What to Do about Ingrown Toenails?
When a corner of your toenail grows into the skin, it can be quite uncomfortable. Worse yet, the penetrated skin can become infected, red and swollen, or full of pus. Ingrown toenails usually occur in the big toes.
What Causes Ingrown Toenails?
Some people have a hereditary tendency for nails to grow inward. But, more commonly, ingrown toenails develop when you cut your nails improperly. Cutting nails too short or cutting into the side of the nail can lead to ingrown toenails. Children often tear or rip their nails when they get too long, which is not good because a bad tear can make the nail start growing inward. Poor-fitting shoes can also cause ingrown toenails.
The Importance of Seeing a Doctor
If you have diabetes and develop an ingrown toenail, you should see Dr. Sciortino right away. Infections are very difficult to heal for diabetics and when they worsen, gangrene can develop, which is very serious and may lead to amputation. You wouldn’t think an ingrown toenail could be so serious, but in a diabetic it could be.
Dr. Sciortino Can Help Relieve Your Pain
The good news is that treatment for ingrown toenails is fairly painless and usually performed in the office. No hospitalization is required for the vast majority of ingrown nail care.
We prefer to provide permanent treatment, but sometimes we can’t. If this is the case with your ingrown nail, Dr. Sciortino will discuss your options.
Even though it may take a few weeks for your toe to completely heal after Dr. Sciortino treats it, you typically will not be restricted from normal activities, including bathing, wearing shoes or participating in sports.
There are very few complications with this type of treatment and ingrown toenails reoccur only in a small percentage of cases. If for some reason infection continues, Dr. Sciortino can treat it with antibiotics, taken orally. Sometimes the remaining nail loosens and falls off. If so, a new nail will grow to replace it within a few months. You can expect the new nail to be narrower. This is normal because the nail margin was removed.
Of course, the best thing is to avoid having ingrown toenails by using nail clippers properly and wearing shoes that don’t irritate your toes. However, don’t be embarrassed to have Dr. Sciortino look at your ingrown toenail. They are quite common.
You can find relief from pain, regain peace of mind and return to a normal life very quickly through proper treatment.
Arrange a visit with Dr. Sciortino and find out how he can help. Please call us to set up an appointment.