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3525 Ensign Rd NE, Suite N

Olympia, WA 98506

Phone: (360) 943-9600 

Fax: (360) 943-9694

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Ingrown Toenails

 

Ingrown toenails are painful toenail condition where the sides of the nail rub, irritate, and can even cut into the skin.  Most toenails grow with a gentle curve, but some may have a severe curve, which can cause an increased incidence of ingrown nails.  The great toe is the most common place to get ingrown toenails, but they can occur on any toe.

 

Causes:

  • Hereditary

  • Improper shoe size (too tight)

  • Damage to toenails or toes

  • Improperly trimmed toenails

 

Symptoms:

  • Pain on the edge of a toenail

  • Redness and swelling

  • Drainage – blood, clear fluid, pus

  • Bad odor

 

When to see a Podiatrist:

 

Anyone with diabetes or poor circulation should be seen as soon as possible at any sign of an ingrown toenail.  You should see a podiatrist if you have experienced a trauma to the toe and pain does not alleviate quickly.  Redness and any drainage should be seen quickly by a podiatrist. 

 

What to do at home:

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REMOVE THE NAIL YOURSELF!  This is very painful, and can cause other complications, including infection, and a permanently disfigured toenail.  Diabetics, and people with poor circulation should not try any at home treatment, GO T O YOUR PODIATRIST INSTEAD!   Place the foot in a bowl of warm (not hot) water with epsome salt for 15 minutes.  Dry the foot well, and apply antibiotic ointment and a band aid over the area.  Repeat this twice daily until you are seen by a podiatrist.

 

Prevention:

  • Trim toenails properly: cut them straight across, not longer than the tip of the toes. Do not dig into corners and only gently round off corners with a nail file. Use toenail clippers.

  • Avoid shoes with pointy or narrow toe boxes.

  • Never rip or tear edges of nails.