The Ultimate Ingrown Toenail Guide by your Board-Certified Podiatrist Katy

Ingrown toenails can be extremely painful and can often cause damage to your toenail. Removing the ingrown toenail can help relieve you of this painful situation. Dr. Jacobs has been a board-certified podiatrist in Katy for over 30 years and has successfully treated thousands of ingrown toenails.

Have you ever suffered from an ingrown toenail? If the answer is yes, then you know the pain of an ingrown toenail stems from the swelling, pain, redness and sometimes an infection. It is a common problem with up to 50% of the population experiencing an ingrown toenail at some point in their life.

Some reasons for ingrown toenails can include wearing tight-fitting shoes, improper nail trimming or foot pain caused by an injury. Athletes are especially prone to ingrown toenails.

If you have not found a solution, we have a solution to take care of your ingrown toenail by a board-certified foot doctor in Katy, Cypress, or Houston!

In this article, we will discuss the causes, symptoms and how to treat an ingrown toenail.  

How do I know if I have an ingrown toenail? 

When the top corner or edge of your toenail appears damaged or breaks with pressure and starts to grow into the skin behind the nail, you may be experiencing an ingrown toenail. The medical term is Onychocryptosis. 

What causes ingrown toenails?

There are several causes for ingrown toenails. 

  • Any injury to the toenails
  • Wearing tight fitting shoes
  • Toenails cut too short
  • Trimming the toenails at an angle
  • Fungal growth around the toenails
  • Excessive foot sweating 

Most bacteria and fungi grow in warm and humid places. Making a damaged ingrown toenail susceptible to the growth of some of the following bacteria and fungi.

  • Staphylococcus
  • Pseudomonas 
  • Dermatophytes
  • Candida
  • Trichophyton

These bacteria and fungi can penetrate ingrown toenails and spread quickly. When the toenails are infected with bacteria or fungi, it is called Paronychia.

Signs and symptoms of foot pain from ingrown toenails

When someone suffers from ingrown toenails, he/she will experience some or all the following symptoms. If you are experiencing any symptoms or pain, please make an appointment with our board-certified podiatrist in Katy or Cypress.

  • Pain in or around the corners of the nails
  • Fluid accumulation and pain in the skin around the nails
  • Redness or swelling around the toenails or corners of the nails
  • Formation of pus cells in and around the toenails
  • Fungal infection around the edges of the toenails

Things you can try at home to help your foot pain from ingrown toenails

Ingrown toenail removal may be required when you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above. However, for a mild infection, you can try and treat ingrown toenails at home. Here are some remedies that you can try before making an appointment with our board-certified podiatrist in Katy, Cypress or Houston. 

  1. Warm water. Soak your feet in warm water for 15-20 minutes, 3 to 4 times per day. Soaking your feet in warm water can help reduce the pain and swelling of the feet. 
  2. Wear well-fitted shoes and socks. Shoe fit is considered the cause for an ingrown toenail. Always try to use the appropriate size of shoes and socks to mitigate any nail damage resulting in an ingrown toenail. 
  3. Use an over the counter pain reliever. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) may help with pain relief for your ingrown toenail.

When should I see a board-certified podiatrist Katy?

Sometimes very small foot problems can turn into major problems. If you have diabetes, seek medical treatment immediately for any foot pain, redness or swelling. You should make an appointment with our board-certified podiatrist Katy, Cypress or Houston when you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Excessive pain and swelling in the feet
  • When home remedies do not work

Final words from your Katy Foot Doctor about ingrown toenails

Sometimes ingrown toenail removal is the best option to help you with the pain. Our podiatrists use local anesthesia to alleviate any pain from an ingrown toenail removal procedure.

  1. Partial Nail Avulsion: During this ingrown toenail removal process, the doctor removes a portion of the nail so that it does not penetrate the flesh any longer.
  2. Nail Plate Avulsion: For this ingrown toenail removal processs, the doctor removes the entire nail. If the whole nail is removed, often the ingrown toenail will not return. It can take up to 1.5 years for the normal nail to grow back in completely. 
  3. Matrixectomy: This is the most permanent option for ingrown toenail removal when the doctor removes the nail bed along with the nail. This procedure is considered permanent and the ingrown toenail should not return. However, the ingrown toenail can reoccur in less than 5% of the population.

Recommendations 

  • Wear welling fitting size shoes and socks
  • Take care of your feet regularly
  • Cut your toenails straight
  • Don’t dig around your toenails at home by yourself

Proper care of your toenails can often prevent the foot pain associated with ingrown toenails. Shoes must fit appropriately.