Toenails have a simple function: grow slowly, and in the correction. Frustratingly, they often fail in that task. For many reasons, the edge or corner of a toenail might take an unwelcome detour into the soft flesh of your toe, causing pain, tenderness, and—if allowed to fester—sometimes even a nasty infection.
If you’ve just noticed the ingrown toenail, there aren’t any visible signs of infection, and you don’t have any kind of circulatory disorder (diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, etc.) you may be able to handle the problem at home. Soaking your feet in warm, soapy water several times per day can help relieve the discomfort. You’ll also want to keep your toes protected and avoid wearing tight, restrictive shoes, and you should never attempt to cut out the toenail yourself.
However, there are many factors that suggest it’s time to pull the plug on home care and stop in for a professional evaluation. Reach out for our help if your situation meets any of the following criteria:
- You notice any signs of an infection, including excessive redness or drainage.
- You have a circulatory condition such as diabetes or peripheral vascular disease, or any kind of neuropathy in your feet.
- Your pain is significant or interfering with your daily life.
- Home care is not leading to any improvement with symptoms.
- You’ve regularly had ingrown toenails in the past, or you just don’t want to deal with it anymore!
The good news is that getting an ingrown toenail fixed by a podiatrist is a quick and relatively painless procedure that can bring near-instant relief. We inject the toe with a little anesthetic and cut out and remove the ingrown part of the toenail. If desired, we can also remove a small portion of the nail matrix, which will permanently prevent the ingrown nail from returning, too.
When you know it’s finally time to recruit some help for your ingrown toenail, trust your feet to the experts at Foot & Ankle Clinic of the Virginias. You can schedule an appointment at any of our convenient locations by calling (800) 456-8637.