A sore big toe--it's no big deal, right? Well, it can become a big deal if your ingrown toenail becomes infected. At Active Podiatry in Crawfordsville and Indianapolis, IN, your foot doctor, Dr. Yong Chae, sees and treats many ingrown toenails for feet that are pain-free and totally mobile. Read here all about Onychocryptosis (that's the medical term for ingrown toenails).
How did it happen?
You've had clear, well-shaped toenails all your life. Now, the left big toenail is sore and the surrounding skin looks red.
Sometimes, wearing too-tight shoes or bunched up socks creates a lot of pressure and friction on toenails, forcing them into the skin, particularly at the corners.
Sometimes, too, people clip their toenails too short and round the corners. Toenails are not like fingernails, says your foot doctor in Crawfordsville and Indianapolis. Cutting and rounding their edges set the stage for both Onychomycosis, or fungal nails, and Onychocryptosis, or ingrown nails.
Other contributing factors include:
- Wearing high-heeled, narrow-toed shoes
- Heredity (some foot structures run in families, and their members tend to develop ingrown nails, bunions, and other podiatric issues)
- Poor foot hygiene
Prevention and treatment
Prevention is the best treatment for ingrown toenails. Be sure to wear clean shoes and socks daily, and wash your feet with soap and water, too. Choose footwear with adequate room for your toes so they can wiggle a bit side to side and up and down. Plus, trim your nails straight across the top, using clean clippers.
If, however, an ingrown nail happens--and for some people the problem becomes chronic--try soaking the foot three times a day in warm water. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons also advises over-the-counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain and sensible shoes or even sandals until your nail feels better.
If symptoms persist, please see Dr. Chae at Active Podiatry. If the nail is infected, he may prescribe an oral antibiotic, and he may trim the nail for you. Some cases of Onychocryptosis are so severe that the podiatrist removes the offending side of the nail. This procedure is called partial nail avulsion and is performed entirely in-office with the benefit of local anesthetic.
You can have ten healthy toenails once again. If you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, don't wait. Contact Active Podiatry for a consultation with Dr. Chae. For the Indianapolis location, call (317) 328-6622, and for Crawfordsville, phone (765) 362-7200.