Your toenail can become so ingrown, you feel stabbing pain with each and every step. Before your ingrown toenail becomes infected, visit with Tommie Harris, DPM, of Flower Mound Foot and Ankle Center. As a board-certified podiatrist in Flower Mound, Texas, Dr. Harris and his specialized team can help you get relief from ingrown toenail pain and inflammation, starting with your first appointment. To schedule your exam, request an appointment online or call the office.
While your toenails should grow outwards, if they’re abnormally curved, they might start growing into your skin. This sort of inherited nail shape means that you probably get ingrown toenails on a regular basis. You might also develop an ingrown toenail from:
Your toenails can also become ingrown if you file or round out the corners. An ingrown toenail can lead to a serious infection, so it’s important to get it treated as soon as you notice symptoms.
Symptoms of an ingrown toenail vary. Initially, you might feel some tenderness or notice some swelling on one or both sides of your nail bed. You may also experience:
Even though ingrown toenails tend to affect your big toe, technically any of your toenails can become ingrown. The longer you go without getting treatment, the more ingrown — and thus more painful — your nail can become.
Dr. Harris’s approach to ingrown toenails involves treating your current condition, as well as working with you to prevent future issues. If your ingrown isn’t a major concern or causing too much pain, he may lift your toenail with a splint. Over the following weeks, your nail starts growing out over the splint, rather than continuing to dig into your skin.
If you have an underlying infection, though, you might need to have your ingrown toenail removed. After thoroughly numbing your toe with a gentle injection, Dr. Harris trims away the ingrown part of your nail and any surrounding tissue that’s affected. Once he treats your ingrown toenail, Dr. Harris counsels you on how to properly trim your toenails to minimize your risk of further issues.
If you continue to have ingrown toenails, no matter how well you take care of them, it might be time to look into a more permanent solution. Dr. Harris could suggest removing your entire nail and treating your underlying nail bed with a medical laser to prevent regrowth. Since your nail won’t be able to grow back, you won’t have to struggle with painful ingrown toenail infections in the future — at least in the treated toe.
To learn more about ingrown toenail treatments offered at Flower Mound Foot and Ankle Center, schedule an exam. Book online or over the phone.