When Does an Ingrown Toenail Require a Visit to the Podiatrist?

While it might seem like an embarrassing problem, ingrown toenails are rather common. About 18% of adults have experienced one at some point in their lives, and many of them end up visiting a podiatrist for help. While many will attempt to treat an ingrown toenail at home, it's important to know when a professional should step in and take over. 

Caring Podiatry in Monroe Township and Neptune, New Jersey, provides podiatric care to everyone, regardless of their age. This includes assisting with ingrown toenails and any infections that might have formed as a result. Our doctors and staff at Caring Podiatry see plenty of cases and know exactly how to provide relief and prevent further issues. 

What are ingrown toenails? 

Your toenail is supposed to grow straight out from the bed of your toe. Ingrown toenails occur when the toenail begins to grow sideways, into the crease of your nail-bed. Ingrown toenails most often affect the big toes, though your smaller toes can also suffer from this problem. 

As the nail grows, it begins to wear and cut your toe. This is painful and can cause swelling and weeping. If left untreated, your toenail will continue to grow sideways and may even curve under itself. Getting early treatment is essential in preventing infection and other problems. 

Five signs that you need a podiatrist 

You can begin to treat an ingrown toenail at home by soaking your feet in Epsom salt water, wearing sandals, and keeping your toes dry after washing. If you take care of your feet, the problem can be limited and in few cases may even resolve. 

However, it's important to know when to pay your podiatrist a visit. While an ingrown toenail might seem like a small issue, it can quickly become a much larger, more painful problem. Here are five signs you should seek medical help from an expert: 

  1. You're experiencing signs of infection. This includes pus, excessive swelling, and throbbing pain. 
  2. You have a fever, or feel shivery. This is another sign of infection, and you should seek help right away. 
  3. Home remedies aren't working. In these cases, a podiatrist has the skills and knowledge necessary to solve the problem.  
  4. The ingrown toenail keeps coming back. Chronic ingrown toenails can be treated and eliminated on an ongoing basis with your podiatrist. 
  5. You have diabetes. Diabetics have to take extra precautions when their feet and lower legs are involved, and even minor issues like ingrown toenails should be taken to a podiatrist as soon as possible. 

You can avoid developing ingrown toenails by choosing proper footwear, cutting your toenails regularly, and practicing healthy foot care. 

If you're suffering from an ingrown toenail, you should consider coming in before it becomes a larger problem. Caring Podiatry has a 98% success rate for permanently correcting and preventing ingrown nails. You no longer have to imagine a life without ingrown nail pain - you can live it! Treatments are safe and done in-office with very little discomfort afterwards.

You can get in touch with our staff at Caring Podiatry by calling the location closest to you, or booking an appointment online

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