Ingrown toenails are painful and unsightly. Without quick, effective treatment, they also increase your risk of infection and other more serious health problems. At Optima Foot and Ankle, with a convenient location in Bend, Oregon, expert podiatrist Laura Schweger, DPM, regularly works with people of all ages to treat ingrown toenails safely. To request your appointment today, call the office nearest you or book online at any time.
An ingrown toenail is a common but painful condition that occurs when one or more toenails curve downward, growing into the soft skin that surrounds the nail bed. Ingrown toenails affect people of all ages, but they’re especially common in children and teenagers.
Most of the time, ingrown toenails subside with conservative, at-home measures of care. But if you have diabetes or a chronic health problem that affects your circulation, they increase your risk of infection, gangrene, and even amputation.
The symptoms of ingrown toenails vary depending on their location and severity. Telltale signs to watch out for include:
As the infection progresses, you might also experience difficulty placing weight on your affected toe.
Ingrown toenails occur for a variety of reasons. Common causes include:
You’re also more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you cut your toenails at an angle instead of straight across.
To diagnose an ingrown toenail, your Optima Foot and Ankle provider physically examines your feet and toes and asks you about your symptoms. If you have diabetes or another chronic health problem, they also review your medical history.
Whenever possible, the providers at Optima Foot and Ankle use conservative measures of care to treat ingrown toenails. If your condition doesn’t respond to topical ointments or over-the-counter lotions or creams, your provider might recommend lifting the nail, partially removing the nail, or removing the nail and tissue altogether.
If you develop an infection, your provider might also recommend a round of prescription oral antibiotics. As your toe begins to heal, make sure to wear comfortable shoes, wash and/or soak your feet regularly, and apply topical lotions as prescribed. Your infection and pain should subside within a few weeks.
To request your ingrown toenail appointment at Optima Foot and Ankle today, call the office nearest you or book online.