Ingrown Toenail

Alpha Omega Foot and Ankle

Raymon Hanna, DPM

Podiatrist & Foot & Ankle Surgeon located in Palm Harbor, FL

An ingrown toenail may seem like a minor problem, but this common condition can lead to a serious bone infection, especially for people with diabetes. Highly skilled podiatrist Raymon Hanna, DPM, MD, AACFAS, specializes in wound care, including ingrown toenails, at Alpha Omega Foot and Ankle in Palm Harbor, Florida. If you think you have an ingrown toenail, call or book an appointment online today.

Ingrown Toenail Q & A

What is an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail happens when the corner of your nail curves and grows into the soft flesh of your toe. This most often occurs at the sides of your toenail. When the nail digs into your skin, it causes bothersome symptoms like pain, redness, and swelling. Without treatment, an ingrown toenail can progress to a serious infection.

What causes ingrown toenails?

Many factors can lead to an ingrown toenail, but the most common cause involves improper toenail trimming. If you trim your toenails too short or round them at the edges, this may encourage the skin to grow over your nail.

Other causes of ingrown toenails include:

  • An inherited tendency toward curved toenails
  • Toenail injuries, like stubbing your toe
  • Wearing shoes or socks that are too small
  • Nail conditions like toenail fungus

In addition to treating your ingrown toenail, Dr. Hanna advises you on steps you can take to prevent ingrown toenails in the future, like switching to shoes that fit properly and trimming your toenails straight across.

When should I see a podiatrist for an ingrown toenail?

Most of the time, ingrown toenails improve with home care, like soaking your foot in tepid water and gently massaging the side of the nail. You should schedule an appointment with Dr. Hanna at Alpha Omega Foot and Ankle if:

  • Pain persists despite treatment
  • The toe is oozing pus
  • Redness and swelling worsens

If you have diabetes and notice an ingrown toenail, or any other foot wound, you should call Dr. Hanna right away. Don’t wait for it to get worse. Diabetes causes poor blood circulation in your feet, which accelerates the rate of infection.

How are ingrown toenails diagnosed and treated?

To diagnose an ingrown toenail, Dr. Hanna carefully examines your foot and reviews your medical history. Then, he recommends the best course of treatment for your specific condition. Depending on the severity of your ingrown toenail, treatment may include:

  • Home care like soaking your foot
  • Lifting the nail edge and placing cotton or a splint beneath it
  • Partially or completely removing the nail with minor surgery

Dr. Hanna may also prescribe antibiotics to treat or prevent an infection.

If you have an ingrown toenail that requires treatment, call Alpha Omega Foot and Ankle or book an appointment online today.