We tell our patients all the time they never want to wait too long to see us about their ingrown toenail. But too many times we see patients whose toes are throbbing in pain. In some cases, it’s gotten so bad they can barely put a sock on without pain. Today, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists, in Bellevue, WA, is discussing when it’s time to seek treatment.
An Untreated Ingrown Toenail Can Become A Serious Issue
Mild cases of ingrown toenails don’t often stay that way, particularly if you don’t seek treatment. The toenail continues to grow, digging deeper into the toe. As a result, one or more of the following occurs.
- Your pain escalates. The toenail puts powerful pressure on a sensitive part of your body that can’t handle it.
- Sensitivity becomes extreme. Sometimes just the toe bumping into the front of your shoe can cause extreme pain.
- The ingrown toenail can cut through the skin, creating a small lesion. The lesion can easily get infected and if not treated, the infection can spread to the bone. In extreme cases, a toe amputation may be required.
People who have neuropathy or diabetes are at significant risk because in many cases they can’t feel the pain, nor is their immune system able to fight off an infection. This means they might not notice anything is even wrong until it’s gotten really wrong.
Home Treatments for Ingrown Toenails Aren’t Really Effective
Searching on Google for at-home ingrown toenail treatments will return tons of results, including those from respectable medical sites. Unfortunately, you may feel confident going down that road to start.
But the truth is that at-home therapies require a lot of time and a certain amount of luck, and the risk is just too great. Even when they might seem to be working, they usually take several days – at a minimum - to work completely and there’s still a lot of inconvenience and pain to deal with.
A large percentage of patients who get ingrown toenails continue to get them unless there is professional intervention. So whether your ingrown toenail is severe or mild, contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA today at (425) 455-0936 to schedule an appointment for proper treatment.