How a Podiatrist Treats Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails can be very painful. Unfortunately, they typically do not go away on their own. It is necessary to visit a foot doctor in order to solve this common but painful problem before it turns into an infection.

How a foot doctor treats ingrown toenails

The exact treatment method a podiatrist recommends depends on how ingrown the toenail is and is also dependent on whether or not there is an infection. Treatment recommendations may indicate one or several of the following:

1. Antibiotics

If there is pus, inflammation or other signs of an infection, the doctor needs to eliminate the infection first. This is possible using a strong course of antibiotics. Then, with the infection out of the picture, he or she can proceed with treating the toenail.

2. Splints

Sometimes, a podiatrist will insert splints beneath the toenail portion that is ingrown. This is useful in helping it grow correctly. This can be as simple a procedures as inserting cotton under a portion of the nail.

3. Cutting the toenail correctly

If the toenail is only mildly ingrown, cutting it straight across and short helps it to return to a normal condition in time. Simultaneously, it is important not to put pressure on the toenail by wearing tight shoes, which is a major cause of ingrown toenails.

4. Removing the toenail

In extreme cases, it may be necessary to remove the affected toenail. This is the last resort but, sometimes, the only way to have an ingrown toenail grow back correctly.

5. Special nail surgery

There is a way to prevent the ingrown portion of the toenail from growing. This requires a special nail surgery.

It is important to treat ingrown toenails right away

Initially, the portion of the toenail that is growing inward is small and the curve will be gradual. However, the curve of the toenail become more severe, making it more difficult to wear shoes and walk. Eventually, the toenail may try to curve completely inward. Because of this, the longer that a person waits to come in for treatment, the more likely it is that surgery will become necessary. Patients should avoid this eventuality by simply visiting his or her podiatrist's office as soon as a toenail becomes ingrown.

Maintaining toenails

Toenails typically become ingrown because of how someone cuts them. Nails should never be cut to a round edge. Cut them straight across every time. Also, shoes play an important role. Shoes that are too tight and press the toes together are going to lead to problems with the toenails. It is critical to wear shoes that fit correctly and ensure that there is plenty of space to wiggle the toes. This may mean foregoing high heels for a while, but it is certainly worthwhile to do so. In fact, people who are trying to fix ingrown toenails should consider wearing open-toe or wide tennis shoes temporarily.

Schedule an appointment for help

If you are suffering from painful or ingrown toenails, call your foot doctor's office for help. They can conduct an examination and make a recommendation for the best way to improve the health of your nails and your comfort.

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