An ingrown toenail is caused when the nail edge grows into the soft tissue of the toe.
This may cause pain, inflammation, redness, swelling, and if it causes a break in the skin, bacteria may enter and cause infection
It is most common in the big toe; however an ingrown toenail may occur on any of the toes.
Common causes for ingrown toenails are:
- Tight or narrow shoes or shoes that are too short
- Trauma to the toe
- Activities that cause repeated pressure on the toes, such as running
- Improper nail trimming
- Fungal nail infection
- Bunions that cause the big toe to put pressure on the other toes
It is important to see a physician for ingrown toenails that are painful and infected.
Diabetic patients or any patient with a compromised immune system should see a physician immediately.
Mild ingrown toenails may be treated with conservative measures like warm daily soaks, avoidance of tight or ill-fitting shoes, elevating the foot, topical antibiotics like Neosporin, and gently pushing back the piece of overgrown skin away from the nail.
Antibiotics are sometimes prescribed if an infection is present. Part of your ingrown toenail may need to be surgically removed if an acute infection occurs. The procedure involves injecting the toe with an anesthetic and cutting out the ingrown part of the toenail.
Dr. Hausen will diagnose your condition and select the treatment best suited for you.