Over 70 percent of Canadians will suffer from some sort of foot problem at some point in their life. Some of these issues are worse than others.
So, how do you know when ingrown toenails are just a nuisance and when they're a bigger problem?
We can help. Let's go through when to consult a foot care specialist about your ingrown toenails.
What Is an Ingrown Toenail?
An ingrown toenail is a common condition that occurs when part of a toenail grows into the surrounding skin. It typically affects the big toe, although it can occur in other toes as well.
If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can worsen and cause more discomfort. In severe cases, it can cause an infection, which can spread to the underlying bone or lead to the formation of a skin abscess. People with diabetes or other conditions that compromise blood flow to the feet need to be especially cautious.
What Are the Major Signs of Having an Ingrown Toenail?
There are a few signs you might have an ingrown toenail. The affected area of the toe, usually the side or corner of the nail, may be painful and tender to the touch.
The skin around the ingrown toenail may become red and swollen. The area may appear inflamed and feel warm to the touch.
The skin around the ingrown toenail can become sensitive and may be more prone to irritation or pressure from activities such as walking or wearing shoes.
How Can a Footcare Specialist Treat Ingrown Toenails?
A foot care specialist can provide various treatment options based on the severity of the ingrown toenail. If your home remedies aren't working, it might be time to ask the professionals.
Footcare specialists will usually start with conservative treatments. They may try soaking the foot in warm water to reduce inflammation and soften the skin.
Additionally, they may recommend applying topical antibiotic ointments to prevent or treat any infection around the ingrown toenail. Nail trimming techniques are another approach employed by foot care specialists.
What Is a Surgical Procedure for Treating Ingrown Toenails?
When conservative ingrown toenail treatments are not effective or in cases of severe or recurrent ingrown toenails, a surgical procedure may be recommended by a foot care specialist.
One common surgical procedure for treating an ingrown toenail is called a partial nail avulsion or partial nail plate excision. This is basically an ingrown toenail removal.
This involves numbing the affected toe with a local anesthetic and removing the ingrown portion of the nail. The nail may be cut straight across, or a wedge-shaped section may be removed.
When Is Surgery Required to Treat an Ingrown Toenail?
If you have a history of repeated ingrown toenails that have not responded well to conservative treatments or keep coming back, surgery may be recommended. Surgery can address the underlying nail or nail bed issues that are causing the recurrence.
In some cases, the ingrown toenail may be associated with nail deformities, such as excessively curved nails or abnormally thickened nails. Surgery can correct these nail deformities and alleviate the pressure on the surrounding skin.
Ingrown Toenails: Consult a Footcare Specialist Today
There are a lot of causes of ingrown toenails that might make you want to consult a foot care specialist. If you're already suffering from them, it's definitely time to take the plunge.
If you have an ingrown toenail and are looking for a foot care specialist in Windsor, Contact our foot specialist. We have one of the most experienced foot specialists in Windsor. Please browse our website for more information and to schedule a consultation.