An ingrown toenail is a common condition that involves the corner of the toenail growing into the skin of the toe, causing pain, swelling and infection. This can occur as a result of wearing shoes that are too small or tight, cutting the toenails too short, injury to the toenail, or a naturally curved toenail caused by hereditary. While this condition can affect any toe, it most commonly affects the big toe. If left untreated, an ingrown toenail is likely to develop an infection and may even require surgery to remove the nail and antibiotics.
Some ingrown toenails can be treated at home by soaking the foot in warm water, applying antibiotic cream to the area and wrapping the toe in gauze or bandages. It is important to keep the area clean to help prevent infection, sometimes infection can occur very quickly if not treated correctly. If you see redness or swelling see Dr. Vohra immediately to have your foot assessed. Your doctor may cut under the nail to separate it from the skin that it is growing into, encouraging growth above the edge of the skin. For more severe or recurrent cases, part of the nail and the underlying tissue may be removed in order to remove the infection. Removal can be done through chemical, laser, or other methods. Patients can prevent ingrown toenails by protecting the foot from trauma and by wearing comfortable, well-fitting shoes. Patients with diabetes may be at a higher risk for infection or other complications of ingrown toenails, and should take special precautions to prevent them from occurring.
Call Dr. Vohra to have your foot evaluated today at 815-254-3338.