Is My Ingrown Toenail Infected?

Is My Ingrown Toenail Infected?

You can get an ingrown toenail for a variety of reasons: a sharp edge to a nail after trimming, pinching from tight footwear, or even due to decreased blood flow to your feet from conditions such as diabetes. 

Some ingrown toenails improve with simple home care, but if an ingrown toenail gets infected, you may need professional care and treatment.

Dr. Stephen Eichelsdorfer, known as “Dr. Ike” to his patients at Town Center Foot & Ankle, offers care and treatment for ingrown toenails from locations in Kingwood and Atascocita, Texas. If you’re worried about an infected ingrown toenail, get in touch with Dr. Ike for expert diagnosis and symptom relief.

Understanding ingrown toenails

Ingrown toenails grow in the wrong direction — back into your skin. They occur when your nail develops a sharp edge or corner, allowing it to prick through your skin and start growing inward

You’re most likely to see ingrown toenails on your big toes, but this condition can also affect any one of your toenails.

If you have an ingrown toenail, you feel pain and sensitivity in the skin and tissue bordering the affected nail. Pain symptoms feel worse when you press on the affected area. You may also see redness and hardening in the surrounding skin.

When an ingrown toenail is infected

The irritation of an ingrown toenail provides a chance for infection to take root. You can end up suffering from either a bacterial or a fungal infection.

An infected ingrown toenail, left untreated, becomes a serious health hazard. If the infection spreads to the bones in your feet, you can suffer lasting damage, including a potential risk of gangrene.

Watch for symptoms of an infected ingrown toenail including:

When to seek treatment

You may be able to handle mild cases of ingrown toenails at home with cleaning, trimming, soaking, and other conservative care techniques. 

But if your ingrown toenail becomes infected, especially if your symptoms are severe and don’t improve with at-home care, seek professional treatment.

Dr. Ike addresses symptoms of severe infection due to an ingrown toenail and also resolves the underlying problem. Depending on your condition, you may benefit from professional treatments and interventions including:

For expert, effective ingrown toenail treatment, get in touch with Dr. Ike and our team at Town Center Foot & Ankle. You can schedule over the phone, or request an appointment with our  online tool.

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