If you have an ingrown toenail, you might find that even your most comfortable shoes bother you when you wear them. Walking in shoes with an ingrown toenail can be quite painful, but the experienced podiatrists at North Shore Foot & Ankle can help. If you live in the Syosset, NY, Flushing, NY, Rosedale, NY, Plainview, NY, and Lynbrook NY areas, schedule an appointment today to learn about treatment options for painful ingrown toenails. Call the office or book a consultation online.

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What is an ingrown toenail?

A toenail that has not grown straight out from your nail bed, but into the soft skin at the side of your nail, is called an “ingrown” toenail. Most ingrown toenails occur on the big toe, but any toe can have a nail that becomes ingrown.

What causes an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail is usually the result of improper nail cutting, shoes that are too tight, or an injury to the toe and nail. To prevent ingrown toenails, cut your nails straight across; toenails that are cut on an angle don’t always grow straight out, and hidden, sharp nail edges can become painful when they grow into your skin.

What are the signs of an ingrown toenail?

The most common sign that you have an ingrown toenail is the pain in the side of your toe. Other symptoms include:

  • Redness or a sensation of heat
  • Swelling
  • Skin that cracks or hardens
  • Pus or discharge

An infected toenail is usually red, may have pus, and may have a bump at the edge where the toenail has grown into your skin.

Can I treat an ingrown toenail at home?

If your pain is mild, you can clean the area, apply an antibiotic ointment, and wear sandals or loose fitting shoes for a few days to see if the condition improves. If you have moderate to severe pain, or signs of infection like redness, pus or lumps, you should see a podiatrist for treatment as soon as possible.

If you have diabetes, you should you see your physician for any foot sore, even if your pain is mild.

How does a podiatrist treat an ingrown toenail?

The highly trained podiatrists at North Shore Foot & Ankle use sterile tools to release your nail from the skin that has grown around it, then thoroughly clean, disinfect, and bandage the area so it can heal. Your doctor may also place a splint under the nail to help it grow out straight.

If you have a severely ingrown toenail, your podiatrist will perform a procedure to remove part of your nail, so that it can regrow in the right direction without causing future problems. This is an in-office procedure; you’ll have a local anesthetic to keep you comfortable, and you should be able to return to normal activities following your appointment.

If you have pain or signs of infection around your toenail and suspect it may be ingrown, don’t hesitate to call North Shore Foot & Ankle or schedule an appointment online.