MY TOE HURTS… DO I HAVE AN INGROWN TOENAIL?

Dennis B. McBroom
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Ingrown toenails are one of the most common reasons for toe pain, especially the big toe.  Ingrown toenails occur when the sides of the toenail grows into the skin.  The digging into the skin of the nail leads to a range of symptoms including redness and pain.  Often the skin on the affected side of the toe will appear swollen and may be firm. The skin may even start to grow over the nail.  In some cases there may be drainage from the toenail as well.

There are a couple of different possible causes of ingrown toenails including wearing shoes that are too tight and squeeze the toes.  As well cutting toenails too short or rounded can cause the nail to grow into the skin.  Injury like stubbing the toe can lead to an ingrown toenail.   Also some people are born with curved nails and are prone to develop ingrown toenails.

The condition needs to be treated in order to avoid infection, a common complication of an ingrown toenail.  Treatment at home consists of soaks and trimming the nail.  Sometimes at home treatments will not sufficiently remove the nail and can cause the condition to worsen.  Treatment by a podiatrist consists of removing the ingrown part of the nail through a procedure called a partial nail avulsion.  The doctor will first numb the toe then cut the edge of the toenail which is growing incorrectly.  The removed side of nail may take months to regrow.  It is also recommended following the procedure to wear sandals or avoid tight shoes.

If you are suffering from pain or infection caused by an ingrown toenail, make an appointment at one of our four offices located in Daytona Beach, Port Orange, Palm Coast, and Orange City, Florida.  The physicians at Atlantic Foot and Ankle Associates will treat your condition as conservatively as possible and get you back on your feet.

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