Having an ingrown toenail is no fun. It’s unsightly and also can be very painful. Can this condition be prevented?
If you’ve never had an ingrown toenail then you are very lucky. Ingrown toenails can be caused by heredity, if your family has a history of unusually curved toenails. Other causes include cutting your toenails in a rounded fashion instead of straight across, cutting them too short, wearing shoes that are tight in the toe area and crowd your toes or from a toe injury.
Ouch! Ingrown Toenails Hurt
You will certainly know it if one or more of your toenails becomes ingrown. Symptoms include:
- Tenderness and pain along the sides of the toenail
- Swelling and redness around the nail
- Signs of infection at the toenail
It’s important to make an appointment with Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM if you observe any pus or redness that is spreading, or if the pain becomes severe. If you have diabetes, it’s especially important to see a doctor quickly with any sore or infection on your toe or foot.
To treat a painful ingrown or infected toenail, we can perform simple one-day surgery at our office to either lift the nail so it may grow above the skin or remove part of the nail and tissue so it won’t grow back. Oral or topical antibiotics can help cure the infection.
Tips for Preventing Ingrown Toenails
Preventing a problem is better than dealing with the discomfort! Ingrown nails can be prevented:
- Make it a habit to check your feet and toes every day.
- Always trim toenails straight across – don’t round them at the edges. If you have diabetes or another condition that causes poor blood flow to the feet, we would be happy to trim your nails for you.
- Don’t trim nails too short as they may grow into your skin from the pressure of your shoes.
- Choose well-fitting shoes with lots of room in the toe box. If shoes are pinching your toes, the nail may be forced into the tissue. Take extra care to wear roomy shoes if you have neuropathy with a loss of sensation in the feet.
- Always wear appropriate protective footwear like steel-toed shoes based on your type of work.
We Can Correct Ingrown Toenails To Relieve your Pain!
If you have discomfort from an ingrown toenail, please call Dr. Alexopoulos, board certified podiatrist. We can quickly diagnose and treat your problem to make wearing shoes comfortable again. You can reach our Chicago office at (773) 561-8100 or request an appointment via the website. The sooner you call, the quicker your pain will be relieved!