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Can Ingrown Toenails Become Infected?

Monday, 21 October 2019 00:00

A painful foot condition that is known as an ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of the toenail grows into the surrounding skin. It can happen as a result of wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in, or from trimming the toenails incorrectly. The symptoms that are generally associated with this ailment can include pain and discomfort, swelling, and the affected area may appear to be red. In severe cases, the ingrown toenail may ooze a discharge, and this needs to be treated immediately to help prevent infection. Patients who have ingrown toenails may find moderate relief when the toe is soaked in warm water. This may make it easier to push the skin away from the nail with a piece of cotton. Additionally, it may help to wear shoes that have an open toe area, which can prevent pressure on the toe from being exerted. If you are afflicted with this condition, it is strongly suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly treat ingrown toenails.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Lee R. Stein of Lake Shore Foot & Ankle, PC. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Chicago, Highland Park, and Uptown, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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