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Why You Shouldn't Ignore an Ingrown Toenail

An ingrown toenail is a fairly self-explanatory problem. Basically, part of your nail starts growing into the surrounding skin. In most cases, this issue affects the big toe and often causes pain, tenderness, redness, and swelling.

John Jurcisin, DPM, brings more than 30 years of experience in podiatric medicine to Precision Footcare in Midtown East, New York City. If you have an ingrown toenail, here’s why you shouldn’t wait to schedule an appointment.

When ingrown toenails become a problem

In the early stages, you can often treat an ingrown toenail at home, such as by soaking your foot in warm water and placing dental floss under the edge of the nail to separate the nail from the skin. However, if your toenail starts to cut into the surrounding skin, bacteria can get introduced to the area and cause an infection.

Signs of an infected ingrown toenail include:

Without treatment, this toenail infection can spread into the bones in your feet. This serious complication can require weeks of intravenous antibiotics and sometimes surgery. These hard-to-treat infections can also lead to gangrene, which requires surgical intervention to remove dead or dying tissue.

Knowing your risks

Anyone can develop an ingrown toenail, including adolescents and teenagers. However, if you don’t see signs of improvement within 2-3 days, it’s time to schedule an appointment with a foot specialist, especially if you see signs of an infection.

For some, it’s best to book a visit with a podiatrist the moment an ingrown toenail is discovered. This includes anyone who has an underlying medical condition that affects the feet. These conditions include nerve damage, poor circulation, and diabetes, which can interfere with the healing process and increase your risk for infection and severe complications.

Ingrown toenails can also become a recurring problem, but Dr. Jurcisin can create a personalized treatment strategy to address your symptoms and prevent recurring problems.

Treating ingrown toenails

After evaluating your ingrown toenail, Dr. Jurcisin may recommend a variety of therapies to ease your symptoms. These strategies could include soaking your foot in warm water, using antibiotic ointments, and bandaging the area. If you have an infection, he might also prescribe antibiotics or, if needed, remove part of your infected toenail.

The sooner you address an ingrown toenail, the easier they are to treat. Furthermore, you can help prevent getting ingrown toenails by doing the following:

Dr. Jurcisin also offers diabetic foot care services to help protect against health-related foot problems, and he can create a personalized, daily routine to help you avoid ingrown toenails.

Do you have an ingrown toenail or health problem that’s affecting your feet? Get help by booking an appointment online or over the phone with Precision Footcare today.

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