InStride Comprehensive Foot and Ankle Center
Zachary Nellas, DPM
Podiatrist & Foot and Ankle Surgeon located in Charlotte, NC
Ingrown toenails are a painful condition that can damage the tissue surrounding your nail. If you experience symptoms of an ingrown toenail, the team at InStride Comprehensive Foot and Ankle Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, can help relieve your pain and restore your nail back to normal function. Led by board-certified podiatrist Zachary Nellas, DPM, the practice offers a number of conservative and surgical treatments for a wide range of foot and ankle problems. To find out which treatment is best for your ingrown nail, call or book an appointment online today.
Ingrown Toenails Q & A
What is an ingrown toenail?
An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of your nail begins to grow into the skin of your toe. Over time, the pressure caused by this ingrowth can break through the skin, increasing your pain and inflammation. In most cases, ingrown toenails affect the big toe.
What causes ingrown toenails?
There are a number of issues that can lead to an ingrown toenail. For some people, the natural curve or size of their nail leaves them more prone to ingrown toenails. Improperly trimming your nails or wearing shoes that crowd your toes can also lead to an ingrown toenail.
Additional causes include:
- Repetitive stress
- Foot deformities
Ingrown toenails are common in certain athletics like soccer, tennis, and basketball. If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to an infection that can spread to other areas of your body.
What are the symptoms of an ingrown toenail?
- Tenderness around the toenail
As the ingrown toenail digs into the skin, it causes pain, redness, and inflammation. In some cases, the affected tissue may leak pus, a good indication of infection. If you experience pain or other concerning symptoms in one or more of your toes, Dr. Nellas can help find the right treatment for you.
What conservative treatments are available for ingrown toenails?
In most cases, ingrown toenails are effectively treated through conservative methods. If your condition is mild, your doctor may recommend at-home remedies like:
- Soaking the affected foot
- Antibiotic ointment
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
If your condition doesn’t improve with at-home care, Dr. Nellas may perform a simple procedure to lift the ingrown nail. Dr. Nellas applies a splint under the affected toenail to help it grow above the surrounding skin. This procedure keeps the edge of your nail from digging into your skin, allowing the nail to grow normally.
What if I need surgery?
If your ingrown toenail becomes infected or doesn’t improve with conservative treatment, you may require nail surgery. Dr. Nellas performs nail surgery to treat infected tissue, alleviate pain, and prevent your ingrown toenail from coming back. During the surgery, Dr. Nellas removes the ingrown portion of your nail. In some cases, he may remove the underlying tissue as well. To speak with Dr. Nellas about your ingrown toenail, book an appointment by phone or online today.