Treating Your Ingrown Toenail
An ingrown toenail is a painful medical condition that can affect anyone regardless of age or other medical conditions. Luckily, there are a variety of treatments that can help repair an ingrown toenail. Do not ignore an ingrown toenail. It is important to pay a visit to a healthcare provider. Only a medical professional can make a complete diagnosis taking into account all pertinent factors including past medical history and underlying conditions. Other medical problems and conditions can resemble the symptoms of an ingrown toenail to an unqualified person. Local trauma, tumors, toe fungus and foreign objects embedded under the skin may look like an ingrown toenail but require a different treatment plan. An ingrown toenail is caused when the edge of the toenail bends downward and become imbedded into the skin on the toe. An ingrown toenail can often happen after trimming your toe nail too short or if your shoes are too tight or short.
Ingrown Toenails: Possible Complications
If an ingrown toenail persists over a long period of time, it can have serious consequences. It is not uncommon to develop a paronychia (localized) infection along the area where the nail edge cuts into the skin. If not treated a paronychia infection can develop into a dangerous deep, soft-tissue infection (called cellulitis), which can further advance into a very serious bone infection (called osteomyelitis).
Complications from an ingrown toenail can additionally include:
- Nail Fold Hypertrophy: Scarring of the skin and nail borders surrounding the site.
- Onychodystrophy: Thickening or deformation of the nail.
- Onychomycosis: Fungal infection of the toenails.
The soft tissue at the site of the nailfold may become enlarged. It will frequently bleed and drain.
Selecting a Healthcare Professional to Treat your Ingrown Toenail
Most practicing medical professionals are qualified to treat a simple ingrown toenail. Many people may first visit their family physicians, urgent-care walk-in physicians, pediatricians or dermatologists when seeking treatment for an ingrown toenail. With that said, podiatrists are doctors that specialize in the foot and ankle. They are uniquely qualified in the medical community to treat your condition. He or she will likely have much more experience dealing with conditions such as yours, plus a podiatrist’s office will be equipped with all the required instruments necessary to perform a variety of ingrown toenail procedures.