One of the most common conditions we treat at Kansas City Foot Specialists is ingrown toenails. An ingrown toenail is the result of the edge of a toenail growing into the skin surrounding the nail area. The condition may be no more than an irritation for some patients, but it can become infected and lead to more serious conditions.
Ingrown Toenails Can Pose Serious Health Risks
For diabetics and patients with low blood circulation, an ingrown toenail is even more threatening. An infection in these patients’ feet can turn into gangrene and spread the infection to other parts of the body, posing a serious health risk.
Patients with joint replacements and pacemakers are at risk as well. Bacteria from an ingrown toenail infection can spread through their blood and into these sites. If you have a pacemaker, artificial joint, diabetes, or poor circulation, please seek medical help at the earliest sign of an ingrown toenail.
What Causes Ingrown Toenails?
An ingrown toenail can be caused by genetics, cutting toenails too short, poorly fitted shoes, and pulling or tearing nails instead of clipping them. If you have experienced the pain of an ingrown toenail before, your likelihood of getting one again is significantly higher. Get more information about ingrown toenails by requesting a consultation with Kansas City Foot Specialists.
Treatments for Ingrown Toenails
Typically, ingrown toenails can be treated with non-invasive procedures, but more serious cases may require surgery, which is usually performed in the office, under local anesthesia. If ingrown toenails become a chronic, ongoing problem, the podiatrist will use a more permanent method of treatment. This treatment involves the use of an acid to remove the root of the nail in the ingrown areas. This is followed by soaking and topical antibiotics and possibly oral antibiotics.
How to Prevent Ingrown Toenails
Try the following methods to prevent ingrown toenails:
- Never pull a toenail – always use a toenail clipper
- Trim your toenails straight across
- Do not cut into the sides of your toenails
- Do not cut your toenails too short
- Wear properly fitted shoes
- Trim toenails after a shower or bath so nails are not as brittle.
If you are suffering from an ingrown toenail or another foot ailment, contact us today at (913) 325-2958 or schedule an appointment online with one of our experienced podiatrists.