When the side or corner of the big toenail grows into the skin, pain and swelling may follow, as well as the risk of infection. While many cases of ingrown toenail may be treatable at home, see Dr. Zakee O. Shabazz at Fair Oaks Podiatry & Sports Medicine, in Fairfax, Virginia, if your condition gets worse.
An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of the big toenail grows into the skin rather than remaining on the nail bed. The condition may lead to pain, swelling, and infection. Unless treated, the nail typically continues to grow into the skin rather than resuming normal healthy growth.
An abscess (pus-filled sac) and extra skin may form around the area. When pressed, it drains yellowish fluid. The abscess is the body's natural defense, cushioning the area and killing invading bacteria. Once an ingrown nail gets to this stage, home treatment may no longer be sufficient. It’s time to call Dr. Shabazz.
Ingrown toenails most commonly occur from tight or narrow shoes, improper cutting of the toenails, damage to the nail (such as from stubbing your toe), or simply from having excessively curved toenails. Untreated ingrown nails may progress to the point that they affect the underlying bone, resulting in a serious bone infection.
Patients with diabetes frequently have nerve damage and poor circulation in their feet. Ingrown nails present a potentially serious issue for diabetes patients, since the condition may develop without the usual sensations of pain. Foot ulcers could lead to gangrene and potential amputation.
Treatment options for ingrown toenails include:
At Fair Oaks Podiatry & Sports Medicine, we accept most major insurance plans. Here is a list of some of the plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.
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