Ingrown Toenail

Having an ingrown toenail is painful, but with prompt intervention and treatment, you can prevent infection and quickly return to your normal routine. At The Frazier Foot and Ankle Center in Spring, Texas, experienced podiatrist Michael Frazier, DPM, has more than 10 years of experience diagnosing and treating ingrown toenails. Call The Frazier Foot and Ankle Center today to schedule an ingrown toenail appointment, or book your visit online.

What is an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail occurs when your nail grows into the skin around the nail bed instead of away from your toe.

Almost everyone experiences an ingrown toenail during their lives. But if you have a health condition, like diabetes, it can increase your risk of infection and other complications.

What are the symptoms of an ingrown toenail?

Ingrown toenail symptoms include:

  • Inflamed skin
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Infection

As the nail grows further into your skin, your affected toe might ooze blood or pus.

Does wearing certain shoes increase my risk of an ingrown toenail?

Several things can increase your risk of developing an ingrown toenail, including wearing shoes that squeeze your toes together. Other factors that contribute to ingrown toenails include having very curved toenails, a history of nail infections, or cutting your nails too short.

How does a podiatrist diagnose an ingrown toenail?

The Frazier Foot and Ankle Center providers review your medical records, ask about your symptoms, and look at your toe and toenail. They check for redness and swelling, evaluate your toe’s range of motion, and gently press on your toe and surrounding skin to identify sensitive places.

Your provider might take X-rays to determine how far the nail grows into your skin and to determine the most beneficial treatment. They might take a small biopsy sample if there’s an infection to identify the underlying cause.

How does a podiatrist treat an ingrown toenail?

The Frazier Foot and Ankle Center takes a conservative and evidence-based approach when treating ingrown toenails. The team might suggest:

  • Lifting the nail to separate it from the underlying skin
  • Taping the nail so it grows away from the skin
  • Placing a splint underneath the nail to help guide its growth
  • Partially removing the nail

Your provider might recommend removing the entire nail if you have a history of ingrown toenails or a medical condition that increases your risk of complications. To do that, your provider numbs your toe with a local anesthetic and uses a handheld laser to completely remove the nail tissue and prevent it from growing back.

Call The Frazier Foot and Ankle Center today to explore the treatments for an ingrown toenail or make an appointment online.