Ingrown toenails are painful, but if you have diabetes or another circulatory issue, they increase the risk of infection and other complications. At Diablo Podiatry and Bay Vascular, podiatrists Christyn Marshall, DPM, AACFAS and Jenny Lam, DPM, AACFAS and the team diagnose and treat ingrown toenails in people of all ages. To make an appointment at the practice in San Ramon, California, call the office today or schedule online.

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What are ingrown toenails?

An ingrown toenail occurs when your nail grows into the soft tissue surrounding the nail bed. As your nail breaks through the skin, it causes swelling, redness, and irritation.

Often, ingrown toenails resolve on their own. But if you have diabetes or another condition that affects blood flow to your feet, make an appointment with the team at Diablo Podiatry and Bay Vascular right away.

What are the symptoms of ingrown toenails?

Symptoms of an ingrown toenail include:

  • Pain
  • Red, swollen skin
  • Bleeding
  • Oozing pus
  • Overgrowth of the skin around your toe

As the condition gets worse, you might also experience fluid building up around your affected toe.

What causes ingrown toenails?

Several factors increase the risk of experiencing an ingrown toenail, including:

  • Cutting your toenails at an angle
  • Having irregularly curved nails
  • Wearing shoes that crowd your toes
  • Poor posture
  • Genetic predisposition

You might also develop an ingrown toenail if you injure your toe or fail to wash and dry your feet regularly.

How are ingrown toenails diagnosed?

Diagnosing an ingrown toenail is a quick and pain-free process. First, your provider asks about your symptoms, including when they first started, and if any activities like wearing certain types of shoes make them worse. Next, your provider carefully examines your toe.

If they suspect an infection, they also order X-rays. X-ray imaging lets your Diablo Podiatry and Bay Vascular provider see how far the nail goes into your skin. X-rays can also determine if your ingrown nail is the result of an injury.

How is an ingrown toenail treated?

Treatment of an ingrown toenail depends on your symptoms and their effect on your daily life. Following your exam, the team at Diablo Podiatry and Bay Vascular might recommend:

Lifting the nail

If your symptoms are mild, the team lifts your nail with a splint or a piece of cotton. That helps the affected nail grow outward and away from your foot.

Partially removing the nail

If your toe is red, swollen, or oozing pus, your provider might remove part of the nail. To ensure your comfort, the team administers a local anesthetic beforehand.

Removing the nail and tissue

If your toe becomes infected, your provider might remove the nail completely. At Diablo Podiatry and Bay Vascular, the team uses the PinPointe® foot laser for safe, effective, and pain-free treatment.

To learn more about the treatment options for ingrown toenails, make an appointment at Diablo Podiatry and Bay Vascular by calling the office today or scheduling online.