Ingrown toenails occur when the edge or corner of a toenail grows into the soft fleshy portion of the toe, resulting in pain, inflammation and redness. Left untreated, an ingrown toenail can also cause infection which can eventually spread to the rest of the toe. Ingrown toenails most commonly occur on the big toe.
Ingrown toenails can occur when nails are trimmed too short or as a result of ill-fitting footwear that crowds the ends of the toes. Trauma can also cause ingrown toenails to form. They're also more common among people whose nails are naturally more curved.
Sometimes, an ingrown toenail can be treated at home by soaking your foot in very warm water several times a day to reduce inflammation and using topical antibiotic creams to prevent infection. But if the nail becomes infected or if you have a medical condition that makes you more prone to infection or slow healing, like diabetes, you should see Dr. Cooper right away to prevent serious problems like widespread infection. Depending on your condition, he may prescribe topical or oral antibiotics and gently lift or trim the nail or remove all or a portion of it to enable the area to heal properly. He'll also provide guidance on how to avoid ingrown toenails in the future.
Ingrown toenails may be prevented by wearing footwear that doesn't bind the toes – that includes avoiding both shoes and socks or hose that are tight-fitting. Trimming toenails straight across – never rounded – is also an important part of avoiding ingrown toenails, and toenails also should never be trimmed too short.
Dr. Cooper accepts major insurancee plans including No Fault Insurance. For questions regarding your insurance provider, please contact Cooper Podiatry.