Birch Tree Foot and Ankle
Foot and Ankle Specialist located in Traverse City, MI
Ingrown toenails are a common but painful condition that increases the risk of infection and other complications. At Birch Tree Foot and Ankle, fellowship-trained foot and ankle surgeon Jeffrey Weber, DPM, uses safe, effective treatments to manage ingrown toenails. To make an appointment at the practice in Traverse City and Manistee, Michigan, call the nearest office or click the online booking tool today.
Ingrown Toenails Q&A
What are ingrown toenails?
Ingrown toenails occur when your nail grows into the soft skin surrounding the nail bed. Without intervention and treatment, ingrown toenails increase the risk of infection, especially if you have diabetes, poor circulation, or another underlying health problem.
Ingrown toenails affect people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. There’s no way to prevent them entirely, but there are steps you can take to minimize their occurrence.
What are the symptoms of ingrown toenails?
Common symptoms of ingrown toenails include:
- Swelling around the affected nail
- Pain and tenderness
- Red, inflamed skin
- Infection of the skin and tissue around a nail
If you experience these or similar issues, contact Dr. Weber right away. The sooner you receive treatment, the less likely you are to experience potential complications.
What causes ingrown toenails?
Ingrown toenails occur for various reasons, including having unusually curved toenails, cutting your toenails too short or at an angle, and wearing shoes that crowd your nails. You might also experience an ingrown nail if you injure your toe by stubbing it or dropping a heavy object on it.
How are ingrown toenails diagnosed?
To diagnose ingrown toenails, Dr. Weber asks about your symptoms and examines your affected toe. Ingrown toenails cause visible symptoms, including redness, swelling, and warmth. That allows Dr. Weber to make a comprehensive diagnosis without any special equipment like X-rays, ultrasound, or an MRI.
How are ingrown toenails treated?
Treatment of ingrown toenails depends on the severity of the infection and your symptoms. Depending on your needs, Dr. Weber might recommend:
Lifting the nail
If you have a mild ingrown nail and your toe is only slightly red, Dr. Weber lifts it. He separates the nail from your skin with a piece of cotton or dental floss, which encourages the nail to grow out and away from your skin.
Partially removing the nail
If your affected toe is swollen and oozing pus, Dr. Weber might recommend partially removing the nail. First, he administers a local anesthetic to numb your toe. Once the anesthesia sets in, he carefully removes the portion of the nail growing into your skin.
Completely removing the nail
If you have a history of ingrown nails on the same toe, Dr. Weber might recommend removing the nail entirely. Before treatment, he administers a local anesthetic. When the medication sets in, he uses a laser tool or medical-grade chemicals to remove your toenail and the underlying tissue.
To learn more about treatment for ingrown toenails, make an appointment at Birch Tree Foot and Ankle by calling the nearest office or clicking the online booking tool today.
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