Ingrown Toenails

Family Foot and Ankle Clinic, LLC

Podiatrists located in Weston, Merrill, Marathon, Antigo, & Woodruff, WI

While an ingrown toenail might not seem too serious, this condition can make even brushing your toe against the bedsheet extremely painful. Ingrown toenails can lead to even more painful and dangerous infections, which is why medical attention is important. At Family Foot & Ankle Clinic LLC, Dr. Joel Tikalsky treats ingrown toenails and advises his patients in Weston, Wisconsin, how to avoid them in the future. To learn more about ingrown toenails, call or use the online scheduling tool to book an appointment.

Ingrown Toenails Q & A

What is an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail happens when the outer edges of your toenail grow into the surrounding flesh, rather than over it. This condition typically strikes your big toe, and it can lead to inflammation, swelling, and tenderness.

If left untreated, the toenail can break your skin, allowing bacteria to get in and an infection to develop. This point is especially problematic if you have a pre-existing problem that affects the circulation in your feet, such as diabetes or peripheral artery disease.

What causes an ingrown toenail?

There are many reasons why you may be more susceptible to ingrown toenails, such as:

  • Trauma to your big toe
  • Heredity
  • Wearing improper footwear that crowds your feet
  • Trimming your toenails poorly (not straight across or too short)

How are ingrown toenails treated?

While you may be able to treat your ingrown toenail at home by soaking your toe in warm water and massaging the toenail out of your skin or trimming it away, if you have recurring issues with ingrown toenails, it’s always worth having a podiatrist like Dr. Tikalsky check it out. This is especially true for anyone who has circulatory problems or diabetes, where a simple ingrown toenail can turn into a hard-to-treat infection.

To treat your ingrown toenail, Dr. Tikalsky may:

  • Place material underneath your toenail to coax it to grow up and over your skin
  • Remove a part of your toenail
  • Surgically remove your nail down to the nailbed in order to prevent recurrence of ingrown toenails

In addition to treating the immediate problem, Dr. Tikalsky makes suggestions to avoid ingrown toenails down the road, such as:

  • Showing you how to trim your nails properly
  • Recommending better footwear
  • Soaking your feet regularly
  • Placing a splint or dental floss under the edges of your nail to guide its growth

For such a seemingly small problem, ingrown toenails can hijack your entire well-being, thanks to the pain and tenderness that can develop as the toenail pushes against the nerves in your skin. The good news is that one quick appointment with Dr. Tikalsky can offer immediate relief and arm you with better tools to prevent them from happening again.

If you’re plagued by ingrown toenails, call Family Foot & Ankle Clinic LLC to learn more, or use the online scheduling tool to book an appointment.