Foot & Ankle Center of Ocala
Robert F Linn, DPM
Podiatrist & Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Surgery & Lower Extremity Trauma located in West End of the Jasmine Plaza, Ocala, FL
Ingrown toenails are a common problem that affects more than 18% of the adult population at any given time. Ingrown toenails are relatively easy to treat, but if you have diabetes or another circulatory problem, they increase your risk of potentially serious complications. At Foot & Ankle Center of Ocala, podiatrist Robert Linn Jr., DPM, specializes in the treatment of ingrown toenails. To schedule an appointment at the Ocala, Florida, practice, book online or call the office to speak with a team member today.
Ingrown Toenails Q & A
What are ingrown toenails?
Ingrown toenails occur when the sharp edge of a nail grows into the skin surrounding your nail bed, causing pain and inflammation.
Most ingrown toenails respond to at-home measures of care like topical ointments or foot soaks. If the pain persists or affects your ability to walk or stand, don’t wait to seek professional medical help.
What are the symptoms of ingrown toenails?
Common symptoms of ingrown toenails include:
- Red, irritated skin
- Oozing pus
- Overgrowth of skin around the toe
As the condition worsens, you might also notice that your affected toe is warm to the touch.
What causes ingrown toenails?
Ingrown toenails affect people of all races and genders, but they’re especially common in people who have sweaty feet, like children and teenagers who play sports.
Other factors that increase your risk of an ingrown toenail include:
- Having irregularly curved nails
- Cutting your toenails at an angle, instead of straight across
- Wearing shoes that crowd your toes
- Toenail injuries
- Poor posture
You might also develop an ingrown toenail due to improper foot hygiene or a genetic predisposition.
How are ingrown toenails diagnosed?
To diagnose an ingrown toenail, Dr. Linn visually observes your affected toe and asks about your symptoms. Depending on the severity of your condition, he might also order X-rays to determine the depth of the nail or to see if the problem was caused by an injury.
How are ingrown toenails treated?
Treatment for ingrown toenails depends on the severity of your symptoms and their effect on your daily life. Dr. Linn might recommend:
Lifting the nail
If you have a mild ingrown nail, Dr. Linn lifts the nail. To do this, he uses a splint or piece of cotton to separate your nail from the skin, allowing it to grow outward. Throughout the healing process, you’re required to soak the toe and replace your splint daily.
Partially removing the nail
If you have an infected nail, Dr. Linn might recommend partially removing it. To do this, he numbs your toe with a local anesthetic and carefully removes the portion of the nail growing into your skin. Afterward, he sends you home with a list of recovery instructions.
Removing the nail completely
If you regularly experience ingrown nails on the same toe, Dr. Linn might recommend removing the nail completely. This procedure prevents the nail from growing back, providing long-term relief.
To learn more about treatment for ingrown toenails, request a consultation at Foot & Ankle Center of Ocala. Book online, or call the office to speak with a team member today.