So you’ve got an ingrown toenail - what’s the big deal? Well, if you’ve got one, you probably already know that it can be very painful. In fact, patients have described the pain of an ingrown toenail as being worse than that of childbirth!
“Ingrown” means that a corner of the nail is literally growing into the surrounding skin. When something digs into the skin, it’s no surprise what can happen next: your toe becomes tender, red, and swollen. And here’s where an ingrown toenail can become a big deal: if the nail continues to plow its way into the side of your toe unchecked, that’s when it becomes very painful and runs the risk of infection.
How to avoid infection
The best way to prevent an ingrown toenail from becoming infected is to treat it as soon as you recognize it. Ease the inflammation by soaking your toe in warm water 2-3 times per day, gently massaging the area, drying it thoroughly, and protecting it from further irritation with a bandage.
However, there are circumstances that call for professional intervention. If any of these situations present themselves, your best course of action is to contact Monmouth County podiatrists Samantha Boyd, DPM; Hal Ornstein, DPM; and Joseph Saka, DPM; at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Center:
· redness and swelling that persists despite home treatment
· pain that worsens
· if you see a discharge (pus)
· if you have diabetes. If you’ve got diabetes, don’t try to treat an ingrown toenail on your own. Your special circumstances require the intervention of a foot specialist.
An ingrown toenail is painful, but the treatment isn’t
After examining your toe, one of our board-certified podiatrists can gently numb it and remove the corner of the nail that’s ingrown. It sounds like it might hurt, but our patients generally find this procedure to be surprisingly easy, allowing them to leave our office free from pain and free of the ingrown toenail.
For expert treatment of ingrown toenails and all ailments of the foot, call us at our offices in Howell, New Jersey at (732) 905-1110 and Jackson, New Jersey at (732)-298-5552 or contact us online.