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Ingrown Toenail Specialist

Tussey Mountain Foot & Ankle Specialists

Foot and Ankle Surgery & Podiatric Medicine located in State College, PA

Improper trimming techniques, tight footwear, or the natural anatomy of your toenail can put you at risk of developing an uncomfortable ingrown toenail. Podiatrists Andrew Bernhard, DPM, and Kaitlyn Bernhard, DPM, can treat your condition with advanced foot care options at Tussey Mountain Foot & Ankle Specialists in State College, Pennsylvania. To book an appointment, call the office or schedule a visit online today.

Ingrown Toenail Q & A

What is an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail happens when one of your nails grows into the skin of the toe; the sides of the nail curl downward and seem to dig into the cuticle. Ingrown toenails commonly affect the big toe, but it’s possible to get them in other toes, as well. 

At first, the symptoms of an ingrown toenail are usually mild. However, as time goes on, the condition can cause swelling, discomfort, and tenderness, leading to intense pain, infection, and even pus drainage. 

Although ingrown toenails can cause significant pain and affect your ability to walk, there are many options to consider. Tussey Mountain Foot & Ankle Specialists decides on a treatment for your ingrown toenail based on its severity and how often you get them. 

What causes ingrown toenails?

Numerous factors can contribute to the development of ingrown toenails. If you get them often, Tussey Mountain Foot & Ankle Specialists can help you find out what’s causing them and how you can prevent them in the future. 

A few of the most common causes of ingrown toenails are:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Trimming your nails too short
  • Toenail injuries
  • Unusually curved toenails
  • Tight footwear

Sometimes, preventing ingrown toenails is as simple as being mindful of the shoes you wear; other times may require more extensive prevention efforts. If you get ingrown toenails repeatedly, your provider might eventually recommend permanent removal of the nail. However, there are plenty of options to try before this. 

What are my treatment options for ingrown toenails?

Tussey Mountain Foot & Ankle Specialists encourages you to start caring for an ingrown toenail as soon as you notice it. 

You can ease some of the discomfort by soaking your foot in warm water 3-4 times a day, taking over-the-counter pain relievers, and wearing comfortable closed-toed shoes. We don’t recommend placing anything under the nail to attempt to lift it on your own. 

Tussey Mountain Foot & Ankle Specialists can provide more advanced treatment if your ingrown toenail doesn't improve with home care. If the nail is infected, they may need to remove part or all of the nail surgically, generally performed in the office. The nail regrows in around 12 months, though this can be a permanent fix as well. 

To explore treatments for your ingrown toenails and find out how to prevent them, call the podiatrists at Tussey Mountain Foot & Ankle Specialists or schedule an appointment online today.