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3 Causes of Painful Ingrown Toenails

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Ingrown toenails can be extremely painful. They can cause swelling and bleeding, and also lead to a bacterial or fungal toenail infection. While you may be able to treat a minor ingrown toenail yourself, in most cases it’s best to have them treated by your foot doctor for complete relief and to avoid unnecessary complications.

3 probable reasons for experiencing painful ingrown toenails may include the following:

  1. Poor toenail cutting technique—Take care when cutting your toenails that you don’t cut them too short. It’s also best to cut them straight across (or on just a slight curve). That way, the sharp leading edge of the toenail will stay away from your tender skin.
  2. Injury to the foot or toe—Stubbing your toe or dropping something heavy on top of your foot can damage a toenail and cause it to start growing inward.
  3. Tight-fitting shoes—Shoes like high heels that push your toes together with considerable force are culprits in many toe and foot problems, including ingrown toenails.

2 treatments for painful ingrown toenails may include the following:

  1. Lifting the toenail edge—In many instances, you may have success by carefully lifting the edge of the toenail where it is pushing into your skin and inserting a piece of moleskin or cotton to prop the nail up so it can grow out instead of inward.
  2. Partial or total toenail removal—For severely deformed toenails, your foot doctor may need to partially or totally remove the nails.

If you are experiencing painful ingrown toenails, see your foot doctor for proper treatment and to help prevent complications. At Atlantic Foot and Ankle Specialists, Dr. Melissa Robitaille and Dr. Todd Newsom treat virtually all types of foot and ankle disorders including bunions, hammertoes, ingrown toenails, and heel pain. Equipped with leading-edge technologies such as extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) and laser surgery for toenail fungus, we provide specialized, compassionate service for patients in the Pooler, Georgia area of Chatham County. For any pain and discomfort you are experiencing with your feet and ankles, contact us today at (912) 988-3323.


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