Ingrown toenails are a common foot complaint. While you can treat an ingrown toenail at home, you may recover faster when you get expert care from podiatrist Jay Bhuta, DPM, at Ankle & Foot Doctors of New Jersey in Millburn and Livingston, New Jersey. Call the office today or schedule an appointment using the online booking button.
An ingrown toenail occurs when your toenail grows into your skin, causing pain, redness, and swelling. If the toenail breaks the skin, bacteria may get enter the cut and cause an infection.
While an ingrown toenail can occur on any toe, it most commonly affects the big toe.
Your ingrown toenail may have developed for any number of reasons. The most common include:
You may also be at greater risk of developing an ingrown toenail if your nails grow inward or are curved, which is an inherited trait.
Ingrown toenails most often affect teenagers due to an increase in sweat production caused by hormonal changes. Older adults are also at greater risk because of various medical conditions such as diabetes.
If you have diabetes, you shouldn’t treat your ingrown toenail on your own. Instead, schedule an appointment with Dr. Bhuta so he can take care of it for you and reduce your risk of an infection.
Treatment for your ingrown toenail depends on your symptoms, if you’ve developed an infection, and your medical history. Dr. Bhuta develops individualized treatment plans so you get the most effective treatment.
If your toenail is infected, Dr. Bhuta prescribes an antibiotic to clear up the infection and promote healing. It’s important to take your antibiotic as prescribed, even if your toe starts to feel better.
For a more serious ingrown toenail, Dr. Bhuta may recommend an in-office surgical procedure to reduce your discomfort. During the minor procedure, Dr. Bhuta removes the portion of your nail that’s grown into the skin, creating a new toenail border. If you’re prone to ingrown toenails, Dr. Bhuta may need to remove the nail from the root of your toe.
You may feel some discomfort immediately following the procedure, but you should be able to resume your usual activities within a day.
To prevent the formation of an ingrown toenail Dr. Bhuta recommends you cut your nails straight across, instead of curved. He also recommends you wear shoes and socks that give you enough room in the toes to prevent excess pressure on your nail bed.
For treatment of your ingrown toenail, call Ankle & Foot Doctors of New Jersey, or book an appointment using the online booking button.