Ingrown toenails happen when the corner of a toenail grows into the flesh instead of over it, resulting in painful, red, swelling toes. While this commonly affects the big toe, it can develop in other toes as well. In case of injuries affecting one or both feet, you may even have several ingrowns simultaneously.
For minor ingrown cases, you can remove the nail yourself. However, if the pain is severe and an infection develops, you may need to visit a doctor for relief. A Houston urgent care clinic explains the reasons for and treatment of ingrown toenails.
Causes of Ingrown Toenail
Several factors may increase the risk and cause ingrown toenail. Wearing tight footwear or socks that crowd toenails can push the nails into the flesh. Furthermore, cutting toenails too short or not cutting it across in a straight manner may cause ingrown too. Improper nail cutting that result in jagged corners make it easy to have ingrown as well. Sometimes, injuring your toes, such as having something dropped on it or hitting your foot accidentally on the side of a table, may result in ingrown toenail too. Improper posture, walking, and running may increase the risk of ingrown development as well. Apart from daily activities, excessive feet sweating and poor hygiene may heighten the chances of this condition as well.
Treatment Options for Ingrown Toenail
Ingrown toenails must be treated as early as the symptoms of swelling and pain appear to avoid infection. Treatment is especially important if you have diabetes or nerve damage in the foot and leg as complications may arise. First, you can treat ingrown toenail at home if it hasn’t been infected yet, and you can muster the courage of pulling the nail out yourself. You can do this by soaking the affected foot in warm water to soften the nail and tissue at least three times a day and then using a cotton bud to slowly push the skin away from the nail. Second, stay away from tight-fitting shoes and socks. Third, drink over-the-counter pain medication to reduce pain.
If the symptoms persist, a Houston urgent care clinic recommends surgically removing part of the nail. A walk-in clinic usually has the facility for cutting the nail to relieve the pressure on the foot. Sometimes, only the nail has to be removed but it is possible that the doctor would also cut out a portion of the underlying tissue as well, particularly an infected, pus-filled one. A local anesthesia is usually applied for minor operations like this. Another option is taking out the nail bed which may also prevent the nail from coming back. Chemicals, laser, and other methods are used for this kind of operation.
Painful and swelling, an ingrown toenail should be treated immediately as it can produce more health problems and anxiety if left untreated. Visit a walk-in clinic for early diagnosis as well as proper medical treatment.
Ingrown toenails, Mayoclinic.org
What can I do about my ingrown toenail?, Medicalnewstoday.com