ingrown toenail

Have you noticed changes to your ingrown toenail? Redness, pain, discharge, and swelling are all signs that a problem lies underneath. If you’re wondering what could go wrong, here’s one word: infection. Although this condition is common, it can become more than uncomfortable if it becomes infected.

The doctors at the New Jersey Podiatric Physicians & Surgeons Group treat this condition often, and we’re here to help. We encourage patients to act fast if they notice that their toenails are growing unusually.

For most people, an ingrown toenail can present little problem and heal with minimal treatment. For other people, it may become infected. Here’s how it works: the toenail begins to grow into the surrounding part of the skin. The big toe is often the most impacted. Walking can be painful, too. If the toenail breaks the skin, there is now a cut, which is also an open wound. Now, someone can be in the danger zone.

What causes an ingrown toenail?

It should be no surprise, but the most common cause of an ingrown toenail is wearing the wrong shoes. That’s right – poorly fitting shoes are usually the culprit. For kids, this condition is especially common. Children grow extremely fast, and their growth spurts require frequent shoe size changes. It can be easy for parents to miss these size changes.

What is the danger of infection?

One of the biggest dangers of infection is how it can spread to other parts of the body. This includes the bone. For patients with diabetes who have poor circulation, there is a chance that the wound can become slow to heal or even fail to heal. Unfortunately, infection and poor circulation can be one cause for the amputation of a limb. For podiatrists, this includes a toe or a foot – even higher up the ankle.

If someone has an infection, it can be viral or bacterial. Seek medical help to find the best treatment plan. Our goal is to treat the infection quickly to minimize any complications, including the infection spreading to other parts of your body. While you wait to schedule your appointment, keep these three things in mind:

  • Keep your wound clean and dry
  • Never pull or tear the nail
  • Avoid wearing tight or narrow shoes

At the New Jersey Podiatric Physicians & Surgeons Group, there are almost 30 foot and ankle surgeons, podiatrists, and doctors. With more than 30 locations, from Newark, NJ, to Cape May, NJ, we value convenience and excellent service for our patients. We offer compassionate, cutting-edge care across our network, and we specialize in treating the following conditions: ankle and sports injuries, heel pain and plantar fasciitisbunionshammertoescorns and callusesingrown toenailsdiabetic foot care complicationschildren’s foot problemsskin conditions of the feet, and fungal nails. Our group is among the best foot and ankle providers in the country. To schedule an appointment, first find a podiatrist in your area.