Problems with your toes can seem minor, but there are some you want to avoid at all costs. Ingrown toenails are a condition that can cause severe pain, discomfort, and lead to infections as the nail grows further into the skin that surrounds the toenail. What starts off as an annoyance can quickly become a majorly painful condition and may take longer to heal. Failing to treat an infected toenail could cause the infection to travel into the bloodstream, which creates other significant complications.
What causes them?
Cutting toenails unevenly can cause the area surrounding the nail to become swollen. Ingrown toenails can be inherited, or may be caused by severe trauma to the toes from blunt force. Other common causes are toenails that are cut too short, improperly fitting shoes that may be too narrow around the toes or fungal infections.
Care and treatment for ingrown toenails may include:
- Wearing sandals to allow the toes to move freely.
- Wearing shoes with wide toe-boxes and padding to help ensure that they have extra space and to minimize unnecessary friction.
- Soaking your toes in warm water to soften the area around the toenail.
- Surgery for severe c During the procedure, part or all of the nail is removed depending on the severity of the ingrown toenail. This procedure can help treat the infected portion of the nail.
When it comes to nail problems, prevention is key. Be sure to check over your feet every day to make sure there are no changes in color or texture. If you need help with picking out the right shoes or have questions about nail care, reach out to our foot doctor. Here at Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM, our expert podiatrist, Dr. Stavros O. Alexopoulos, has the necessary training to get your toenails healthy and growing in the right direction. Contact us today for an appointment at our podiatry office in Chicago, Illinois. Don’t forget to check out our Patient Education Library for more helpful information.