Usually affecting the big toe, ingrown toenails are a common problem where the side or corner of a toenail works its way into the soft skin alongside the nail. The issue might start suddenly with a stubbed toe or over a longer period due to shoes with crowded toe boxes.
Your ingrown nails likely won’t clear up without treatment, and they can get much worse when you ignore the care they need. The good news is that most cases of ingrown toenails respond well to first aid you can do at home.
It’s usually easy to recognize when an ingrown toenail becomes a problem. At first, you might feel discomfort that’s usually on the outside of either big toe. Tenderness develops into pain and the skin around the area turns red and inflamed. Swelling is common too, and you may notice white areas where pus collects after infection sets in.
You can begin preemptive treatment at the earliest signs of an ingrown nail, preventing the progression that leads to infection. While the big toe is the most common place for an ingrown nail to occur, any toe could potentially be infected.
Ingrown toenails usually don’t heal on their own, so ignoring the problem will likely lead to more pain and infection. If you have a condition like diabetes or neuropathy affecting your feet, wounds and infections from ingrown nails could have serious consequences.
The best way around treating ingrown nails is to avoid them altogether. Things you can do to avoid ingrown toenails include:
Use caution when you choose to go barefoot to avoid unnecessary foot injuries.
When you feel the telltale signs of an ingrown nail starting, taking prompt action can minimize your discomfort as well as reduce the chances of complications like infection or growing wounds.
If you see no improvement or if your condition gets worse despite your home care efforts, it’s time to contact Hudson Valley Foot Associates at our nearest location. Book an appointment by phone or online to gain the knowledge and experience of our foot care specialists today.