Ingrown Toenail Treatment in Chicago IL
Individuals often experience pain and swelling caused by an ingrown toenail of the big toe. This condition occurs when the skin of the toe grows over its regular boundary at the edge of the nail, leading this soft skin to press firmly into the nail and cause discomfort.
What Causes Ingrown Toenails?
There are several potential sources to recurring issues with ingrown toenails. Most often, ingrown toenails are a result of misfitting shoes. When a person’s shoes are too tight, they can add more pressure to the skin and toes, causing the skin to push into the nail more than it normally would. Other common causes of an ingrown toenail include:
- Poor grooming technique: Cutting the toenail too short, or curving the edges of the nail can make it more likely for an ingrown to develop.
- Family history: Some individuals are unfortunately born with a predisposition for ingrown toenails. This is especially common in children of those with moderate to severe cases of recurring ingrowns.
- Injury: Even those without a history of having ingrown toenails may encounter the common condition if accidental trauma is inflicted on the toe.
Common Symptoms and Their Severity
As mentioned, ingrown toenails are likely to lead to swelling and pain of the area, though they can also result in more significant complications like an infection.
It is important to contact Premier Urgent Care right away if you experience severe pain, pus, or redness that appears to be spreading around the toe. Individuals with diabetes also need to be very aware of any changes in the feet, as poor blood flow can cause the situation to worsen quickly.
Treating Ingrown Toenails in Chicago, IL
Minor infections can be easily treated by one of our doctors using prescribed antibiotics or topical creams. Soaking the affected toe in warm water, taking over-the-counter pain relievers, and wearing proper footwear can all help to relieve the pressure applied to the skin and nails of the toes.
If ingrown toenails are left untreated, they do have the potential to lead to a serious infection of the bone. At that stage, more drastic treatment measures may need to be taken to resolve the condition, which makes early intervention and prevention crucial components to avoiding such serious measures.
How to Prevent Ingrown Toenails
Individuals who frequently suffer from pain caused by ingrown toenails should take a few simple precautionary steps to avoid the condition entirely. These preventative strategies include:
- Trim the toenails straight across without curving their edges.
- Wear the right shoes that allow for plenty of space between the toes and are not too tight.
- Allow your toenails to grow out to a moderate length, and do not cut them to be too short.
- Make sure your feet are protected from injury by wearing quality, durable footwear.
- Monitor the health of your feet to watch for any serious symptoms, especially if you have diabetes or a blood flow problem.
Surgery to Correct Ingrown Toenails
Another way to permanently prevent and resolve issues associated with ingrown toenails is to see a doctor for surgical removal of the toenail. This does not often involve removal of the entire nail, but rather, patients can elect to undergo a procedure to remove a portion of their toenail. This surgery is best suited for individuals who experience chronic problems with ingrown toenails that are not sufficiently managed using the treatment methods previously described.
During the procedure, your doctor will work carefully to remove part of the nail, the underlying nail bed, and maybe also some surrounding soft tissues. Patients generally remain awake for the surgery, though the area is of course numbed entirely before the process begins. Recovery from this type of toenail removal surgery typically takes between 3-4 months, and patients need to take proper care of the toe in order to avoid unwanted complications like infection.
Persons interested in learning more about surgery to prevent future problems with ingrown toenails should contact Premier Urgent Care today at (773) 891-2890 to schedule an appointment with our specialist.