An ingrown toenail is one of the most common nail impairments, resulting in pain, irritation, redness, and swelling. At North Texas Foot & Ankle, with locations in Dallas and Garland, Texas, board-certified foot and ankle surgeon Matthew Hausenfluke, DPM, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of ingrown toenails. Using safe, effective methods of care, he can limit your risk of infection and get you back on your feet. To schedule an appointment, book a consultation online, or call the office nearest you today.
An ingrown toenail is a painful condition that occurs when your toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding the nail bed.
Ingrown toenails usually resolve on their own, but if you have diabetes or another condition that negatively affects your circulation, it’s important to seek professional medical help. When left untreated, ingrown toenails increase your risk of infection, gangrene, and amputation.
Symptoms of an ingrown toenail include:
As the ingrown toenail gets worse, you might also notice pus oozing from the wound. That indicates there’s an infection present.
Ingrown toenails occur for several reasons, including wearing shoes that crowd your toenails, cutting your toenails too short or at an angle, and injuring your toenail at work or while playing sports. You’re also more likely to experience an ingrown toenail if you have unusually curved nails.
To diagnose an ingrown toenail, Dr. Hausenfluke at North Texas Foot & Ankle physically examines your toes and toenails, reviews your medical history, and asks about your lifestyle and symptoms. Because ingrown toenails are visible to the naked eye, there’s rarely a need for further diagnostics, such as an X-ray or ultrasound.
Dr. Hausenfluke offers several treatments to address ingrown toenails:
If you have a mild ingrown toenail, Dr. Hausenfluke might recommend lifting the nail. To do this, he carefully lifts the nail edge and places cotton, dental floss, or a splint under it. That allows your nail to grow up and out (away from your skin).
If you have an ingrown toenail that’s red, painful, or oozing pus, Dr. Hausenfluke might recommend partial removal of the nail. Prior to trimming your nail, he administers a local anesthetic to numb your toe. Once the anesthesia sets in, he carefully removes the ingrown portion of your toenail.
If you have a severe ingrown toenail and it’s interfering with diabetes or another chronic condition, you might benefit from a complete toenail removal. This type of treatment prevents the nail from growing back, limiting your risk of future infections.
To learn more about the treatment options for an ingrown toenail, schedule an appointment at North Texas Foot & Ankle. Book a consultation online, or call the nearest office to speak with a team member.