At Gentle Professional Foot Care, a condition that we see frequently is the ingrown toenail. This podiatric problem can be extremely painful and yet patients put off coming in because they fear the treatment. The fact is that our podiatrist, Dr. Charles A. Suleskey, sends patients with ingrown toenails home in much less pain and discomfort than when they arrived. Below are other facts about ingrown toenails that will be helpful in dealing with this condition:
FACT: Ingrown toenails occur when a corner of the nail grows into the skin around the toe. It causes redness and swelling and pain. It also often leads to infection because once the nail punctures the skin, bacteria can enter.
FACT: Ingrown toenails can occur on any toe, although the big toe is the most common spot.
FACT: There are multiple causes of ingrown toenails. The most common one is improper trimming of the nails. If the nails are cut too short or with rounded edges, it invites the skin to flap over the nail and makes it easy for the nail to grow inward. Other causes include:
Wearing socks and shoes that are too tight
A fungal toenail infection or other medical condition
FACT: Many “folk remedies” exist for treating ingrown toenails that actually make the problem worse. Cutting a notch in the toe, repeatedly trimming the nail border and sticking a piece of cotton under the nail all increase the risk of injury and infection. Many over-the-counter treatments just mask the symptoms.
FACT: The podiatrist has a few ways to treat an ingrown nail. First, the foot doctor gently numbs the toe. Then he will remove the ingrown nail. If ingrown nails are a chronic problem, there is a chemical that can be applied to the root of the nail to prevent re-growth of the portion of the nail that keeps becoming ingrown.
FACT: Patients are typically back into a shoe and resuming their normal activities almost immediately. So, stop putting it off. If you are pained by an ingrown toenail, contact our Venice office today by calling: (941) 493-7999.