An ingrown toenail can be an annoyance or a passing discomfort in the early stages, but can quickly become a serious problem if allowed to progress without treatment. Although for mild cases at-home care is an option, for many circumstances you will want to turn to your Woodbridge, VA, podiatrist for help. Some of the dangers of improper treatment will be outlined below, as well as proper safety, but to learn more about ingrown nails you can get in contact with Dr. Gerard Ranieri of Lake Ridge Podiatry.
Even in early stages, you can experience pain from an ingrown toenail as it pushes into your skin with just the pressure of walking.
The problem begins as your nail begins to grow into adjacent skin which can be visibly seen. At this stage, if it isn't very painful, you can simply trim the nail. But it can quickly become infected causing redness at the site, swelling, sometimes bleeding and oozing, and certainly increasing pain the longer it lasts.
An infection can threaten not only your toenail but also the bone beneath, and your overall health if it becomes serious enough. If you suffer from diabetes these complications can be even more severe. Treating an ingrown toenail that's become infected is inadvisable and dangerous.
At the first sign of infection, it's important to see your podiatrist for treatment, they can trim back the nail and may treat it so it doesn't grow back into the skin.
Severe cases may need either a partial or complete nail removal, especially also if you have had recurring ingrown toenail problems. In these cases, it's usually best to start again with a new nail, although it may take some time to grow back, often over a year.
Ingrown Toenails in Woodbridge, VA
Consult with your podiatrist for the best way to trim your nails, avoid footwear that bunches your toes, and practice proper foot hygiene to prevent future ingrown toenails.
For help treating ingrown toenails, you can schedule a consultation in Woodbridge, VA, with Dr. Ranieri of Lake Ridge Podiatry by dialing (703) 491-2603.