Ingrown toenails are painful and unsightly. Without quick, effective treatment, they also increase your risk of infection and other more serious health problems. At Optima Foot and Ankle, with the convenient locations in Bend, Oregon, and Redmond, Oregon, expert podiatrists Laura Schweger, DPM, and Evan M. Ross, DPM, regularly work with people of all ages to treat ingrown toenails safely. To request your appointment today, call the office nearest you or book online at any time.

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What are ingrown toenails?

An ingrown toenail is a common but painful condition that occurs when one or more toenails curve downward, growing into the soft skin that surrounds the nail bed. Ingrown toenails affect people of all ages, but they’re especially common in children and teenagers.

Most of the time, ingrown toenails subside with conservative, at-home measures of care. But if you have diabetes or a chronic health problem that affects your circulation, they increase your risk of infection, gangrene, and even amputation.

What are the symptoms of ingrown toenails?

The symptoms of ingrown toenails vary depending on their location and severity. Telltale signs to watch out for include:

  • Toe pain on both sides of the nail
  • Toe tenderness
  • Redness around your toenail
  • Swelling of your toe
  • Infection of the tissue around the nail

As the infection progresses, you might also experience difficulty placing weight on your affected toe.

What causes ingrown toenails?

Ingrown toenails occur for a variety of reasons. Common causes include:

  • Wearing shoes that squeeze your toes together
  • Stubbing and/or injuring your toe
  • Having unusually curved nails
  • Having sweaty feet

You’re also more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you cut your toenails at an angle instead of straight across.

How are ingrown toenails diagnosed?

To diagnose an ingrown toenail, your Optima Foot and Ankle provider physically examines your feet and toes and asks you about your symptoms. If you have diabetes or another chronic health problem, they also review your medical history.

How are ingrown toenails treated?

Whenever possible, the providers at Optima Foot and Ankle use conservative measures of care to treat ingrown toenails. If your condition doesn’t respond to topical ointments or over-the-counter lotions or creams, your provider might recommend lifting the nail, partially removing the nail, or removing the nail and tissue altogether.

If you develop an infection, your provider might also recommend a round of prescription oral antibiotics. As your toe begins to heal, make sure to wear comfortable shoes, wash and/or soak your feet regularly, and apply topical lotions as prescribed. Your infection and pain should subside within a few weeks.

To request your ingrown toenail appointment at Optima Foot and Ankle today, call the office nearest you or book online.