5 Reasons to Treat an Ingrown Toenail

16 Feb 5 Reasons to Treat an Ingrown Toenail

Treating Ingrown Toenails

Most foot problems can be prevented by wearing comfortable, supportive shoes, getting regular exercise and routinely checking your feet for pain, blisters and other symptoms. But even with the most conscientious foot care, you might still wind up with an ingrown nail. When you do, there are five good reasons to visit a Loudoun County podiatrist and get it treated right away.

1. Stop the Pain

Called onychocryptosis or unguis incarnates, ingrown nail occurs when a nail grows outward into the surrounding skin rather than straight out. This painful condition usually affects the big toenail. The symptoms include swelling, a burning sensation, and redness. In an advanced case, you might notice pus or other signs of infection.

An ingrown toenail hurts. Most home remedies do little to stop the pain. In fact, some over-the-counter remedies will temporarily make it worse, as they require you to splint and separate part of your nail. If you want relief, you need to consult a professional foot specialist who can diagnose it properly and prescribe a treatment that includes pain relief.

2. Avoid Infection

The most serious complication of an untreated ingrown toenail is an infection. An infection could lead to foot ulcers, loss of blood flow to the toes and cellulitis (tissue decay) in the skin around the affected nail. These complications will extend the time you need to be in treatment and might require surgery.

Foot infections are especially serious if you have diabetes. The neural insensitivity that often accompanies diabetes means you may not realize that an infection has taken hold. If you have diabetes, HIV or another condition that suppresses your immunity, always consult a podiatrist about cuts, sores or blisters on your feet.

3. Be Beach-Ready

Ingrown toenails and fungal nail make it hard to put your best foot forward. If you’re planning a beach vacation or a cruise, you want your feet to look their best when you’re barefoot or in sandals.

Even if you’re not going anywhere near a beach, these conditions will make you self-conscious every time you look at them. There’s no need for this embarrassment. A quick visit to a foot care specialist will clear up the problem and have you ready to flaunt your feet again.

4. Get Comfortable

Ingrown nails, fungal nail, and other foot conditions don’t just look and feel bad. They also make it uncomfortable to wear most shoes. You’ll have constant itching, burning and pain no matter what shoes or socks you put on.

You’ve probably tried home remedies to fix these conditions and discovered that they only mitigate the problem but don’t cure it. A podiatrist can prescribe a full course of treatment for these conditions that will alleviate the pain and prevent complications.

5. Avoid Reoccurrences

If you have a genetic predisposition to ingrown nails, you might get them repeatedly. If they keep coming back, a podiatrist may need to perform a matrixectomy or removal of the toenail. This sounds extreme but it’s a quick, uncomplicated surgery that will allow a healthy new nail to grow in. A new toenail will grow in within a year.

Get the Nail Out

If you’re troubled by ingrown nails, nail fungus or any other foot condition, make an appointment with Shuman Podiatry & Sports Medicine. We treat all kinds of foot conditions in our clinic every day. We’ll help you grow strong, straight nails to go with your strong, healthy feet.


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