If you don’t cut your nails straight across or you wear tight shoes that crowd your toes, you’re at risk of developing an ingrown toenail. Though common, an ingrown toenail can affect your mobility and increase your risk of more serious complications. At Lower Limb Institute, expert podiatrist Mina Abadeer, DPM, works with people of all ages to diagnose and treat ingrown toenails. To schedule an appointment at the Hackensack or Edison, New Jersey, office, call or book online today.
An ingrown toenail occurs when your nail grows into the soft skin surrounding the nail bed.
Without prompt intervention, an ingrown toenail can cause redness, swelling, and sensitivity. If you have diabetes or another health problem that affects your circulation, it also increases your risk of infection or gangrene.
Most ingrown toenails resolve on their own with rest and at-home measures of care. If your symptoms last for more than a few days, contact Dr. Abadeer at Lower Limb Institute.
Ingrown toenails occur for various reasons, including wearing tight shoes that crowd your toenails, cutting your toenails too short, and having unusually curved nails.
You’re also at risk of developing an ingrown toenail if you experience trauma like stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on your foot.
There’s no way to prevent an ingrown toenail entirely, but there are things you can do to significantly lower your risk. Dr. Abadeer recommends:
If you work a physically demanding job in construction or warehousing, you might also want to wear protective shoes. Steel-toed boots provide an extra layer of protection and can limit damage in the event of an accident or injury.
To diagnose an ingrown toenail, Dr. Abadeer reviews your medical history and physically examines your toes. He carefully assesses each nail, looking for signs of redness, swelling, or pus.
Treatment for an ingrown toenail depends on its severity. Dr. Abadeer might recommend:
If your toe is only slightly red, Dr. Abadeer lifts the nail. To do this, he uses a piece of dental floss, cotton, or a small splint to create a barrier between your nail and skin. That allows the nail to grow out and away from your toe, relieving pain and eliminating the infection.
If your ingrown toenail is red, painful, and oozing pus, Dr. Abadeer might partially remove it. He administers a local anesthetic to numb your toe and uses special tools to carefully trim and remove the ingrown portion of your nail.
If you have an ingrown toenail that won’t respond to more conservative treatments, Dr. Abadeer might recommend removing the nail altogether. There are several ways to remove your nail, including medical-grade chemicals and lasers.
Following an exam, Dr. Abadeer can make recommendations that align with your needs.
To receive treatment for an ingrown toenail, request a consultation at Lower Limb Institute. Call the nearest location or book online today.