Most people have experienced the discomfort of trimming their nails too short, often resulting in ingrown toenails. At Zimmermann Podiatry, led by Erik Zimmermann, DPM, and Jason Hancock, DPM, our caring and patient-focused team offers expert care for ingrown toenails in-office. Don’t endure the pain any longer — call our Leesburg, Florida, office or schedule your appointment online today.

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What are ingrown toenails?

Ingrown toenails are a familiar problem to many. It describes a nail that grows down into the skin, instead of straight out over the toe. This skin penetration causes irritation, and often an infection, in the area. Ingrown toenails usually occur on one or both sides of the big toe.

Is a painful toenail an ingrown toenail?

A sore or painful toenail, especially at the corner of the nail, is often caused by an ingrown toenail. Alongside the soreness or pain, you probably have:

  • Redness at the nail edge
  • Swelling at the point of ingrowth
  • Hardened skin in the affected area
  • Fluid or pus leakage where the nail grows downward

If untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to granuloma tissue growth, in which new grainy-looking red skin starts to envelop the nail further.

What causes ingrown toenails?

Ingrown toenails have many causes, but bad nail trimming habits are a common one. Cutting your nails too short, or trimming them in a curved shape, can encourage the development of ingrown toenails.

Wearing too-tight shoes and suffering an injury (like stubbing your toe) can lead to ingrown toenails, too.

Your natural foot anatomy can contribute to ingrown toenails as well. For example, if you have wide nail plates but your nail bed is narrower, there’s not really room for the nail to grow normally, and this may lead to recurring ingrown nails.

How are ingrown toenails treated?

Zimmermann Podiatry focuses on nonsurgical and natural solutions whenever possible, and several options can relieve your pain.

For example, the podiatry specialists may recommend soaking the toe in lukewarm soapy water. Or, they may expertly lift the corner of the nail up and place a tiny piece of cotton or another material under it to keep it growing straight out instead of under the skin.

Another option is applying a tiny toenail brace that helps keep the nail from growing inward again.

In some cases, the team may remove the ingrown corner of the nail. While surgery is a last resort, it may be the best option in certain situations.

Ingrown toenail surgery is a simple in-office procedure, performed using local anesthesia. The team removes the ingrown part of your nail, or in rare cases, the entire nail.

Do you have an ingrown toenail? Zimmermann Podiatry has solutions. Call the office or book your appointment using the online feature now.