Ingrown Toenail Treatment

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K. Mathew Warnock, MD

Ingrown Toenail Treatment Options in Houston, TX

Ingrown toenails can afflict individuals of all ages, often causing tenderness, swelling, and quite a bit of pain. In most cases, these common discomforts resolve at home with a little extra care, but when the pain persists or becomes more severe, it’s time to see a doctor. Houston residents trust sports medicine specialists at K. Mathew Warnock, MD for safe and effective ingrown toenail treatments.

Symptoms of an Ingrown Toenail

An ingrown toenail occurs when the nail begins to grow into the skin surrounding it. Most commonly it affects the big toe (the hallux), but any toenail can suffer. As the nail penetrates the skin, the area becomes red and tender. Most individuals experience pain and swelling, and in some cases, the underlying tissue becomes infected. It’s not uncommon to see pus and drainage with an infection.

What Causes an Ingrown Toenail?

Tight-fitting shoes are often to blame when ingrown toenails develop. It may also be the result of improper clipping, such as cutting the nails too short or leaving curved or tapered edges. Sometimes trauma to the foot or toe, including work-related injuries, stubbed toes, and sports injuries, lead to ingrown toenails and other complications. Some individuals are genetically predisposed to the condition due to the shape or size of their nail structure.

Options for Treating an Ingrown Toenail at Home

Most ingrown nails resolve after two or three days of self-care. Cover the nail with a band-aid and antibiotics and repeat the following procedure twice daily until the situation improves:

  • Soak the foot in warm water for 15 minutes
  • Pat dry and gently lift the edge of the nail. Place small bits of cotton or waxed dental floss beneath the nail to prevent further penetration
  • Apply an over-the-counter antibiotic cream to promote healing and prevent infection. Bandage the toe so that it remains clean and dry
  • Wear comfortable, open-toed shoes to ease pain and restrictions

When Should I See a Doctor About an Ingrown Toenail?

An ingrown toenail that doesn’t improve after three to four days may require professional treatment. You should also see a doctor if you’re experiencing severe pain or notice signs of infection, such as excessive pus, drainage, or fever. Individuals with diabetes or poor circulation should schedule an appointment at the first signs of an ingrown toenail to prevent further complications.

Non-Surgical Treatment Options

In many cases, we can lift a moderately ingrown toenail to prevent further complications. We gently separate it from the nailbed and support it with cotton or a small splint to help the nail grow above the skin instead of penetrating through it. It’s a simple procedure, and recovery time is quick with proper after-care. Simply soak the foot in warm water each day and change the bandage.

Surgical Ingrown Toenail Treatments

When pain or swelling is severe, removing part or all of the nail may be the only solution. We start by injecting the toe with a local numbing agent to keep you comfortable during the procedure. We then remove the bothersome portion of the nail from the nail bed so that the skin can heal as the nail regrows properly. In recurring cases, we may also recommend removing the nail bed. This procedure inhibits new nail growth to prevent ingrown toenails from returning in the future.

Schedule an Appointment With Us

Don’t let ingrown toenail pain interrupt your lifestyle. Give K. Mathew Warnock, MD a call at (281) 807-4380 to schedule an appointment. We will help you choose the most effective ingrown toenail treatment.

DISCLAIMER- This does not constitute medical advice.

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