What to Do If You Have an Ingrown Toenail?

Ingrown toenails can be very painful and tend to worsen quickly if proper care is not taken. At Step by Step Family Foot Care, our board-certified podiatrist Dr. Debra B. Manheim has often witnessed that people do not take ingrown toenails seriously until they become excessively painful or are infected with pus.

Keep these practices in mind if you feel you are developing an ingrown toenail:

  • Wear open shoes or ones with a spacious toe box. Avoid tight footwear that crams the toes together and pushes the nails to bend down and grow inwards.
  • Examine your feet regularly for any signs like tenderness, redness, swelling, or pain. Consult your doctor immediately if you have any symptoms.
  • If your nail sides feel tender, massage your feet in warm water so that the skin can be pushed aside from the nail.
  • Cut your nails short and straight across to prevent skin from overlapping on the nail.
  • Do not file your nails round as that increases the likelihood of ingrown toenails.
  • Do not try to “fix it” by meddling with the affected areas using sharp and/or pointed objects. One small nick in the wrong place could start the onset of a very painful infection.
  • Seek professional help right away to avoid aggravating the condition and suffering in pain unnecessarily.

Delaying your visit to your podiatrist will only intensify the situation. In worst cases, the nail could become infected with pus or bacteria, which could require several treatments, like surgical procedures, laser treatment, and more. Visit our office in Parsippany, New Jersey, to have a thorough check-up and get treated for any prevailing foot conditions that you may be encountering. Feel free to browse through our patient education library and blog section on our website.

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