What Is An Ingrown Toenail?

An ingrown toenail is a condition in which the edge or corner of your toenail grows into the skin next to your nail. It usually affects the big toe. This foot condition can present at any age. Most cases of ingrown toenails can be treated at home. However, you should immediately see an ingrown toenail specialist if you experience complications such as severe pain, swollen toe, bleeding, etc. The risk of complications is higher in people who have diabetes.

Dr. Sophia Solomon is a top-rated podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon in New York City. She has been treating people dealing with ingrown toenails for a long time. She offers both surgical and non-surgical treatment options for ingrown toenails. Book an appointment with Dr. Solomon today!

Causes and Symptoms

An ingrown toenail is a painful condition that can occur in both men and women. The most common causes of ingrown toenails include cutting toenails incorrectly, curved or irregular toenails, wearing ill-fitting footwear that places a lot of pressure on the big toe, injury to the toenail, poor posture, poor foot hygiene, genetic predisposition, etc. Certain physical or athletic activities like kicking a ball repeatedly may make a person prone to developing an ingrown toenail. The most common symptoms of ingrown toenails include:

  • Pain, redness, and swelling

  • Overgrown skin next to the affected toenail

  • Pus coming from the affected toe

  • Bleeding

Diagnosis and Treatment

If you are diabetic or have a medical condition that causes poor circulation, you should see a foot specialist as soon as any of the symptoms appear. It will help you avoid any further complications. Your NYC podiatrist Dr. Sophia Solomon can diagnose an ingrown toenail with a visual examination. She may ask you about your overall health and family history to determine the exact cause of the problem. Dr. Solomon may use X-rays to diagnose your foot issue if you have an ingrown toenail caused by a foot injury or you have severe pain or a history of chronic infections.

An ingrown toenail that is not infected can be treated with conservative, non-surgical treatment options. These include soaking your foot in warm water, using OTC pain medications, pushing the skin next to the toenail corner with a cotton ball, applying a topical antibiotic, etc. Your foot doctor in New York can recommend an appropriate treatment based on your lifestyle.

If there is any sign of infection such as pus, redness and swelling, warmth, etc., you should visit an ingrown toenail specialist in New York City. You may require surgery if conventional treatments do not solve your ingrown toenail issues. The surgical procedure, known as a nail avulsion, involves removing part or all of your toenail. Your podiatrist may perform a Matrixectomy to prevent part of your toenail from growing back.