Arizona Foot and Ankle Medical Center
Podiatrists located in Laveen, AZ, Chandler, AZ & Mesa, AZ
Ingrown Toenails Q & A
What is an ingrown toenail?
An ingrown toenail is a toenail that curves and then grows into your skin on the sides. As the nail burrows into your skin, it can grow inflamed, painful, and sometimes infected. This can lead to swelling and pus buildup on the side of your toe. An ingrown toenail is an inconvenience that can develop into a serious problem if you don't treat it properly.
What causes ingrown toenails?
Some of the possible causes of ingrown toenails include:
- Genetics - if your parents had ingrown toenails, you may have them, too
- Trauma - stubbing your toe, dropping something heavy on your toe, or other trauma
- Trimming improperly - trimming nails too closely or in a curve instead of straight across
- Footwear - shoes like high heels that crowd your toes or socks that are too tight
Although you can't control a genetic predisposition to ingrown toenails, you can control most of the other factors that put you at risk. Once you receive effective ingrown toenail treatment, you can often prevent future problems with proper foot care and appropriate footwear.
What can I do about ingrown toenails?
Never try a DIY operation on your toenail, as this can just make the problem worse. Soaking your affected toe in warm salt water followed by antiseptic application and bandaging is a good start at home.
If home care doesn't help, or if your toe is already showing signs of infection, such as redness, feeling warm to the touch, or swelling, you should see Dr. Durfey or Dr. Hiapo at Arizona Foot and Ankle Medical Center as soon as possible.
Dr. Durfey or Dr. Hiapo can prescribe antibiotics if you have an infection. In some cases, you may also need partial or total removal of the nail. If so, Dr. Durfey or Dr. Hiapo uses local anesthesia to ensure minimum pain during the procedure. Most patients have little downtime and no pain following an ingrown toenail procedure. In fact, with your ingrown toenail treated, you'll finally be pain-free!
To get ingrown toenail help, count on the experienced and compassionate team at Arizona Foot and Ankle Medical Center. Use the online scheduling tool or call the office to make your appointment today.
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