An ingrown toenail isn’t just annoying. If you have a circulatory problem like diabetes or peripheral artery disease (PAD), it also increases your risk of serious complications, including infection and gangrene. At Gelbmann Podiatry, with two locations in the Near Southside and West Town neighborhoods of Chicago, Illinois, David Gelbmann, DPM, and Ramsha Tanwir, DPM, specialize in the treatment of ingrown toenails. To schedule an appointment, book online, or call the nearest office today.
An ingrown toenail occurs when the edges of your nail grow into the soft skin that surrounds the nail bed. When this happens, the toenail breaks through the skin and causes inflammation.
Early on, an ingrown toenail causes only minor pain. But without prompt intervention and treatment, inflammation may become worse or lead to an infection.
Ingrown toenails are particularly common in athletes and other physically active individuals. Causes of ingrown toenails include:
Ingrown toenails can also occur due to your nail trimming habits. Whenever possible, try to cut your nails straight across instead of at a curved angle.
The symptoms of an ingrown toenail vary. Some people experience no pain at all. Others experience tenderness along the side of the toenail, pus draining from the toe, and swelling.
Most ingrown toenails respond to conservative, at-home measures of care. If you experience extreme discomfort or have an underlying medical condition like diabetes, it’s important to schedule an appointment at Gelbmann Podiatry.
To diagnose an ingrown toenail, Gelbmann Podiatry physically examines your toes and toenails. If your ingrown toenail is due to an injury, they might also order X-rays to see if there is damage to the bones and joints in your toe or determine how deep the nail grows into your skin.
Most of the time, Gelbmann Podiatry recommends conservative care to manage ingrown toenails, including soaking your feet, pushing the skin away from the toenail’s edge, or applying topical medication to prevent an infection.
If your ingrown toenail progresses and becomes infected, more invasive treatment may be necessary. Your provider might recommend removing half or all of the nail to prevent further complications.
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent an ingrown toenail entirely. To lower your risk, Gelbmann Podiatry recommends:
If you work a physically demanding job in construction or a warehouse, it’s also important to wear protective footwear like steel-toed boots.
Don’t let an ingrown toenail negatively affect your mobility. To schedule an appointment at Gelbmann Podiatry, book a consultation online, or call the nearest office today.