While an ingrown toenail may not seem like a serious issue, anyone who has ever experienced the pain of this condition will tell you otherwise. The clinical term for an ingrown toenail is onychocryptosis. As its name implies, the condition occurs when a toenail grows into the skin instead of on top of the skin.
The condition is most common in adults who have thick or coarse toenails. It usually occurs if the toenails are not cut properly or if someone has been wearing shoes that are too tight, causing the shoe to press against the toenail. Ingrown toenail pain can make it difficult to walk, wear shoes, and put pressure on the toe when standing. Although most prevalent in the big toe, any of the toenails can develop this uncomfortable condition.
Ingrown toenail symptoms include:
- Pus drainage
Potential Complications of an Ingrown Toenail
Ingrown toenails are especially common in older individuals for a variety of reasons. Not only do the toe nails become thicker as we age, but it may be more difficult for older people to trim their toenails regularly or without help. Ingrown toenails can pose a serious threat to people with diabetic neuropathy or other foot conditions that reduce blood flow to the feet. In addition, diabetic neuropathy can inhibit sensation in the feet and someone with an ingrown toenail may not realize the issue until an infection or nerve damage has developed.
If you have diabetes:
- Check your feet regularly for wounds, swelling, and ingrown toenails
- Never try to remove an ingrown toenail yourself
- Keep your toenails trimmed and squared
- Maintain good foot hygiene
- Wear well-fitting shoes to avoid ingrown toenails.
Ingrown Toenail Treatment
If you are suffering from an ingrown toenail, the physicians at Physician Partners of America can help. Our team of foot specialists has extensive experience treating ingrown toenails. Depending on the severity of your ingrown toenail, we offer safe, in-office surgical procedures that can get the problem fixed quickly. Permanent ingrown toenail treatment is also available if this is a chronic problem for you.
Don’t let an ingrown toenail disrupt your life another day. Visit the ingrown toenail specialists at Physician Partners of America for a thorough exam and a customized treatment plan that fits your unique needs.