An ingrown toenail is when the borders or edges of the nail curve and dig into the skin on the sides of our nail. This is often painful and can be made worse when you press on the nail or when wearing closed-toed shoes. Ingrown toenails can also become infected. Signs of infection are redness, swelling, or pus.
If you think you are getting an ingrown toenail, you can try soaking your foot in warm water and Epsom salts and massage the side of the skin away from the nail. If this does not provide relief or if you think there may be an infection we recommend calling us for an appointment. This is especially important if you are at higher risk due to diabetes or problems with your circulation.
Generally speaking, the best way to trim your toenails is straight across. However, if the tip of the nail is digging into the skin, it may be necessary for your foot and ankle specialist to cut the nail back on an angle in order to alleviate pressure.
However sometimes if an infection has progressed too far, we might recommend removal of the entire side of the nail. This is a very simple procedure involving a numbing agent similar to what you would receive at the dentist. We then make a straight cut all the way back along the side of the nail to remove that entire side of the nail.
If you are someone who frequently gets ingrown toenails our foot and ankle specialists can discuss solutions that can help. Please call us at 732-838-FEET to set up an appointment with our skilled foot and ankle surgeons and say goodbye to pain caused by ingrown toenails.