Podiatric Medicine in the Chicagoland area treats irritating ingrown nails so you can enjoy the physical activities you once loved. Schedule an appointment at one of the three Illinois offices in the River North neighborhood of Chicago, Schaumburg, and Elmhurst, or the one other location in Highland, Indiana. You can book by phone or online today.
An ingrown toenail happens when the edge of your toenail grows into the toe’s soft tissue. This condition often affects your big toe, but can occur with any toe. If left untreated, ingrown toenails can become infected or cause permanent damage to your toenails.
If you have an ingrown toenail, you may notice the following symptoms near or around the affected nail:
An infected ingrown toenail might be filled with pus, appear dark red in color, or be associated with cold or warm feelings in your toe. If left untreated, complications like tissue death, bone infection, or nerve damage may arise.
Factors that increase your risk of getting an ingrown toenail include:
The cause of an ingrown toenail isn’t always entirely clear. Sometimes it goes away on its own or with at-home care, but other times pain gets worse as an infection spreads.
Your podiatrist bases your treatment on how severe your ingrown toenail is, and which method best fits your needs. They may recommend:
In many cases, you can treat an ingrown toenail at home by soaking your foot in warm, soapy water several times a day and keeping it clean. Make sure your toenails are properly trimmed. You can apply an antibiotic ointment to the affected area as well.
If an ingrown toenail becomes infected, your doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics to help fight the infection.
In severe cases of an infected ingrown toenail, your podiatrist may surgically lift or remove part of the nail. They use an anesthetic to numb the area, and remove the offending portion or the entire toenail so it can heal properly.
You can’t always prevent ingrown toenails from occurring, but there are several things you can do to lower your risk:
If an ingrown toenail doesn’t go away on its own or you experience signs of an infection, call the Center for Podiatric Medicine today or book an appointment online.