Ingrown toenails are one of the most common podiatric conditions. At Family Foot and Ankle Center in Fairfax, Ashburn, McLean, and Reston, VA, your team of seven podiatrists have the experience and skills to help your nails be healthy and pain-free.
What causes ingrown toenails?
Occurring mostly with the big toes, ingrown toenails happen when the corners of a nail invade the surrounding skin, often becoming infected. They sometimes respond to home treatment, but more severe cases require intervention by your foot doctor.
In general, ingrown toenails are a mechanical issue. Constant friction from overly tight shoes and/or socks, trauma to the nail and simply cutting nails too short or at an angle are among the causes.
Ingrown toenails present with pain, redness and swelling. Additionally, many people have a co-existing fungal infection of the toenail or skin of the foot.
Finally, people inherit their foot structure, says the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. People with toes which tend to curve upward seem to develop nail fungus and ingrown toenails more easily.
Treating ingrown toenails
Of course, your Fairfax, Ashburn, McLean, and Reston, VA, podiatrist wants your feet to feel better quickly. They may recommend simple warm soaks at home (adding some Epsom salts to the water if you like) and massaging the sore area. Mild cases respond well to these simple interventions.
However, you should come to the Family Foot and Ankle Center for an examination and treatment if your ingrown toenail persists, gets worse, or shows signs of infection. In that case, your podiatrist may prescribe an oral antibiotic to clear the infection and as necessary may remove part of the toenail. This in-office procedure is called partial nail avulsion.
Preventing ingrown toenails
To keep your toenails healthy, trim them straight across with clean clippers. Wear well-fitting shoes and socks, and wash and dry your feet daily. These simple preventatives encourage healthy nail growth and fungus-free skin and nails.
We can help
If you have any concerns about the health or function of your feet and ankles, don't hesitate to call one of the four Family Foot and Ankle locations. We have ample office hours and a friendly, competent staff to help you. Call (703) 273-9818 for the Fairfax, VA, office, (703) 723-9267 for the Ashburn, VA, office, (703) 556-8637 for the McLean, VA, office or (703) 723-2719 for the Reston, VA, office to schedule an appointment today!