An ingrown toenail occurs when the nail grows into the flesh on the side of your toe instead of growing straight over it. This almost always occurs on the big toe. People who are most likely to have this condition include those who have curved or thick nails, those that had an injury to the nail or those with other family members with this condition.
Nevertheless, anyone can have an ingrown toenail. Ingrown toenails are commonly the result of poor fitting shoes, or improper feet grooming. You can also develop an ingrown toenail from and injury like stubbing or jamming your toe. People who have Diabetes or vascular problems who experience numbness in the toes must treat ingrown toenails immediately because it can lead to more serious
complications such as losing a limb. If you leave an ingrown toenail untreated and overgrowth of the tissue over the nail continues, this can lead to permanent changes in the tissue that can cause infection, pain, and or swelling.
How do I know I have an ingrown toenail?
You will experience symptoms such as, pain, swelling and redness around a toenail. The sharp end of your toenail will be pressing into your skin on one or both sides.
When do I seek medical attention?
If the nail becomes infected and you have severe pain or pus drainage, you must seek medical care. It is again, most important for people with Diabetes to act quickly as they are at risk for complication from infection.
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What to expect when you come into our clinic:
If the ingrown toenail is mild in nature or if it is the first time you have had one, we may prescribe a course of antibiotics and warm salt water soaks. This commonly resolves mild cases and the nail will grow out with time. However, if this does not work, or if the condition is not mild we will likely advise removal of the ingrown aspect of the nail.
First the provider will explain the procedure in detail to you and have you sign a consent giving them permission to perform the procedure. They will answer any questions you may have about the procedure at this time. The way to alleviate the infection is by removal of the edge of the toenail that has grown into the skin, we do not remove the entire toenail. Our provider will first clean the affected area and anesthetize the toe so that they can continue to remove the toenail without you feeling any pain. They will next remove the edge of the toenail that is ingrown with the appropriate tools. The area will likely be bandaged with topical antibiotic applied. You may also be prescribed oral antibiotics to prevent further infection.
What to expect after your procedure:
This procedure is usually successful and without complication. Side effects may include but are not limited to: post-operative discomfort and swelling, pain in association with the procedure or healing process, infection, and deformity of the nail. You will likely be free of complication. Our provider will instruct you on after-care for healthy healing at home.
For more information on ingrown toenail see the following websites:
Disclaimer: The links above are to sites independent of Willis Urgent Care. The information provided is for educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your doctor. Always follow your doctor’s recommendations regarding your specific medical questions, treatments, therapies, and other needs.