Ingrown Toenails

What are Ingrown Toenails?

Ingrown nails, the most common nail impairment, are nails whose corners or sides dig painfully into the soft tissue of nail grooves, often leading to irritation, redness, and swelling.

Usually, toenails grow straight out. Sometimes, however, one or both corners or sides curve and grow into the flesh.

The big toe is usually the victim of this condition but other toes can also become affected.

How to Prevent Ingrown Toenails

 Ingrown toenails may be caused by:
  • Improperly trimmed nails
  • Heredity
  • Shoe pressure; crowding of toes
  • Repeated trauma to the feet from normal activities

Be sure to trim your toenails straight across, not longer than the tip of the toes. Do not round off corners. Use toenail clippers.

Ingrown Toenails Home Treatment

People with diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, or other circulatory disorders must avoid any form of self treatment and seek podiatric medical care as soon as possible.

If you suspect an infection due to an ingrown toenail, immerse the foot in a warm salt water soak, or a basin of soapy water, then apply an antiseptic and bandage the area.

Other "do-it-yourself" treatments, including any attempt to remove any part of an infected nail or the use of over-the-counter medications, should be avoided.

When to See a Podiatrist

Nail problems should be evaluated and treated by your podiatrist, who can diagnose the ailment, and then prescribe medication or another appropriate treatment.

You should see a podiatrist immediately if any drainage or excessive redness is present around the toenail; or if a short trial of home treatment has not resulted in improvement.

A podiatrist will carefully remove the ingrown portion of the nail and may prescribe a topical or oral medication to treat the infection.

Permanent Correction

If ingrown nails are a chronic problem, your podiatrist can perform a procedure to permanently prevent ingrown nails. The corner of the nail that ingrows, along with the matrix or root of that piece of nail, are removed by use of a chemical, a laser, or by other methods.

Make an appointment

With our seven locations across Middle Tennessee, Nashville Foot and Ankle Group has an office near you.

Call your nearest Nashville podiatrist today and a member of our courteous and smiling staff will be happy to assist you.