Severe cases of ingrown toenails can lead to a bone infection. Whether it’s an annoyance, a discomfort, or a more serious complication, Dr. Donald Nichols provides the highest standard of podiatric care at DuPage Foot & Ankle in Wheaton, Hinsdale, and Oak Brook, Illinois. Some ingrown toenails can go away on their own, but others necessitate treatment to prevent any further complications. Call or book an appointment online today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Nichols.
An ingrown toenail occurs when the side or corner of a toenail grows into the flesh and skin in the wrong direction. The edge of the nail breaks through your skin and can cause inflammation, pain, swelling, and pus drainage.
More severe cases can lead to an infection, including a serious bone infection.
Ingrown toenails typically occur on the big toe and can go away on their own. Ingrown toenails are more common among athletes, but some medical conditions like diabetes can result in poor blood flow to the feet, increasing the risk of complications developing from ingrown toenails.
The cause of ingrown toenails isn’t always clear, but a number of factors can play a role, including:
There are many ways you can treat an ingrown toenail at home. To relieve tenderness and swelling, it’s helpful to soak your feet in warm water for around 20 minutes a couple of times per day.
There are over-the-counter antibiotic creams to treat or prevent infection, and padding and bandages you can place around your toe to protect it.
Dr. Nichols might send you for on-site X-ray imaging if necessary, but most ingrown toenails can be diagnosed in a physical exam. If your at-home care efforts aren’t successful and your ingrown toenail is still a concern, Dr. Nichols might recommend antibiotics, pain-relieving medications, and orthotic devices such as separators.
If you have diabetes or another medical condition that causes poor blood circulation to your feet, it’s important to visit a trained podiatrist like Dr. Nichols for specialized care.
If your ingrown toenail has become infected, Dr. Nichols might recommend surgery to remove all or part of the toenail. Surgery to remove the infected toenail and topical or oral antibiotic medications work to fight and stop the infection. Dr. Nichols provides conservative and minimally invasive treatments.
If you have an ingrown toenail that isn’t going away, visit Dr. Nichols and the DuPage Foot & Ankle team. Call or use online booking to schedule your appointment today.