Though they may start as a minor inconvenience, if left untreated, ingrown toenails can escalate into a significant issue. They occur when a portion of the toenail becomes embedded in the skin surrounding the nail. This condition is characterized by pain, swelling, redness, and a sensation of warmth in the affected toe. If the nail penetrates the flesh around it, breaking the skin, it can lead to a bacterial infection, intensifying the pain and causing further complications.
While some individuals are naturally predisposed to ingrown toenails, others develop them due to improper nail trimming practices or trauma from repetitive impact or toe stubbing. For minor cases without infection, self-care at home is often possible for individuals in good health. This may involve soaking the foot to soften the skin and gently massaging the affected area to release the troublesome part of the nail.
If medical attention is required, antibiotics may be prescribed to address the infection, and in some cases, outpatient surgery may be necessary to remove the problematic nail. If you’re in need of care for an ingrown toenail or unsure about proper toenail maintenance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.