The Dangers of An Ingrown Toenail

Like migraines and shark attacks, ingrown toenails can be an incredibly painful experience that one typically does not see coming until ingrown toenailit's too late. Unlike shark attacks (unless you are a surfer or an Australian), ingrown toenails are incredibly common. Although many cases can be treated with conservative measures like a warm foot soak to ease tenderness and swelling, ingrown toenails are also prone to causing infection, and may require surgical removal by a podiatrist of the ingrown portion of the nail.

Alexandria, VA-based podiatrist Dr. Angelo Pace frequently treats patients for ingrown toenails at his practice, Advanced Pace Foot and Ankle Center. Dr. Pace advises patients to take a few precautions when trimming and grooming their toenails in order to minimize the risk that a nail will become ingrown:

  • Avoid jagged and rounded edges when cutting and filing toenails. Cut and trim nails straight across.
  • Keep the feet dry and clean
  • Avoid wearing socks and shoes that are too tight and create prolonged pressure on the toes

What is an Ingrown Toenail?

Most common on the big toe (although technically any nail can become ingrown), they occur when the corner edge of the toenail grows into the soft flesh around the nail. The most common symptoms are:

  • redness
  • swelling
  • pain and tenderness on the side of the ingrown nail
  • pus (sign of infection)

People with diabetes and other conditions that may compromise blood flow and circulation to the feet are at greater risk for further problems and complications from ingrown toenails and other common foot conditions like blisters, callouses, cuts, and warts. Diabetic patients should be especially careful and consult a podiatrist for regular foot care and maintenance.

Ingrown Toenail Treatment in Alexandria

If you are suffering from an ingrown toenail or other foot problem, contact Dr. Angelo Pace at Advanced Pace Foot and Ankle Center to schedule an appointment.