What is an Ingrown Toenail?

When a toenail is ingrown, it becomes curved and grows into the skin, usually on the sides of the nail. The digging of the nail into the soft flesh of the toe irritates the skin, often creating pain, redness, and swelling. Many times an ingrown toenail can break the skin, allowing bacteria to enter and create an infection. Causes of ingrown toenails include heredity factors, improper trimming, physical trauma to the toe, and nail conditions such as fungal infections. In order to prevent ingrown toenails, it is suggested to properly trim the nail, straight across and not too short, and also to wear proper fitting shoes and socks. If you have pain in your toe or believe you have an ingrown toenail, it is suggested that you consult with a local podiatrist.

 

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<!–><!––><!––>Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • <!––><!––>Improper toenail trimming
  • <!––><!––>Genetics
  • <!––><!––>Improper shoe fitting
  • <!––><!––>Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • <!––><!––>Abnormal gait
  • <!––><!––>Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Princeton and West Windsor, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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