Do I Have an Ingrown Nail?

Toenails are tiny, but they can cause great pain if they become ingrown.

If your toenail is digging into your skin and becoming painful, red, or infected, you likely have an ingrown toenail, and quick treatment is essential to prevent further problems.

Dr. Timothy Gardner of Family Foot and Ankle Clinic in Knoxville, TN, can help you identify if you have an ingrown toenail and provide or advise treatment so your toe is restored to its ideal health and discomfort-free.

What causes an ingrown toenail?

Ingrown toenails can develop from improper nail trimming -- especially cutting them too short on the sides -- or from friction or pressure caused by wearing shoes that are too small or restrictive.

An injury to your foot, or fungal infection, could also cause the toenail to become ingrown. As the nail pushes into your skin, it can cause inflammation and soreness, and your skin may begin to grow over the ingrown toenail, making it harder to treat.

How can I treat an ingrown toenail?

You may be able to treat your ingrown toenail at home by soaking it in warm water multiple times a day to soften the skin. Avoid putting pressure on your toe by wearing properly fitted and sized shoes.

If your ingrown toenail has become infected or is not responding to at-home treatment, visit our Knoxville office. Your podiatrist may prescribe an antibiotic, or, if your ingrown toenail has become severe, you may need a podiatrist to surgically remove the ingrown portion of the nail.

How can I prevent further ingrown toenails?

To keep your toenails healthy, keep your feet clean and dry, and choose footwear that isn't restricting or overly tight. Keep your toenails short but don't clip below the white portion, and cut them straight across, keeping the corners even rather than angled.

Don't let an ingrown toenail go untended. Call Dr. Timothy Gardner of Family Foot and Ankle Clinic in Knoxville at 865-218-7474 today.

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