Ingrown toenails can be more than just painful; when left untreated, they can cause infection and serious complications. If you have an ingrown toenail causing soreness and making it difficult to do the things you usually do, it’s time to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist. The podiatrists at Starrett Podiatry diagnose and treat ingrown toenails in six New York offices for your convenience located in East Harlem and West Harlem in New York City; Brooklyn, New York; and Mott Haven and Belmont in Bronx, New York.
Ingrown toenails curve and grow right into the flesh around the nail, usually at the edge or corner of the nail. That can create an open sore on the skin, redness, pain, inflammation, and swelling. When the skin breaks, ingrown toenails can also lead to infection, requiring medical treatment.
The symptoms you experience might change as the ingrown toenail worsens. Initially, you’ll experience redness, swelling, and pain.
Later, you might notice that extra tissue begins to grow around the nail and some yellowish drainage is present. Eventually, you can develop an infection characterized by fever, swelling, drainage, and redness.
If you have diabetes, drainage or foul odor, or severe pain, contact a podiatrist right away. Furthermore, if you try home treatment and don’t see results within a week, it’s time to see a doctor.
However, if you're otherwise healthy and your ingrown toenail merely causes minor discomfort and not showing any signs of infection, soaking your foot in warm water with Epsom salt mixed in and gently massaging the sore tissue while soaking. Avoid cutting the nail as this can create a sharper edge and result in further pain and complications.
The most significant concern with ingrown toenails is infection; when severe, an infection can infect your bloodstream, or cause an abscess that requires surgical treatment. Diabetics are at very high risk of complications from ingrown toenails.
Podiatrists provide many treatment options for an ingrown toenail, including cutting the nail down the middle to change the way it grows, applying a splint to protect the skin, draining an abscess if one exists, and surgically removing the ingrown nail.
Podiatrists specialize in treating both common and complex diseases and problems impacting your feet. For expert treatment of ingrown toenails, contact the experienced team at Starrett Podiatry in six locations in New York.