Ingrown toenails are a common problem that causes swelling, redness, oozing, and intense pain where the edge of the toenail pushes into your tender skin. It’s common for a bacterial or fungal toenail infection to form, causing yellowing and fluid discharge that frequently has an unpleasant odor. When a toenail has gotten particularly out of control, it’s always best to seek treatment from your podiatrist for the proper care.
3 of the most common causes of ingrown toenails are:
- Improper toenail cutting technique—This is probably the predominant cause of an ingrown toenail. Cutting the nails too short and too close to the toes can allow the edge of the nail to start growing into the skin.
- Toe injury—Dropping something heavy like a laptop computer on your toe or accidentally stubbing your toe can cause an injury that can damage the nail and cause it to grow into the soft, tender skin.
- Wearing shoes that are too tight—Tightly-fitting shoes like high heels push your toes together and press on the toenails, increasing the chances of developing ingrown toenails.
Treatment for ingrown toenails may consist of the following:
- Edge lifting—Try to lift up the edge of the toenail where it is hitting your skin and insert a small piece of cotton to hold it up and away from the skin. This will direct the nail to grow out over the skin instead of directly into it, but it will take a couple of weeks.
- Nail removal—For severe ingrown toenails, your podiatrist will have to cut away the nail to stop the continuing damage and pain.
If you are experiencing pain and discomfort from ingrown toenails, see your podiatrist for the proper treatment. The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631)-549-8637 and Briarwood, NY (718)-657-8921.