One of the most common ailments we see at Edmond/Norman Foot & Ankle is ingrown toenails, or, as they are known by their medical name, onychocryptosis. A nail becomes ingrown when it turns down and begins to grow into the skin surrounding the nail bed. The area becomes red and swollen and it can be incredibly painful. Once the skin is broken by the nail, bacteria can enter and cause an infection. Although the big toe is the one most often affected, ingrown nails can occur in the other toes as well.
Common Causes of Ingrown Toenails
Many ingrown toenails are the result of improperly trimming the nails. Toenails should be cut straight across, not rounded at the edges. Other causes of ingrown nails are:
- Fungal infections
- Toenail deformities
- Improperly fitting shoes
- Excessive and repeated force to toes, such as runners and other athletes experience
- Injury to the toenail
Sometimes ingrown toenails will go away on their own. If you have one that seems to be persisting, or you see any signs of infection—especially pus or fluid draining from the nail, make an appointment at either our Edmond or Norman office. Our board certified podiatrist, Dr. A. Bil Buksh will help you get rid of this irritating condition. The foot doctor will decide on the treatment plan that is right for you, which may include:
- Soaking your foot in warm water and Epsom salts
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Antibiotics, if an infection is present
If this is not the first time you’ve had an ingrown nail and it is becoming a chronic problem, the doctor can perform minor surgery to remove all or part of the nail and prevent the condition from returning.
The trick is not to allow a minor nuisance to become a major problem. Contact us today if you are suffering from an ingrown toenail or have questions about any other foot, nail, or ankle issue.