CarePlus Foot and Ankle Specialists
Hubert Lee, DPM
Podiatrist located in Bellevue, WA
If you aren’t careful to trim your toenails in a straight line, you’re more likely to develop an ingrown toenail. Left unmanaged, ingrown toenails increase your risk of infection, especially if you have diabetes. Hubert Lee, DPM, at CarePlus Foot and Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, Washington, regularly works with patients to treat and relieve pain and infections caused by ingrown toenails. To make your appointment, call the office or click the online booking tool today.
Ingrown Toenail Q&A
What is an ingrown toenail?
An ingrown toenail is a common foot-related health problem that occurs when your toenail curves downward and grows into the skin surrounding your nail bed. As your nail grows into your surrounding soft skin, it causes pain, swelling, and redness. If left untreated, an infection may also develop.
Ingrown toenails affect people of all ages and backgrounds, but they’re especially dangerous if you have diabetes or another chronic condition that negatively impacts your circulation.
What are the symptoms of an ingrown toenail?
The symptoms of an ingrown toenail vary depending on the severity and your individual health history. However, telltale signs include:
- Toe pain and tenderness
- Swelling and redness around your toenail
- Infection around your toenail
If you develop an ingrown toenail your toe may ooze pus. You might also experience pain that starts in your toe and radiates into your foot.
What causes ingrown toenails?
There are many reasons ingrown toenails develop. Common causes include:
- Having unusually curved toenails
- Cutting your toenails too short
- Cutting your toenails at an angle
- Wearing shoes that crowd your toes
You’re also more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you injure your toe while playing sports or walking around barefoot. For example, if you stub your toe or crush your toe, you’re more likely to experience an ingrown toenail.
How is an ingrown toenail diagnosed?
To diagnose an ingrown toenail, Dr. Lee reviews your medical history and examines your foot and toe. If you have diabetes or another health problem that affects your circulation, Dr. Lee might also order diagnostic imaging in order to detect a deeper infection.
How are ingrown toenails treated?
To treat ingrown toenails, Dr. Lee performs a simple outpatient procedure. First, Dr. Lee administers a local anesthetic that numbs your affected toe. After the anesthetic sets in, Dr. Lee carefully removes the portion of your toenail that’s growing into your skin. This treatment eliminates pain quickly and requires no downtime. In fact, you can drive home following your appointment.
If you develop an infection as the result of an ingrown toenail, Dr. Lee might also prescribe a short course of antibiotics. Follow his instructions carefully, and your affected toe should heal quickly.
To learn more about treatment for ingrown toenails, make an appointment at CarePlus Foot and Ankle Specialists by calling the office or clicking the online booking tool today.