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Do I Need Treatment for My Ingrown Toenail?

Ingrown toenails can be incredibly uncomfortable, but they’re usually not a cause for concern. However, some situations warrant a trip to see a specialist.

In this blog, John Jurcisin, DPM, of Precision Footcare in Midtown East, New York City, discusses some of the causes of ingrown tonsils and when you may need to see a specialist.

Ingrown toenails 101

You can develop an ingrown nail on any toe, but most cases affect the big toe. Most ingrown toenails develop because of improper nail trimming or poorly fitting footwear. If you cut your nails too short or with a curve across the top, this can cause your nail to start growing into the soft, tender flesh surrounding it. Similar issues can arise if you wear shoes that put too much pressure on your toes.

The first sign of a problem usually includes pain along the nail, either on one or both sides. Additional symptoms can include the following:

Treating ingrown toenails at home

Ingrown toenails are often painful, but you may be able to find relief with home treatments, such as the following:

However, if you have severe pain that doesn’t respond to these remedies, it’s time to see Dr. Jurcisin.

When to see a doctor

Here are the conditions under which you should seek professional help if you have an ingrown toenail:

Your symptoms get worse

As noted earlier, symptoms of an ingrown toenail usually include pain, tenderness, swelling, and redness. However, if these symptoms spread, worsen, or include oozing pus or blood, you should seek treatment right away, because these things can indicate an infection.

You have diabetes or circulation problems

If you have a condition that affects the blood flow to your feet, you should never wait to seek professional treatment for an ingrown toenail.

When you have diabetes or circulation problems, you have a much higher risk of developing serious complications from foot problems, even for things like an ingrown toenail. That’s because having poor blood flow to your feet can make it harder for your body to fight off infections and heal. Diabetes can also cause nerve damage in your feet, which can make it harder to detect minor foot issues at an early stage, because you may not feel them.

Without treatment, an infected ingrown toenail can penetrate the underlying bone, leading to a bone infection. This can put you at risk for serious foot complications, including gangrene and amputation.

You can reduce your chances of getting ingrown toenails by trimming your nails straight across, wearing shoes that fit correctly, and checking your feet daily for signs of a problem.

If you have an ingrown toenail, Dr. Jurcisin can help. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Precision Footcare today.

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