Though at first glance it may seem insignificant, an ingrown toenail can quickly take a turn for the worst, becoming infected and causing major pain, discomfort, and other complications which can have you laid up for weeks. Luckily, treating an ingrown toenail and catching it before it becomes severe is easy with help from your podiatrist. Find out more about ingrown toenails with Dr. Charles Chapel at Chapel Podiatry in Brooksville, FL, also serving patients in the Spring Hill, Hudson, and Homosassa, FL areas.
What causes ingrown toenails?
Ingrown toenails are most often caused by wearing ill-fitting shoes which place pressure on the nail bed. Over time, this pressure causes the toenail to curl and grow into the skin, eventually becoming an ingrown toenail. However, other factors can also cause an ingrown toenail. Fungal infections, injury or trauma to the nail, or improper trimming of the toenails are also known to cause ingrown toenails.
Do I have an ingrown toenail?
If your toenail appears to have grown into the skin on the side of the nail bed, you might have an ingrown toenail. One of the first signs of an ingrown nail is a red or mildly painful or swollen toe. The discomfort will usually concentrate on the end of the toenail. Eventually, if left untreated, the skin will grow over the nail and you may experience drainage in the area of the ingrown nail. An infection may occur, causing pus and, in rare cases, fever. If you think you have an infected toenail, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.
Why is it important to treat an ingrown toenail early?
Treating an ingrown toenail in its earliest stage has the highest chance of a quick and easy recovery. If you think you have an ingrown toenail, schedule an appointment with your podiatrist to ensure that you have the best treatment for your condition. Treatments may begin mildly with soaking the foot several times a day and changing the type of shoes you wear. Your doctor may recommend a procedure to remove part or all of the nail, depending on the severity of the ingrown nail.
Preventing Ingrown Toenails in Brooksville, FL
Always cut the toenail straight across and avoid curving the shape of the nail down on the sides. Wear comfortable shoes which allow your toes plenty of room to lay naturally flat. Keep your toes and their nails clean and dry and always wear fresh socks every day.
For more information on ingrown toenails or their treatments, please contact Dr. Charles Chapel at Chapel Podiatry in Brooksville, FL, also serving patients in the Spring Hill, Hudson, and Homosassa, FL areas. Call (352) 684-1444 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Chapel today!