An ingrown toe nail occurs when the corner or the edge of a nail curves into the skin causing pain, redness, swelling and potentially an infection.
The reasons a toe nail can become ingrown include:
• Cutting the nail too short
• Cutting the nails at improper angle
• Wearing shoes that are too tight
• Nails that curve by themselves in to the skin
• Banging the toe into a hard surface.
While we can’t always avoid getting an ingrown toe nail, there are a few things that we can do that will help lessen the chances of it occurring. A few tips to help avoid ingrown nails are to wear comfortable shoes that aren’t tight fitting, keep toe nails trimmed straight across, don’t let toe nails grow too long, and check your feet every day for signs of trouble.
Infected ingrown toe nails can be very painful. They will usually be accompanied by the presence of pus and the toe may feel warm. If you suspect that you have an infected ingrown toe nail, you must see a podiatrist as soon as possible. They may have to remove the piece of nail that is causing the infection and will probably prescribe an antibiotic to fight the infection. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the rest of the foot and beyond. People with diabetes and poor circulation must be extra careful in these situations.
If a toe nail becomes ingrown, it will be necessary to have it treated professionally. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-7001.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.