Ingrown toenails are painful, but pain is just one of the problems they can cause. Without prompt and proper medical attention, an ingrown nail can quickly become infected, causing serious complications and even increasing the risk of amputation. Dr. Jeffery W. LaMour helps patients in Pflugerville and Austin, Texas, to relieve ingrown toenails and prevent dangerous infections with state-of-the-art treatment options based on each patient’s needs for long-term relief and better foot health. Plus, he provides guidance and care to help patients prevent ingrown toenails in the future.
Ingrown Toenail Q&A
What causes ingrown toenails?
Ingrown toenails develop when the “growing edge” of the toenail is pressed against the soft tissue at the side of the nail bed, forcing the nail to grow into the tissue instead of above or alongside it. Ingrown toenails can be caused by shoes that are too small or restrictive in the toe area or by regular use of high heels that force the toes into a smaller space, and they’re also more common among people with certain foot or nail shapes, including those whose toenails are very curved or thick. Trimming toenails into a curved shape instead of straight across or trimming nails too short also increases your risks of developing an ingrown toenail.
What symptoms and complications are associated with ingrown toenails?
The most common symptoms of ingrown toenails are pain and tenderness around your nail—especially when your skin is pressed or when you’re wearing shoes—as well as redness and swelling along the edge of the nail. Without treatment, it’s very easy for ingrown toenails to become infected. When that happens, the infection can spread to other areas of your toe and even into your foot.
For this reason, it’s very important to seek medical care at the first sign of an ingrown toenail; not only will prompt care relieve your painful symptoms, but it can also help prevent what could turn out to be a dangerous infection. People with diabetes or other diseases or conditions that affect the nerves or circulation are more likely to develop serious infections since their healing responses may be compromised, and nerve damage can prevent them from feeling pain caused by an ingrown nail until an infection is already present.
How are ingrown toenails treated?
Ingrown toenails—even “mild” cases—require medical attention to prevent serious complications. Dr. LaMour offers simple partial and full nail-removal procedures that he can perform right in the office using a local anesthetic to numb your toe. Afterward, you’ll be able to wear your normal shoes while your toe heals. For recurrent ingrown nails, Dr. LaMour can treat your nail bed to prevent future nail growth.
What can I do to prevent ingrown toenails in the future?
Proper nail trimming is very important. Don’t trim your toenails too short, and trim them straight across—never curved. Wear shoes that have plenty of room in the toe area, and avoid high heels when possible, especially if you’re prone to developing ingrown toenails.
8015 Shoal Creek Blvd Suite 119 Austin, TX 78757 Phone: (512) 451-3668
200 N Heatherwilde Blvd Pflugerville, TX 78660 Phone: (512) 451-3668