Ingrown toenails are a common and painful condition that many people experience at one point or another in their lives. Luckily, this painful condition can be easily prevented and treated in a variety of ways. If you think you are suffering from an ingrown toenail, we can help!

At Renuva Xtremity in Memphis, we offer a variety of services to treat your foot and ankle conditions. Dr. Nathan Lucas, a board-certified podiatric surgeon at Renuva Xtremity, can help treat your ingrown toenails so that you can feel comfortable once again.

In this blog, we are going to talk about ingrown toenails and tell you everything you need to know about this condition. Read on to learn more and be sure to contact us to schedule an appointment.

Causes of Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused by a variety of things and can happen to anyone. People who have sweaty feet are more likely to experience ingrown toenails. Older people also have an increased risk because the toenails thicken with age.

There are several other factors that can lead to ingrown toenails. If you cut your toenails incorrectly, it can cause this condition. Cutting the straight across is the best way to cut your nail. When you cut your toenails with angles, it encourages them to grow into skin.

Some of the other causes of ingrown toenails include:

  • Curved or irregular toenails
  • Wearing shoes that are too narrow, tight, or flat for your feet
  • Wearing too tight of socks or stockings
  • A toenail injury, such as stubbing your toe or dropping something on it
  • Genetics
  • Bad posture
  • Poor foot hygiene

Physical activity that involves a lot of footwork may also make you more likely to experience ingrown toenails, these activities include ballet, football, kickboxing, and soccer. Kicking and being on your feet for long periods of time in these activities can cause toenail damage that leads to ingrown toenails.

Symptoms of Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are painful and come with a variety of other symptoms. In early stages of an ingrown toenail, the symptoms include the skin next to your toenail becoming swollen, tender, and hard. You may also feel pain when you put pressure on your toe. At this stage, you may notice fluid building up around the toe.

If the ingrown toenail causes an infection, you may notice that your skin becomes more red and swollen. You may also experience bleeding, oozing pus, an overgrowth of skin around the toe, and more pain. This is why it is important to get your ingrown nails treated early, so that they do not worsen to this point.

Treatment for Ingrown Toenails

If your ingrown toenail doesn’t become infected, it can usually be treated at home. For at home treatments, there are many things you could try to help your ingrown toenail. Soaking your feet in warm water for about 15 to 20 minutes three or four times a day. When you aren’t soaking your feet, it is important to keep your feet and shoes dry. You can also try pushing the skin away from the edge of your toenail with a cotton ball that is soaked in olive oil. If you have pain, you can take Tylenol or another acetaminophen to help and to keep it from getting infected, use Neosporin or another steroid cream.

If after trying the at-home treatments for a couple of days to a couple of weeks and you start to experience more pain, begin to have trouble walking, or notice it getting infected, you should contact your doctor or our foot experts at Renuva Xtremity. In severe cases, surgery may be needed to treat your ingrown toenails.

If you have an ingrown toenail that is getting worse or has been causing you pain for a while, our team can help. Now that you know more about ingrown toenails and how to prevent them, we hope you can avoid them as much as possible! While ingrown toenails are common, there is no reason why you should live with the pain and discomfort. Our podiatrist will be able to find the right treatment for you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to get your questions answered.