Ingrown toenails are so common that 20% of people who see a doctor about their feet are there because of an ingrown toenail. That’s particularly interesting because, in some cases, ingrown toenails can be effectively treated at home.
The main problem stems from the fact that many people don’t realize they have an ingrown toenail until it’s infected. At that point, getting a foot care specialist involved can not only alleviate your pain but also ensure that the infection doesn’t evolve into a more serious issue.
To prevent that, Samantha Childers, DPM, and Ricky Childers, DPM, offer ingrown toenail diagnosis and treatment at our North Central Texas Foot & Ankle offices in Roanoke and Decatur, Texas. We’re here to help you find out if you have an ingrown toenail, if it’s infected, and what you should do about it.
Identifying ingrown toenail infections
The good news is that you don’t need to be a medical specialist to identify a lot of the signs of an infected ingrown toenail.
Start by checking your toenails. If you notice any of the edges of your nails growing down into your skin, you have an ingrown nail.
To determine if you’re already dealing with an infection, look for:
- Tenderness and warmth to the touch
- Hardened skin in the area
- New, swollen skin growing over the nail
- Bleeding or other fluid
- A bad smell
- Throbbing pain
If you have an ingrown nail without any of those signs, you can try home care for a few days. That means soaking your feet a few times a day and keeping them clean and dry in roomy shoes.
If your toenail seems infected, though, don’t wait to make an appointment with us.
Risks with ingrown toenail infections
As we mentioned before, an infection in your toe because of an ingrown toenail can escalate. Left untreated, ingrown toenail infections can spread to the bones in your feet. What’s more, serious infections can lead to gangrene.
This is especially true if you have a condition that affects the circulation or nerves in your feet. If you have diabetes, for example, you should check your feet daily. If you notice any of the signs of an infection, make an appointment with us right away.
Long story short, while an ingrown toenail might not seem like a big deal, an infected one is. If you see any of the signs of infection at the corner of your toenail, don’t wait to set up an appointment with Dr. Childers. At our office, we can both treat the infection and correct the ingrown nail, easing your discomfort and protecting your overall health.
Whenever you need ingrown toenail care, call or message one of our offices to schedule an appointment.