Ingrown toenails may stem from unusually curved nails, foot injuries that damage your toenail, trimming the nail with too much curve, or cutting it too short. Even your choice of footwear can crowd your toes and toenails, causing the inward growth. If you leave an ingrown nail untreated, it may become infected and potentially spread that infection to the bone, a serious complication.
If you have diabetes, poor blood flow to your feet can make any ingrown toenail situation more serious, because regular healing may not progress. Nerve damage, along with the poor blood flow, may also mask the warning signs of the ingrown nail, so an infection may begin before you realize there’s an issue. Seek treatment with Dr. Rosen at the first sign of trouble.
The first step is prevention. Good foot care helps stop ingrown nails before they happen. Observe these habits to reduce your chances of trouble:
If an ingrown nail starts, begin treatment as soon as possible, including these steps:
Treatment depends on the advancement of the ingrown nail. For mild cases, Dr. Rosen may duplicate home care techniques, propping up the corner of the nail and recommending soaks and oral antibiotics. More severe conditions may require significant trimming of the ingrown nail, or partial removal of the toenail and nail bed underneath to encourage flatter regrowth. Complete toenail removal procedures are typically rare.