Ingrown toenails are a frequent foot health problem, and you may not think they’re much to worry about. However, they can lead to more serious infections or require removal if left for too long. That’s why getting speedy treatment at specialist podiatric clinic Dr. Simon Becker DPM is a much better idea. If you live in the West Orange and Elmwood Park of New Jersey, call Dr. Simon Becker DPM today to schedule a consultation, or book your appointment using the online form.request an appointment
What is an ingrown toenail?
An ingrown toenail occurs when your nail grows into the skin instead of following its correct path. The nail gets diverted and starts to curve, gradually digging further in.
Because toenails grow quite slowly, it’s common for people not to realize they have a toenail that’s ingrown until it becomes sore and painful.
Are ingrown toenails a serious problem?
Ingrown toenails might not seem that serious, particularly if you’re not feeling any discomfort from them, but without the correct treatment at Dr. Simon Becker DPM, they can become quite painful and far harder to treat. They might also get infected, causing further complications and potentially leading to a serious infection in the bones.
The risk of infection is particularly relevant for you if you have diabetes. Diabetic feet tend to have poorer circulation and are often affected by diabetic peripheral neuropathy, a condition that can make it hard to feel pain in your feet.
As a result, wounds and infections can go unnoticed until they reach a serious stage, and may, in some cases, result in amputation of the foot.
What causes an ingrown toenail?
Ingrown toenails most often develop because of the way people cut their toenails. Unlike fingernails, which you can shape at the sides, toenails should be cut straight across, so you avoid diverting the nail’s growth into the skin around it.
Cutting toenails too short can also cause ingrown toenails, so aim to keep the nails level with the ends of your toes. If you have odd-shaped toenails, or inherited abnormalities affecting your toenails, you’re more likely to develop ingrown toenails. Wearing poorly fitting, tight shoes also increases your risk.
How should ingrown toenails be treated?
If you have an ingrown toenail, don’t be tempted to use the nail clippers to remove the ingrown section. It might look like an obvious solution, but you’ll find that as the nail regrows, it tends to become even further embedded into the skin.
It’s far better to avoid the ingrown toenail getting any worse by visiting a podiatrist at Dr. Simon Becker DPM. They can X-ray your foot to make sure the underlying bones aren’t infected and prescribe oral or topical antibiotics if you do have signs of infection.
Your podiatrist expertly trims the nail and lifts it away from your toe to guide it back onto the correct path, using a special splint to make sure the nail grows away from your skin. You might need to have the ingrown toenail or part of it removed in some cases, which your podiatrist can do at Dr. Simon Becker DPM under a local anesthetic.
When you notice an ingrown toenail, call Dr. Simon Becker DPM and make an appointment. They can sort your condition with a minimum of fuss if you visit them promptly, so arrange your appointment today over the phone or by using the online booking tool.