Although a seemingly minor condition at first, ingrown toenails can quickly worsen, causing swelling, inflammation, and infection. Ingrown toenails can be particularly painful when affecting the big toes on either foot. If you are suffering from this condition it’s important that you seek medical treatment, especially if you have experienced pain or discharge. Here is how a foot and ankle doctor can help with the treatments of ingrown toenails in Boynton Beach:
Risk Factors for Ingrown Toenails
Although ingrown toenails can occur throughout the population, regardless of age, lifestyle, or gender, there are some factors that increase the risk of developing the condition.
You may develop frequent ingrown toenails if you:
- Participate in kicking sports such as soccer, football, or rugby
- Trim your nails into a curve that is close to the edges of the skin. This can cause the toenail to dig in
- Wear high heels or other footwear that forces your nails to grow inwards
- Have abnormalities like hammertoes or flat feet
- Have suffered from fungal infections that cause widening and thickening of your toenails
- Have sustained an injury to your toe, such as dropping a heavy object.
- Don’t regularly trim your nails
- Have a family history of ingrown toenails
- Are obese or overweight
- Suffer from diabetes
- Have problems with your kidney, thyroid, or heart
- Have unusually long legs
- Have suffered soft tissue injury or tumors in your toes
If you recognize any of the above factors in your own life, it’s important that you seek treatment from a foot and ankle doctor in Boynton Beach. With a professional consultation, you can treat an ingrown toenail while learning the steps to take to prevent the condition in the future.
Can Ingrown Toenail Occur on Any Toe?
Most cases occur on the big toes of either foot, although it’s possible to develop an ingrown toenail on any toe. If you wear tight footwear that causes the toes to push into each other, then your risk will be increased. If your big toe is shorter than the next toe, then it’s more likely that you will develop ingrown toenails due to pressure and friction.
Why is it So Important to Seek Treatment from a foot and ankle doctor in Boynton Beach?
A podiatrist in Boynton Beach is a doctor that specializes in foot conditions, including ingrown toenails. Without treatment, the problem could worsen, leading to the need for minor surgery.
The most apparent risk of not treating your toenail is the pain that can develop. In some cases, pain is so severe that it prevents normal movement and the activities that you enjoy. When a toenail is left to continue growing into the skin, it will cause inflammation and tenderness. This can lead to an infection and even an abscess in the worst-case scenario.
Treating the problem early is essential. A foot doctor in Boynton Beach will perform a complete examination and provide treatment that reduces the chance of reoccurrence.
The Diagnosis and Treatment Process for Ingrown Toenails
A Boynton Beach podiatrist will examine any toenail that is causing pain to identify whether it is ingrown. Once the problem is identified, treatment can begin.
There are various methods used to treat ingrown toenails.
- If the skin is infected, the toenail will be removed, and the area will be cleaned. Antibiotics may be prescribed for severe infections
- Topical anesthetics may be used for severe pain
- Surgical removal is used for late-stage infections
- If there is no sign of infection, the nail will be raised and trimmed appropriately. Your podiatrist will provide advice on cleaning and proper footwear
- Splints may be used to prevent sharp edges of nails from digging into the skin. These may be plastic strips, resins, or tubes
- In some cases, it is possible to change the direction and shape of the nail growth. Your podiatrist will trim the nail so that it grows outwards instead of into the soft skin
- If hard tissue has grown around your nails, this can make the problem worse. Excess tissue will be removed by your doctor
Each case is treated based on your unique toe shape, nail growth, and the severity of the condition. While you will find numerous home-based treatment recommendations, these are not effective in all scenarios. While home-based methods can provide relief, they rarely get to the root of the problem.
If you have suffered from ingrown toenails for years, then it’s important that you get expert medical advice. Your podiatrist will explain why the toenail is growing inward, and their treatment and advice will help prevent the condition from reoccurring.
Visit the Best Foot and Ankle Doctor in Boynton Beach
Foot health is critically important. If you don’t take care of your feet, you will find that daily activities are harder to perform. Conditions like ingrown toenails may be minor at first, but as they worsen, you will experience limited mobility and frequent pain. This could interfere with your family life, work, and sporting activities.
The Foot, Ankle & Leg Vein Center is your local podiatrist for ingrown toenails and all conditions relating to your feet and lower legs. We offer a range of services including diagnosis, surgery, and cosmetic foot procedures. Contact us today for effective relief and treatment of painful ingrown toenails.