Over the course of a day, there is a lot to consider: taking care of family, keeping up with a busy calendar, being on time for work, and finding time to exercise just to name a few. With all of these big issues, our toes don’t get a lot of consideration—until they hurt. The pain of ingrown toenails is attention grabbing to say the least as it pushes into the skin. Add the risk of infection, and each step becomes a reminder of the time not spent taking care of them.
What are common symptoms of nail that is ingrown?
Take a look at the affected toe. Has the skin grown over the nail, or has the nail grown into the skin? Either way, it is considered to be ingrown. The first sign of trouble will likely be a feeling of tenderness. You might notice it when you put on your socks in the morning, or if your toe bumps the inside of your shoe. The big toe is especially susceptible to this condition.
Swelling and redness may follow the initial soreness. While the nail doesn’t always become infected, monitoring the situation is important. If you notice drainage, address it immediately. Diabetics should always contact our office right away to ensure the health of the feet.
No one wants to slow down due to foot pain. Your time is valuable and feeling your best is important. What can you do to avoid this problem and maintain an active lifestyle?
Nail Care—It All Starts Here
How do you trim your toenails? This is a question you’ve likely never considered, but the answer has a direct impact on your risk for developing this painful condition. Cutting along the curve of the nail may seem intuitive, but it’s actually not the best practice. As the nail grows back, it is more likely to enter the surrounding skin. Instead, use clean clippers to cut in a straight line across the nail. Next, use a file to gently remove the sharp edges. Remember that shorter does not mean better. In fact, a nail that is trimmed that way is more likely to grow into the skin.
Shoes and Your Genes
Genes not jeans often contribute to your risk of developing this condition. Nails that are curved more than usual can lead to recurring issues. While you can’t change your genetics, you have full control over your footwear.
Shoes that are too small, or that have a narrow toe box will often cause a nail to be pushed into the skin. Have your feet measured regularly to ensure that you are wearing the correct size, and avoid shoes with pointed toes. It may seem strange, but your feet actually grow as you age! Always try on shoes before you buy and ask for help if you are having trouble finding the right fit.
How do I treat an ingrown toenail?
Treat yourself to a foot soak at home. This process may soften the area enough that a piece of dental floss can be used to lift the nail away from the skin. Place clean cotton under the nail, and apply antibiotic cream afterwards to help detour infection. Change the dressing at least once per day.
If there are already signs that the area is infected, close monitoring is necessary. Call Absolute Foot Care Specialists right away if you notice pus or that the red coloration covers a growing area. Diabetics should never treat this condition at home, because infection can lead to eventual amputation if not addressed immediately.
Dr. Levine treats this condition in the office. Depending upon the severity, options range from lifting the nail to removal of part or all of the nail. Antibiotics will likely be given to address infection. While nail removal may seem extreme, it may be the best way to provide relief for those who experience recurring incidents.
You lead a busy and full life, don’t let a painful nail condition bring it all to a screeching halt. Make an appointment today at one of three, convenient Las Vegas locations. End your foot pain now!