Although they can start out as a small nuisance, ingrown toenails can become a real problem if left untreated. Caused by a segment of the toenail that embeds into the skin around the nail, an ingrown toenail is characterized by pain, swelling, redness and a feeling of warmth in the affected toe. If the nail digs into the flesh around it and causes the skin to break, bacteria can enter, resulting in an infection. The infection can increase the level of pain in the toe and create additional problems.
While some people are prone to ingrown toenails because of anatomy, ingrown toenails can also be caused by trauma from repeated impact or stubbing the toe, excessively tight shoes, or fungal infection which thickens or curls the nail. Sometimes the shape of the nail changes with age, and the nails become ingrown.
Ingrown toenails are easily treated in the office, often with no pain or discomfort. Call our office today if you think you may have an ingrown toenail.