The issue of an ingrown toenail is usually minor in the beginning. However, with time this minor discomfort can turn into severe pain and in the worst case, it can spread an infection to your bone. So, if you are finding it hard to wear your shoes or have started limping, it is time to give due attention to that ingrown toenail.

Causes of ingrown toenails

When a toenail doesn’t grow straight out from the nailbed and digs painfully into the soft outer edges of the nail bed, the condition is described as an ingrown nail. Ingrowing of the nail can occur either on one side or both sides of the toe. Mostly it affects the big toe, but any toe can get affected. Many factors enhance your risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Some of these factors are:

  • Wearing improperly fitting shoes that crowd and pinch your toes closer to one another.
  • Trimming toenails in a curved style rather than straight or trimming them very short.
  • Experiencing an injury on the toenail.
  • Hereditary factors that affect the growth and shape of your toenail.

The learned and experienced team working with a Podiatrist in Irvine specializes in treating patients with ingrown toenails. They offer ingrown toenail laser treatment, to deal with and treat the fungus caused by ingrown toenails. When working with them, you need not worry about safety as all their devices and treatment methods are FDA-approved.

Symptoms of an ingrown toenail

Initially, you may only experience a twinge or mild discomfort upon touching the inward-growing toenail. You might even experience slight pain while wearing slightly tight footwear. However, these are mild symptoms and can get neglected.

However, if your case is worsening, you might experience:

  • Severe pain around your toenail even when you are not touching or putting any sort of pressure on the toenail.
  • Swelling and redness on the toe.
  • Discharge of pus or any other type of fluids around the infected toe.

When should you seek the help of a podiatrist?

If you are suffering from diabetes, or any other medical condition that can affect the blood circulation in your feet, it is best if you consult a podiatrist as soon as an ingrown toenail develops. The thing is, you are more prone to develop infections and fungus in your foot, which thereby endanger your health.

Also, conditions like diabetes can affect the sensation in your feet, and this means you might not notice an ingrown toenail until it creates a fungus or spreads the infection to your bone. When you visit a podiatrist for an inward-growing nail, they will monitor your feet and health thoroughly. In some cases, only proper trimming of the nail is required, but it needs to be done at a clinic by a physician.

Podiatrist clinics provide regular toenail care for patients suffering from diabetes and other chronic conditions. However, if you don’t want to visit a clinic regularly, you can even book an appointment whenever an ingrown nail causes pain, or you notice swelling and redness around your toenail.

Treatment options

When home remedies don’t work, it is best to get in touch with a health care provider. After diagnosing your condition, a health care provider may recommend the following treatments:

Lifting the toenail:

If it is just the beginning, your healthcare provider will carefully lift your inward-growing toenail from the edge and place cotton, a splint, or a piece of dental floss under it. This will separate the nail from the skin and help it grow straight.

Taping the toenail:

In this treatment, your health care provider will pull the skin away from an ingrowing toenail using a tape.

Placing a gutter splint:

In this method, the health care provider will slip a small slit tube under the nail. This splint will stay in place until the nail grows above the skin. With this method, you can ease the pain.

Partially removing the toenail:

In severe cases, when the patient experiences a lot of pain, redness, inflammation, and orange toenail, the health care provider may have to numb the toe and remove the ingrown portion of the toenail. It can take about 2 to 4 months for your nail to grow back.

Removing the toenail and surrounding tissue:

If you repeatedly experience the issue of inward growing toenails, your healthcare provider might suggest removing the nail and tissues completely.

If you are suffering from the pain of ingrown toenails, you don’t have to anymore. Visit a reputed podiatrist today and get the attention and treatment you deserve.