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Can Ingrown Toenails Become Infected?

An ingrown toenail can be quite painful. It happens when the nail grows into the surrounding skin instead of over it. In severe cases, it may bleed and become infected, and it may be necessary to perform surgery for permanent relief. An ingrown toenail often affects the big toe, and in most cases, requires prompt medical treatment. Patients can experience symptoms that often include swelling, tenderness, and it may produce pus or fluid if it becomes infected. There are various reasons why people may notice an ingrown toenail developing. These can consist of wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, genetic reasons that can cause curved toenails, or if a toe injury has occurred. Relief may come from soaking the foot in warm water, followed by using a cotton swab to gently pull the skin away from the nail. This is considered to be a temporary fix until a podiatrist can be contacted. If you have developed this uncomfortable ailment, please make an appointment with this type of doctor who can effectively treat ingrown toenails.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of Cascade Foot Clinic. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Bend, OR. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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