Ingrown Toenail Treatment Hot Springs, AR
Toenails may not be as important for modern life as when they first offered protection for our ancestors, but they can still play a big role in your health. There are various nail conditions, like fungal nails or black toenails, you can experience that need attention and care when they crop up. One common problem is ingrown toenails and it is important to understand what they are and how they can be treated and prevented.
Recognizing an Ingrown Toenail
An ingrown toenail is simply one that has started to grow into the soft flesh on the side of the nail. In many cases, this condition has developed either due to ill-fitting, tight shoes that crowd the toes together or clipping toenails too short or rounding them off. Other causes include sustaining an injury or having nails that are unusually curved.
Symptoms to note for ingrown toenails include pain, swelling, redness, and potentially infection. The toenail is most likely to be painful and tender along the sides of the nail, in the same area that swelling and redness may be observed.
Many ingrown nails can be treated at home by using a couple of easy tactics. Start by soaking your feet for 15 to 20 minutes in warm water three to four times daily to relieve tenderness and reduce swelling. After each soak, put fresh pieces of waxed dental floss or cotton under the ingrown edge to encourage the nail to grow above the edge of the skin like it should. Antibiotic cream on the tender area and wearing a bandage on the toe can help prevent infection. Wearing sandals or open-toed shoes will help avoid pressure until your toe is better.
Home treatment options don’t always work, so you may need to make an appointment with our office and let our foot pros handle it for you. This may involve either lifting the nail, partially removing it, or even removing it altogether. We will discuss any treatment first so you can know what to expect.
Keeping Nails on the Path
Preventing ingrown toenails is always preferable to needing treatment for them, especially when doing so may require the nail to be removed. As such, here are some tips to help you prevent this issue:
- Clip the nails straight across. Unlike if you were to round off your toenails, a straight cut will prevent your nails from digging into the sides as they grow.
- Keep your toenails at the proper length. The ideal length when cutting your nails is the edge of your toe. Cutting them too short may result in pressure from your footwear directing a nail to grow into surrounding tissue.
- Choose properly-fitting shoes. Wearing shoes that fit you correctly can head off a long list of potential foot problems, and this includes ingrown nails. Footwear that pinches your toes or places too much pressure on them increases your risk of an ingrown nail, so opt for comfortable models that have plenty of room in the toe area.
- Protect your feet. If you work in a job where you have a heightened risk of injuring a toe, be sure to wear steel-toed shoes or other forms of protective footwear.
- Keep an eye on your feet. An ingrown toenail can become a major issue for an individual who lives with diabetes. If you have this condition, include checking for ingrown nails as part of your daily routine.
Whether you need additional information or tips regarding ingrown toenails or treatment for nails that are giving you a hard time, Central Arkansas Foot Care is here for you. Dr. Joseph LaCava and the caring staff at our practice look forward to helping you with any foot or ankle problem that is causing you pain or discomfort. Our main office is located in Hot Springs, AR, but we also have practices in Arkadelphia for your convenience. Call us at (501) 321-4844 or use our online form to request an appointment.