An estimated 2 in 10 Americans develop ingrown toenails painful enough to require medical attention. At C&S Foot and Ankle, Scott Norris, DPM, and Camille Christensen, DPM, offer high-quality treatment services for ingrown toenails and the infections they can cause. The team also helps you improve your toenail hygiene, so you can lower your risk for chronic ingrown toenail complications. Call the office in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, to schedule an evaluation for ingrown toenails or book an appointment online today.

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What are ingrown toenails?

Ingrown toenails occur when the edge of your toenail grows into the skin on the side of your toe. This condition can become painful as inflammation increases in the skin. If the nail punctures through the skin, you might develop an infection.

Many people experience an ingrown toenail because they cut their nails too short or unevenly. Other risk factors for ingrown toenails include:

  • Toe injuries
  • Naturally curved toenails
  • Wearing shoes that are too tight
  • Having diabetes or other underlying medical conditions

If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can become painful enough to limit your mobility. You may also be at risk for skin infections spreading to other areas of your body.

When you have diabetes, complications of an ingrown toenail can be more serious. Open wounds in your skin from an ingrown nail may not heal properly and become a more complex wound that requires medical intervention.

When should I seek treatment for ingrown toenails?

You should schedule a diagnostic evaluation at C&S Foot and Ankle for ingrown toenails if you have symptoms that affect your toenail or surrounding skin, such as:

  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Pain
  • Discharge

You also need an evaluation if you have signs of an infection and also have underlying health issues, including diabetes.

The team carefully examines your toe to confirm an ingrown nail. They customize a treatment plan to address damage to the nail and surrounding skin and can also treat infections and slow-healing wounds.

How are ingrown toenails treated?

Depending on the severity of your ingrown toenail symptoms, the C&S Foot and Ankle team may be able to remove only the part of your nail growing into your skin during an in-office procedure.

In some cases, the team may need to remove a larger part or the entire toenail, so it can grow back healthier. These procedures, known as a partial or total matrixectomy, may be necessary if you have chronic ingrown toenails. The foot specialists apply an acid to the nail root, and there’s an 85-90% chance the ingrown toenail won’t return.

The team also offers resources to prevent additional ingrown toenail complications. They teach you how to trim your nails straight across and can recommend foot soaks for several minutes before starting your nail care routine.

Call C&S Foot and Ankle to schedule a consultation for painful ingrown toenails, or book an appointment online today.