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How to Prevent and Treat Ingrown Toenails

How to Prevent and Treat Ingrown Toenails

Several conditions can affect your feet and toes and compromise your ability to walk. A common foot problem is an ingrown toenail, which can be a minor nuisance requiring home treatment, or a source of great pain that necessitates medical intervention. 

Residents of Tarzana and Inglewood, California, who are dealing with a painful ingrown toenail can find help and healing with Drs. Ashkan Soleymani, Michael Salih, Arash Jalil, Saman Tabari, and their dedicated medical staff at Cedars Foot & Ankle Center.

Here they outline some basics about nails, the causes and symptoms of an ingrown toenail, and how you can prevent or manage it.

Nail basics

Your nails are there to protect you from infection or injury while also being functional for scratching and enhancing dexterity and sensation. There are three primary components of a nail: the nail plate (the actual nail and the part you see), the skin and tissue that surround the nail, and the nail bed. The nail plate is made of keratin, a protein that your skin, hair, and nails need to grow. 

There are a variety of diseases and conditions that can affect your nails. The most common is an ingrown toenail, a painful problem that occurs when your toenail grows into the surrounding skin.

Causes and symptoms

There are many reasons you may have developed an ingrown toenail, including:

In addition to pain, an ingrown toenail has a few telltale symptoms:

The area can also have a strong odor, especially if it’s infected.

Prevention and treatment options

To avoid problems with ingrown toenails, soak your nails in warm water before clipping, don’t cut them too short, trim them straight across, and choose shoes that give your toes plenty of wiggle room. If you have abnormally thick toenails, talk to our team about how to care for them so they don’t become ingrown. 

Thankfully, there are several effective at-home treatments that we recommend:

If conservative approaches fail, we offer a minimally invasive same-day procedure that removes that troublesome corner of the nail that’s embedded in your skin. If you need antibiotics to fight infection, your doctor will call them into your pharmacy.

Ingrown toenails can be painful and frustrating. We understand and we’re here to help you get back on your feet again. For relief today, make an appointment at Cedars Foot & Ankle Center.

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