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Ingrown toenails form when one or both sides of a toenail (usually the big toe) grow into the flesh surrounding the nail. As a result, the affected toe may become red, swollen, painful, and-in severe cases-infected.
There are many reasons why an ingrown toenail may develop, but improperly cut toenails are the major cause. If toenails aren’t cut straight across or are cut too short, the likelihood of developing an ingrown toenail increases. Other causes include having unusually curved toenails, wearing shoes that don’t give your toes enough space, and heredity. Stubbing your big toe or something heavy falling on your toe can also lead to ingrown toenails. Left untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to further foot complications.
If you’re living with diabetes, it’s extremely important to do your all to prevent ingrown toenails as they-along with minor cuts or scrapes—can lead to serious complications.
To prevent ingrown toenails, always ensure toenails are cut straight across and at a moderate length, wear shoes that fit properly, and check your feet every day for signs of issues.
Ingrown toenail treatments vary. One form of treatment requires lifting the ingrown nail and placing a splint or piece of cotton underneath. Another method is for a more severe case and involves removing the offending portion of the nail. For cases that need extreme care, the entire nail itself may have to be removed.
If you or someone you know is suffering from an ingrown toenail, we can help.
A Physicians Footcare podiatrist will thoroughly examine your feet and nails to provide a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Request your appointment now.
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