An ingrown toenail is caused when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain and swelling. Sometimes this can become infected causing drainage and may become serious.
There are many risk factors that can predispose a person to this common condition. Cutting your nails too short, participating in sports, diabetes, being overweight, or having a fungal infection of the toe can all cause ingrown toe nails. Many people are genetically prone to ingrown nails and it can often be related to genetics. Often the problem can come from wearing ill fitting shoes, or even from shoes that keep the feet slightly damp.
There are some things that you can do to prevent and treat these painful problems. Letting your toe nails grow a little longer will help prevent this condition. If you do develop an ingrown nail, soaking the toe in hot water will help prevent infection and lessen pain. You may want to add antibiotic soap or Epsom salts to the water. This will help to prevent infection.
Some experts also recommend placing small pieces of cotton under the affected part. This will help the toenail to grow up instead into in your nail bed. Resting with your feet up can reduce swelling and redness.
If your pain is so severe that it keeps you from everyday activities, it is time to see your podiatrist. Also, if you see a red streak running up your leg, or if your infection is spreading, see a podiatrist immediately. There are many quick treatments that can lessen your pain and have you walking with comfort.
One method of treating an ingrown toenail involves using a band-aid. Wrapping the affected toe with a band-aid will prevent infection and also keep the nail from growing out at painful angles.
If your podiatrist feels it is necessary, he or she may make a small incision and remove part of your toe nail. Medication will be placed in the nail bed to prevent re-growth of the problem nail parts. This will be done under local anesthesia and should lessen your discomfort in no time. You will be advised to stay off your foot for a day or so, but can then carry on normal activities.
Take care of your feet, you have many steps to take in your life. Walking in comfort should be a priority for a lifetime of healthy living.
Dr. Paul Ross from Paul Ross DPM is a board certified podiatric surgeon. Dr. Paul Ross treats a wide range of podiatric needs from athlete's foot to broken ankles and everything in between. Visit http://www.paulrossdpm.com/ or call 301-656-6055