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INGROWN TOENAIL: What you need to know

An ingrown toenail is curved and grows in the skin nail fold causing irritation. Patient’s usually described it as “digging in” of the nail into skin, often causing pain, redness and swelling if present for a long time. Ingrown toenail occurs in all aged groups, but more likely in teenagers.

If the toenail causes a break in the skin, bacteria may enter and cause an infection. Infection signs to look out for include: redness, swelling, warmth, bad odor and drainage. Ingrown toenail can also be present in the absence of infection when the curved nail elicits pain.

There are many causes of ingrown toenails: heredity, wrong shoe size, fungal or thick toenail or incorrect trimming. Therefore, some ideas to prevent ingrown toenails include proper trimming of the nail in a straight line while not cutting it too short. Also, you should wear well-fitted shoes and socks that prevent pressure on the toes while active.

However, if you do have an ingrown toenail, treatments can be done at home if the nail is in an infection free condition. When managing ingrown toenail at home while it is not infection, soak your foot in room-temperature water with addition of Epsom’s salt if you so choose for approximately 10 minutes. Also, avoid repeated trimming of the nail as it can cause further worsening of the symptoms.

If symptoms prevail with no improvement after home remedies or if infection is present in diabetics or patient that have compromised blood flow circulation to feet and legs, you should contact a foot and ankle specialist immediately at Community Foot Specialists. For more information on further treatment options for ingrown toenails and other foot and ankle injuries, call to schedule for a consultation today at (937) 426-9500.

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