PMC Foot and Ankle Clinic
Eric Blanson, DPM
Sports Medicine & Foot and Ankle Surgeon located in Spring, TX
Ingrown toenails may seem like an insignificant problem until you’re dealing with one. Without proper care, the condition can worsen over time, causing pain and increasing your chances of developing infections like nail fungus. At PMC Foot and Ankle Clinic in Spring, Texas, Eric Blanson, DPM, offers expert treatments for toenail complications like ingrown nails or fungal infections. If you have an ingrown toenail, call the office or use the online scheduling tool to book an appointment.
Ingrown Toenail Q & A
What are ingrown toenails?
Ingrown toenails are a painful condition in which the side of your nail digs into your skin instead of growing over it. It usually affects the big toe and is most common in patients who repeatedly injure their toes.
Ingrown toenails happen for many reasons, including:
- Not cutting your nails properly
- Wearing badly fitting shoes
- Toenail trauma
- Having unusually curved toenails
Ingrown toenails usually affect the big toe, but the condition can also affect the other toes.
What are the symptoms of ingrown toenails?
Ingrown toenail symptoms include:
- Pain and tenderness
- Infection of surrounding tissue
If you experience toenail discomfort along with redness or pus, call PMC Foot and Ankle Clinic for expert medical attention.
Can ingrown toenails cause other foot complications?
If left untreated, your skin continues to grow over the nail, causing damage that can lead to further pain and inflammation.
Ingrown toenails also provide the perfect environment for fungal and bacterial infections that are potentially quite serious. If you develop a fungal infection, you may notice symptoms like discolored toenails that are thick, brittle, and have a foul odor.
Complications from an ingrown toenail can become especially severe if you have a chronic health issue like diabetes, which causes poor blood flow and nerve damage in your feet.
If you have diabetes, a minor foot injury may not heal properly and become infected. An open wound that is slow to heal can also interrupt blood flow, leading to major tissue damage that requires surgery to prevent further complications like gangrene.
How do you treat ingrown toenails?
Your provider at PMC Foot and Ankle Clinic does a physical exam and assesses your ingrown toenail. Based on how severely impacted your toenail is, your provider can recommend the appropriate treatment.
In minor cases that involve pain but no signs of infection, your provider uses a splint under the edge of your nail to lift the nail and separate it from your skin. For more severe cases, your provider may partially trim or completely remove the ingrown portion of your nail and, if needed, the underlying nail bed as well.
If you have developed a fungal infection, the practice can recommend oral or topical antifungal medication to suppress the infection or a debridement process to remove the diseased nail matter.
With serious infections, your provider may recommend noninvasive laser light therapy to treat the fungus.
Get the care you need for your ingrown toenail or nail fungal infection by calling the clinic or using the online booking tool to make an appointment.