Ingrown toenails are annoying and painful, but if you have diabetes or another problem that affects your circulation, they increase your risk of more serious health problems like infection or amputation. At his Houston-area practice, Kent Jarvis, DPM, provides outpatient treatment for ingrown toenails. To schedule an appointment at The Woodlands or Atascocita, Texas, location, book online or call to speak with a staff member today.
An ingrown toenail occurs when your nail grows into the soft skin surrounding the nail bed. Ingrown toenails most commonly affect the big toe, triggering various symptoms, including redness, swelling, and irritation.
Most ingrown toenails resolve on their own. If your symptoms persist for more than a few days, or they prevent you from standing or walking, contact Dr. Jarvis immediately.
Ingrown toenails occur for various reasons, including:
You’re also more likely to experience an ingrown toenail if you cut your nails at an angle instead of straight across.
Ingrown toenails typically respond to conservative measures of care. If you have diabetes or another condition that affects your circulation, an ingrown toenail increases your risk of serious complications. Even a minor foot injury like a cut or scrape can become infected, resulting in a diabetic foot ulcer or tissue death (gangrene).
To prevent these and other issues, it’s critical to inspect your feet each day. If you notice a puncture wound or laceration, clean and dress it right away.
To diagnose an ingrown toenail, Dr. Jarvis asks about your symptoms and physically examines your feet and toes. In the majority of cases, visual observation is enough to make a diagnosis. He might also order laboratory tests or diagnostic imaging if he suspects an underlying problem is to blame.
Treatment for an ingrown toenail depends on the severity of the condition and its effect on your daily life. Dr. Jarvis might recommend:
For ingrown toenails that are red and slightly painful, Dr. Jarvis lifts the nail. To do this, he puts a piece of dental floss or cotton under the nail. That provides separation, allowing the nail to grow out and away from your skin.
If your ingrown toenail is swollen, red, and oozing pus, Dr. Jarvis administers a local anesthetic to numb the area and minimize the pain. Afterward, he carefully trims back a portion of your nail, preventing further damage.
If you develop an ingrown toenail that doesn’t respond to treatment, Dr. Jarvis might recommend removing it. There are several ways to do this, including chemical solutions and medical lasers.
To learn more about treatment for ingrown toenails, request a consultation at the practice of Kent Jarvis, DPM. Call to speak to a member of the support staff or book online today.