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Ingrown toenail specialist in the Wayne County, MI: Detroit (Hamtramck, River Rouge, Dearborn, Melvindale, Highland Park, Grosse Pointe Park, Grosse Pointe, Lincoln Park, Allen Park, Redford Charter Twp)

Symptoms of Ingrown Toenail

Signs that may indicate the formation of an ingrown toenail include redness, pain, swelling of the surrounding skin, possible bleeding or oozing of pus, and an overgrowth of the skin around the nail. The surrounding skin may also feel tender and become swollen or hardened. Most ingrown toenails are diagnosed by a simple physical exam; however, an x-ray may be required to show how deep the nail has grown into the skin of the toe.

Causes of Ingrown Toenails

Many factors influence the likelihood of developing an ingrown toenail. The most common way ingrown toenails are formed is due to an incorrect method in how the toenails are trimmed. If you cut your toenails too short or cut them at an angle, you’re putting yourself at risk of getting this condition. Another main factor that contributes to ingrown toenails is the choice of footwear. Those who commonly wear tightly fitted shoes, such as high heels, that do not give the toes enough room, put too much pressure on the big toes. This can create an ingrown toenail. To alleviate the pain, a small piece of cotton may be fitted underneath the nail. However, in more serious cases, total removal of the nail may be necessary.

How to Prevent Ingrown Nails

To prevent ingrown toenails, allow your toenails to grow a little longer and avoid cutting them too short. If you do develop an ingrown nail, soaking the toe in hot water will help prevent infection and lessen pain. You may want to add antibiotic soap or Epsom salts to the water, which will provide further protection against infection.

Ingrown Toenails Treatment

Treatment for an ingrown toenail varies between patients and the severity of the condition. In most cases, it is best to see your podiatrist for thorough and proper treatment. After examining your toe, your podiatrist may prescribe oral antibiotics to clear the infection if one is present. Surgical removal of either a portion of the nail or the entire nail may also be considered. In some cases, complete removal or destruction of the nail root may be required. Most patients who undergo nail surgery experience minimal pain afterward and can return to normal activity the following day.

For a proper diagnosis and advised treatment plan, we recommend you seek the care of a podiatrist as soon as you notice the warning signs of an ingrown toenail.

Ingrown Toenails (FAQs)

What are ingrown toenails?
Ingrown toenails occur when the edges of a nail grow into the surrounding skin, rather than over it. This can cause pain, swelling, tenderness, and redness around the affected nail. In some cases, the area can also become infected, leading to bleeding, oozing, and fever. 
What causes ingrown toenails?
Ingrown toenails are often caused by improperly trimming the toenails or wearing shoes that are too tight and narrow in the toe area. Past toe injuries and genetic factors can also make an ingrown toenail more likely to occur. 
What are the treatments for ingrown toenails? 
Treatments for ingrown toenails vary based on the severity of the condition. At home, you may be able to relieve pain and pressure from an ingrown toenail by soaking the affected toe in soapy water and then tucking a small piece of cotton under the edge of the ingrown toenail to encourage it to grow out. Using an antibiotic ointment on the nail can help reduce the risk of infection. It can also help to take over the counter anti-inflammatory medications and wear wide, comfortable shoes to reduce pain and pressure on the nail. At the doctor’s office, your podiatrist may be able to remove the ingrown part of the nail and give suggestions on how to prevent ingrown toenails in the future. 
How can ingrown toenails be prevented? 
There are several steps that you can take to prevent ingrown toenails. First, it is important to trim the toenails properly. Use a toenail clipper to trim each nail straight across. Avoid rounding the edges with clippers, nail scissors, or a nail file, as rounded toenail edges are more likely to grow into the surrounding skin. Trim your nails so that there is about 1 to 2 millimeters left at the end of the toenail. Cutting your toenails too short could also increase the risk of ingrown nails. Another thing that you can do is wear shoes that have a wide, comfortable toe area. This stops toenails from squishing against each other and the shoes. 

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Advanced Podiatric Procedures & Services in the Lucas County, OH: Toledo (Ottawa Hills, Silica, Holland, Shoreland, Oregon, Harbor View, Maumee) and Wayne County, MI: Detroit (Hamtramck, River Rouge, Dearborn, Melvindale, Highland Park, Grosse Pointe Park, Grosse Pointe, Lincoln Park, Allen Park, Redford Charter Twp) and Wood County, OH: Rossford, Northwood, Walbridge areas