Pesky ingrown toenails are the most common nail impairment. This is when the corners of your toenail dig into the soft skin on your toe. This condition leads to redness, swelling, and bacterial formation, which collects in the curving nail that has now dug into your toe's flesh. More often than not, this irritating wound becomes an infection on your big toe, but it may also infect other toes as well. You can use home care treatment for an ingrown toenail, but know when to seek podiatric care.
Preventing The Growth Of Ingrown Toenails
Prevention is better than cure, and you can avoid being a victim of an ingrown toenail by following certain nail care rules. Do not wear shoes that crowd your toes, nor should you wear shoes that are too tight. When you cut your own toenails, don't cut them too short. Cutting them short invites skin to fold over and cover your nail. Cut the nails straight across and leave no room for a curve.
Your toes are necessary parts of your feet and need proper circulation. Poor circulation of blood that most diabetic and cardiac patients experience, along with tobacco smoking, does result in repetitive ingrown toenails. You should make quarterly visits to your podiatrist when you suffer from these medical conditions.
An ingrown toenail can be treated at home if the condition is mild. You can soak your feet in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes; pain and swelling subside when you do this. You can also apply an antibiotic cream to your feet afterward. If you're having severe pain from the ingrown toenail though, you should visit a podiatrist for medical care. When your at-home foot treatment does not improve your toenail status, your physician may recommend that you undergo surgery for this medical condition. Your doctor may also suggest ingrown toenail surgery if you continue to have recurring ingrown toenails and you are a diabetic patient.
Your foot surgeon uses special tools to separate the infected toenail from its bed. This makes it easier to perform a vertical cut. In some cases, the entire nail may have to be removed if the ingrown nail is on both sides of the nail growth. The regrowth of your toenail is dependent on what type of surgery is performed.
You must rest your foot for one to two days following surgery. Elevate your foot to enhance blood circulation. Bear in mind the instructions you're given about using oral antibiotics if you had an infection prior to surgery. Observing all your instructions will help you resume normal activities after a few days. Don't resume strenuous activities for approximately two weeks.
For more information, contact a podiatric professional like Paul Greenberg.