An ingrown toenail might sound like too small a condition to go to the doctor. However, if you frequently get ingrown toenails or you have one that’s painful and infected, it’s best to get treatment from an experienced podiatrist. At Mountain View Foot & Ankle Care in El Monte, California, Ebram Abdelmalak, DPM, can relieve the pain of ingrown toenails, treat infections, and help you prevent ingrown toenails from coming back. To schedule an appointment, call or use the online booking tool.
An ingrown toenail is a toenail whose corner or side grows into the surrounding skin. Your big toe is likeliest to experience an ingrown toenail. The skin around an ingrown toenail may be painful, tender, red, or swollen.
Usually, you get an ingrown toenail because you don’t properly trim your nails. You’re supposed to trim your toenails straight across. If your toenails are rounded, jagged, or too short after you trim them, they’re more likely to become ingrown.
Ingrown toenails may also happen after you injure your toe. They’re also more likely to happen if your shoes or socks are too tight and crowd your toes.
Many ingrown toenails are minor and don’t require a doctor’s attention, but if your ingrown toenail is causing problems, don’t ignore it because it’s “just an ingrown toenail.” Schedule an appointment with Dr. Abdelmalak if you’re in severe pain, your symptoms are getting worse, or your toenail appears to be infected.
If your ingrown toenail only causes minor pain, you can treat it at home. This includes soaking your feet in warm water, applying antibiotic ointment to the area, and covering the nail in a bandage. It’s also a good idea to wear sandals or other open-toed shoes if possible to avoid irritating the toenail.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Abdelmalak if your symptoms—including redness, pain, and swelling— et worse, or if there’s pus draining from the toenail. These may be signs of an infection.
To combat an infection, Dr. Abdelmalak usually prescribes a course of antibiotics. He may also recommend a therapeutic whirlpool bath in the office to soothe the pain and swelling.
If your ingrown toenail doesn’t improve with antibiotics, or they’re a recurring problem, he may recommend a laser procedure to remove the infected part of the nail. This procedure is quick, nearly painless, and helps the nail to grow back healthy.
You can usually prevent ingrown toenails by following a few simple steps. Practice proper foot care and hygiene, including trimming your toenails straight across and cleaning your feet and nails every day. Be sure to wear shoes that leave enough room for your toes, and let your feet and toes breathe after you perform the high-impact exercise, including soccer and running.
Schedule an appointment to treat an ingrown toenail at Mountain View Foot & Ankle Care online or over the phone.