When you cut your nails too short, you may be at increased risk for the pain, swelling, and infections common with an ingrown toenail. At The Foot Clinic in Tooele, and West Valley City, Utah, experienced podiatrist Richard Luke Jones, DPM, offers minimally invasive procedures to treat an ingrown toenail. Dr. Jones can safely remove part or all of your nail to relieve pain and prevent infection and other complications. If you can’t treat ingrown toenail pain on your own, call the office today to schedule an appointment or book a consultation online.
An ingrown toenail occurs when the sides of your toenail grow into the surrounding skin. This can lead to pain, redness, and swelling that worsens over time. Without treatment, an ingrown toenail can cause an infection that can spread to other areas of your body.
The most common cause of ingrown toenails is improper nail trimming. If you cut your toenails too short, they may be more likely to grow into nearby skin.
You may also be at increased risk for ingrown toenails if you wear shoes that are too tight, if you stub your toe, or experience another type of trauma to your toes or nails.
Some people may have genetic factors that cause their toenails to be too large for their toe, which makes them prone to recurrent ingrown nails.
Your initial treatment plan for an ingrown toenail may involve soaking your foot in warm water several times a day to soften your nails, so they’re easier to cut.
If your ingrown toenail is too painful or if you have signs of infection, you may need a more invasive procedure. Dr. Jones might place a piece of cotton between your nail and the skin to help the nail grow upwards. You may also need to take antibiotics to clear the infection.
When you have a severe ingrown toenail, Dr. Jones may opt to remove part or all of the nail. Your nail will come back, but it can take several months for it to grow.
Dr. Jones can show you how to trim your nails properly. You should cut the nail straight across and use a file to taper off the sharp edges. To soften your nails before trimming, soak them in water for at least 10 minutes.
It’s also important that you always wear shoes that fit well and give your toes room to move. Be sure to change your socks often, and wash and dry your feet daily.
If you need treatment for a painful ingrown toenail, call The Foot Clinic today, or book an appointment online.