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When an Ingrown Toenail Needs Medical Attention

When an Ingrown Toenail Needs Medical Attention

When people visit the doctor for an issue with their feet, the odds are fairly high that it’s an ingrown toenail. About 20% of podiatric appointments get scheduled because of this common foot problem. 

Not all ingrown toenails require a doctor’s visit, but when yours does, we can help. As specialists in nail disorders, Samantha Childers, DPM, and Ricky Childers, DPM, have the expertise needed to resolve your ingrown nail and the pain it’s causing you at our North Central Texas Foot & Ankle offices in Roanoke and Decatur, Texas. 

But how do you know when it’s time to make an appointment with us? Let’s take a look. 

Identifying an ingrown toenail

Fortunately, you can diagnose this common issue on your own at home. You can tell that you have an ingrown because the nail is growing into your skin. You might notice redness or swelling around the ingrown nail. 

You can try treating the nail at home first. For a few days, soak your foot in warm water with a little bit of soap or Epsom salt. Do this for 10 to 20 minutes a few times a day. Other than that, keep your feet clean and dry. Avoid shoes and socks that fit tightly over the toe. 

Whatever you do, don’t try to dig out the nail or cut it on your own. Doing so can result in an infection, making the issue much worse. 

When to see a doctor

If your nail doesn’t improve after a few days of your at-home soak regimen, call us and make an appointment. 

At our office, Dr. Childers removes the part of your nail that’s growing into your toe. If it’s needed, we can apply a local anesthetic to ensure you’re completely comfortable during this treatment. Having us handle this removal rather than trying to DIY it significantly reduces your risk of an infection. 

Most people get immediate relief from their ingrown toenail treatment. 

A note about preexisting conditions

Most people can safely monitor their ingrown toenail and try at-home treatment to see if it resolves itself in a few days. But if you have a preexisting condition that affects the circulation in your legs and feet, including diabetes, you shouldn’t wait to seek medical attention. 

Circulation problems can make your ingrown nail develop into a more serious issue for your foot. If you have diabetes or other foot problems, schedule a visit to our office whenever you notice the early signs of an ingrown nail. 

When you need to see a doctor for an ingrown toenail, we’re here to help. Call or message one of our offices to schedule an appointment. 

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