In most cases, you can nurse an ingrown toenail at home with over-the-counter pain medication, topical antibiotic creams, and soaking to help get your toenail back on course to grow above the skin.
But if your ingrown toenail is causing a lot of pain and you’re tempted to perform “bathroom surgery,” it’s time get help from a professional. You should also go to the doctor if you think your ingrown toenail is infected or you have a chronic health condition that affects the circulation to your feet, such as diabetes.
Here at Arizona Foot Health, Dr. Ryan Golub is an expert podiatrist who can help you get relief from your ingrown toenail and prevent a recurrence with a simple in-office procedure.
You’re in pain
An ingrown toenail is exactly what it sounds like, a toenail that grows into your skin instead of above it. While any toe is susceptible, an ingrown toenail most often affects the big toe. As you might expect, a nail growing in the wrong direction can cause pain, especially if it’s affecting the toe that takes the brunt of most of your steps. While you may be able to deal with the pain, if your discomfort is severe and keeping you from doing the things you love, it’s time to get help from Dr. Golub.
You think it’s infected
Ingrown toenails are common and considered fairly benign, but they can become infected and lead to more serious issues, such as an infection that travels to your bone.
Your ingrown toenail may be infected if it’s:
- Warm to the touch
- Oozing pus
You also want to have your ingrown toenail checked out if the red area is getting larger, which can indicate spreading of your infection. If your ingrown toenail is causing any of these symptoms, you need to schedule an appointment with Dr. Golub as soon as possible to help clear up the infection.
You have diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic health condition that causes your blood sugar levels to be higher than normal. Foot problems are a common health concern for people with diabetes due to the effect the elevated blood sugar has on the small blood vessels and nerve endings in your feet, which affects blood flow and pain sensation. When you have diabetes and develop an issue in your foot, such as an ingrown toenail, you’re at greater risk of it becoming infected. Even if you’re ingrown toenail isn’t causing symptoms, you need to have Dr. Golub examine your toe and provide treatment to prevent complications.
While diabetes is a common chronic health condition that requires podiatric care, if you have another condition that affects blood circulation, such as peripheral artery disease or Raynaud’s disease (which is condition that affects blood flow to your fingers and toes when you’re cold or under stress) you should have your ingrown toenail professionally managed to reduce your risk of it turning into something more serious.
What to expect from the doctor
At Arizona Foot Health, Dr. Golub wants nothing more than for you to get relief from the pain, which he can provide in just a few minutes at the office. For a simple ingrown toenail, he cuts away the nail that’s embedded into your skin to provide the relief. If ingrown toenails are a chronic problem, he may remove part of your nail at the root to prevent it from growing back and causing more problems.
Dr. Golub doesn’t want you to suffer needlessly with an ingrown toenail and can easily relieve your discomfort with a quick procedure he performs at the office. If you live in or around Phoenix, and your ingrown toenail is tempting you to perform “bathroom surgery,” call Arizona Foot Health today and let Dr. Golub take care of it instead.