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Ingrown Toenail

The Foot & Ankle Specialists

Podiatric Medicine & Foot and Ankle Surgeons located in Lapeer, MI, Caro, MI, & Bay City, MI

Having an ingrown toenail might not sound like a serious issue, but it can be for people who have experienced the pain of an infected ingrown toenail. For those with diabetes or other circulatory conditions, an ingrown toenail could lead to an unpleasant, even dangerous infection. At The Foot & Ankle Specialists in Lapeer, Caro, and Bay City, Michigan, the team of expert podiatrists has considerable experience of treating ingrown toenails to eliminate pain and restore healthy nail growth. Call The Foot & Ankle Specialists today to arrange a same-day treatment session or schedule an appointment using the online booking form.

Ingrown Toenail Q & A

What is an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail grows into the skin and soft tissues next to the nail rather than growing out as it should. The side of the nail or the corner pushes into the skin and starts to grow through it, which causes pain and swelling in your toe.

Ingrown toenails are a common problem. Many people have them and don’t experience much more than minor discomfort for a long time. However, ingrown toenails can be vulnerable to infection. Once infection sets into the toe, it can become unbearably painful. If it continues without treatment, it can even spread to the bone and become a serious problem.

You’re most likely to have ingrown toenails on your big toes, although they can develop on any of your nails.

What causes an ingrown toenail?

Ingrown toenails usually develop because people cut their toenails too short, wear tight-fitting shoes, or many other reasons.

If you cut your toenails below the level of the end of your toe or shape them at the sides as you would your fingernails, it makes it far more likely that the nail will go off course and start growing into your skin.

Wearing tight shoes presses the nail into your toes and encourages the nail to grow into your skin. If you can avoid wearing tight shoes, and cut your nails in the correct way, you should be able to help prevent ingrown toenails.

How are ingrown toenails treated?

If you have an ingrown toenail that’s painful, red, or swollen, or it looks like it might be infected, visit The Foot and Ankle Specialists. They can treat ingrown toenails the same day for fast results.

Your podiatrist might just need to lift and separate the nail and guide it back in the right direction. Or, if your ingrown toenail is more severe, your podiatrist might need to remove part of the affected nail. They can remove the nail or cut it out under local anesthetic. Chemicals can be used to permanently prevent the ingrown nail from returning. 

Do diabetics need immediate treatment for ingrown toenails?

If you have diabetes, it’s vital that you have your feet checked regularly at The Foot and Ankle Specialists and that you get treatment at the first sign of having an ingrown toenail.

People who have diabetes often have reduced circulation in their feet and often suffer from peripheral diabetic neuropathy, a nerve condition that can lead to loss of feeling in the feet. These two issues mean you’re more at risk of developing an infection from a cut or wound on your foot that could turn into a serious problem.

If you have an ingrown toenail, call The Foot and Ankle Specialists today or book an appointment online for same-day treatment.