Ingrown toenails occur when the nail grows into the flesh of the toe, happening most often to the big toe. If the ingrown nail breaks the skin, bacteria can get in and cause an infection. Symptoms of an infection to look out for include:
- Tenderness and pain in your toe around the nail
- Redness of the tender area
- Swelling of the toe near the nail
- Infection of the tissue around your toenail
Causes of Ingrown Toenails
Ingrown toenails are often the result of cutting your toenails too short or rounding the nail edges. Wearing tight shoes or sustaining injuries such as stubbing your toe or having something fall on your foot can also cause this issue.
You are at increased risk of having ingrown toenails or complications resulting from ingrown toenails if you are diabetic, have vascular problems, or often feel numbness in your toes.
To prevent ingrown toenails, make sure not to cut your nails too short and always cut them straight across rather than cutting them at a rounded edge. Always be sure to wear correctly fitting shoes and socks, assuring your toes are not too constricted.
You should visit a podiatrist if you are experiencing pain and the symptoms listed above, especially if you have diabetes or another condition that causes blood flow issues to your feet. If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can cause damage to the bone and lead to an infection as well as other serious complications.
If you would like to make an appointment with Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine to treat or learn more about preventing ingrown toenails, please contact us at 904-825-0540.