Ingrown nails are the most common nail impairment and occur when the nail corner(s) or side(s) dig painfully into the soft tissue of the nail groove(s), often leading to irritation, redness, and swelling. Usually, toenails grow straight out. Sometimes, however, one or both corners or sides curve and grow into the flesh. The big toe is the most common location for this condition, but other toes can also become affected. If left untreated, infection of the affected borders can occur.
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Ingrown toenails may be caused by the following:
- Improperly trimmed nails
- Shoe pressure; crowding of toes
- Repeated trauma to the feet from normal activities
The following symptoms may be present with ingrown toenails:
- Redness and swelling
- Prominent skin tissue (proud flesh)
If you suspect an infection due to an ingrown toenail, keep the area clean with soap and water and avoid using peroxide or a bandaid on the area to avoid further irritation. People with diabetes, peripheral arterial disease, or other circulatory disorders must avoid any form of self-treatment Other “do-it-yourself” treatments, including any attempt to remove any part of an infected nail or the use of over-the-counter medications, should be avoided as this can result in worsening of the presentation. Our doctor will provide thorough evaluation, in order to more appropriately diagnosis and treat this condition.
When to Visit Our Doctor
You should see our doctor immediately if any drainage or excessive redness is present around the toenail. Also, if a short trial of home treatment has not resulted in improvement of the condition, see our doctor. If you have diabetes or poor circulation, you should seek immediate treatment at the first signs of an ingrown toenail, as it can lead to more severe complications.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Our doctor will remove the ingrown portion of the nail and may prescribe an oral antibiotic to treat the infection, if present. If ingrown nails are a chronic problem, our doctor can perform a procedure to permanently prevent ingrown nails. The ingrown nail corner, along with the matrix or root are destroyed by use of a chemical, laser, or other methods.
- Trim toenails properly: cut them straight across, not longer than the tip of the toes. Do not dig into corners and only gently round off corners with a nail file. Use toenail clippers.
- Avoid shoes with pointy or narrow toe boxes.
- Never rip or tear edges of nails.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to call The Foot and Ankle
Clinic of Albuquerque, P.C.
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Same Day Appointments are Available.
717 Encino Pl. NE #3 Albuquerque, NM 87102
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