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How to Know When to See Your Antioch Podiatrist for an Ingrown Toenail

Dr. Eman Elmi
November 3, 2022
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An Ingrown toenail is often seen as an inconvenience and a source of nagging discomfort. While most ingrown toenails can be treated with home remedies, this is unfortunately not always the case. Some ingrown toenails require a trip to the podiatrist to prevent more serious medical problems. For Bay Area residents, an Antioch podiatrist from Diablo Foot & Ankle is a trusted resource when ingrown toenails become a concern. 

But how do you know when to see a doctor for ingrown toenail treatment? And what types of ingrown toenail treatment options are available to you?

When To See A Podiatrist for an Ingrown Toenail

An ingrown toenail occurs when the toenail begins to cut into the skin on the toe. Both adults and children can suffer from ingrown toenails.

Ingrown toenails can be caused by many different factors. It is possible to develop ingrown toenails for several reasons, including tight-fitting shoes, improper nail-cutting habits, toe injuries, and genetic factors. Check out our previous guide to learn more about the causes of ingrown toenails.

In most cases, ingrown toenails are painful and can cause swelling and redness in the area. Most ingrown toenails will not develop beyond that and can be treated at home on your own. However, infections can develop from ingrown toenails. You should see a podiatrist as soon as you believe your ingrown toenail has become infected. Infections can cause a wide range of more severe health complications, including decreased blood circulation, foot ulcers, and more.

An infected ingrown toenail will become much more painful very quickly. Many patients also notice pus or ooze around the infected area. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should see a podiatrist immediately.

People with diabetes should also monitor ingrown toenails more closely, and consider seeing a podiatrist immediately. This is because diabetes can lead to greater complications stemming from infections of all types. An infected ingrown toenail can be a serious health concern for somebody with diabetes.

Ingrown Toenail Removal

There are multiple options for ingrown toenail treatment available to those who need it. There are several things you can do to treat or remove your ingrown toenail at home. Podiatrists recommend soaking your foot in warm, soapy water for up to 20 minutes to ease the pain. If possible, you may then be able to gently lift the ingrown toenail out of the nail bed. Other habits like wearing well-fitting shoes and comfortable socks, and trimming your nails regularly and in a straight line, can prevent ingrown toenails and reduce pain.

Antibiotic ointments and medications are also available to treat infections caused by ingrown toenails. Other treatment options to manage pain involve cushioning or insulating the toe with cotton or commercial toe guards.

But for the most serious cases, professional ingrown toenail removal is available as a last resort. Thankfully, most ingrown toenail removal procedures are minimally invasive and very easy to perform. A partial nail avulsion is a common ingrown toenail treatment procedure to remove the ingrown section of a toenail. This procedure typically takes around 10 minutes and requires no recovery time. Many patients who receive this treatment have the procedure performed on the day of their initial doctor’s visit. Antibiotics may be needed to treat any lingering infections. However, this ingrown toenail removal procedure is extremely simple and relatively painless.

For professional ingrown toenail removal in the Bay Area, your local Antioch podiatrists at Diablo Foot & Ankle can help you. Diablo Foot & Ankle’s experienced medical team has worked for years to provide the best foot and ankle healthcare in the region. Whether you simply wish to schedule a consultation or need urgent ingrown toenail treatment, our Antioch podiatrists can help. Contact us to learn more or schedule a consultation.

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