If you’re prone to ingrown toenails that become painful or infected, experienced podiatrist Thomas LeBeau, DPM, FACCWS, offers in-office treatments to ease your pain and reduce your risk of additional ingrown nails. At St. Augustine Foot, Ankle & Vein in St. Augustine, Florida, Dr. LeBeau provides comprehensive nail care to address ingrown toenails and prevent infections. Dr. LeBeau can also provide you with help in keeping your toenails at a healthy length and resources for trimming them properly. Schedule an appointment online or by phone today at St. Augustine Foot, Ankle & Vein for an ingrown toenail evaluation.

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What is an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail is a condition that develops when the corners of your nail grow into the surrounding soft tissue. As the nail gets longer, you can develop persistent pain and swelling in the affected toe.

Ingrown toenails often develop due to poor nail care, especially cutting your nails too short or not cutting them straight across. Other causes of an ingrown toenail include:

  • Toenail trauma
  • Wearing tight shoes
  • Having abnormally curved nails

Without proper treatment, an ingrown toenail can lead to a painful infection. This infection will need immediate medical care to prevent it from spreading into the surrounding bone.

How are ingrown toenails treated?

If you have persistent toe pain or noticeable redness and swelling around your toenail, Dr. LaBeau can typically diagnose your condition during a physical exam.

To treat your ingrown toenail in the office, Dr. LeBeau can gently lift the nail and place a piece of cotton underneath it to separate the nail from the skin.

For more severe ingrown nails, Dr. LeBeau might need to remove part or all of the nail and affected tissue. To keep you comfortable during this simple procedure, Dr. LeBeau administers an injectable anesthetic to numb the treatment area.

If your ingrown toenails keep coming back, Dr. Lebeau can permanently remove a portion of your nail and skin using a special chemical or laser technology.

How can I prevent ingrown toenails?

As many ingrown nails result from wearing ill-fitting shoes, it’s a good idea to change your footwear to something with a wider fit. If you work in a manual labor job that increases your risk of toenail injuries, you’ll need to wear protective shoes like steel-toed boots.

Proper foot hygiene is important to prevent ingrown nails and infections. Dr. LeBeau can show you how to trim your nails to a healthy length.

You might also want to soak your feet regularly in warm water if a nail starts growing into the skin. Soaking softens the nail and can ease swelling and pain.

If you’ve got an ingrown toenail that is continuously painful or you’re worried about infection, schedule a consultation at St. Augustine Foot, Ankle & Vein by phone or request an appointment online now.