If you do not have foot or ankle issues, you may take for granted simple tasks like walking or standing. However, problems like ingrown toenails can make these activities more difficult or even impossible, causing pain, inflammation and discomfort. Find out more about the cause of ingrown toenails with Dr. James Lisle and Dr. Lee Poston at Cascade Foot Center in Salem, OR.
What is an ingrown toenail?
A normal toenail grows over the skin and lies flat on top of it. An ingrown toenail occurs when the nail grows into the skin around the nail bed. As the nail grows into the skin, it can cause a sore, becoming infected and causing mild to severe pain and irritation. This unfortunate situation can make walking, standing or even simply wearing shoes.
What causes an ingrown toenail?
Ingrown toenails can occur due to various situations. Often, ingrown toenails come from wearing ill-fitting shoes which place pressure onto the toenail and causes it to curl downward into the skin. Ingrown toenails can also occur due to injury or trauma to the toe which causes the nail to grow down. Additionally, those who have very thick or curved toenails are more susceptible to ingrown toenails than others. Older individuals are also more prone to developing ingrown toenails than younger individuals.
Ingrown Toenail Treatments in Salem, OR
If you have an ingrown toenail, you should see your podiatrist for a good treatment plan for you. Diagnosing ingrown toenails is normally easy to do based on a visual examination. Treatment usually begins at home with conservative methods like soaking the toe in warm water several times a day. Use dental floss or cotton to wedge underneath the toe to lift it up and off of the skin. Wear more comfortable shoes until the toenail grows out.
When these conservative methods fail, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to clear up the infection from the inside out. In more severe cases, your podiatrist will suggest a procedure to remove the part of the toenail which has grown into the skin. Another procedure called ablation removes the entire toenail altogether.
For more information on ingrown toenails or their treatments, please contact Dr. Lisle and Dr. Poston at Cascade Foot Center in Salem, OR. Call (503) 588-8188 to schedule your appointment with your podiatrist today!