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What to Do for an Ingrown Toenail

Ingrown toenails are a common foot condition. In fact, 18 percent of U.S. adults have had an ingrown toenail at some point in their lives, according to the National Foot Health Assessment. Your Denver, CO, podiatrists at Diabetic Foot & Wound Center, Drs. Eric Jaakola, Anna Weber and Olivera Jovic, can help you care for your painful ingrown toenails.

What to do for ingrown toenails at home

If your toenail has just begun to grow into the skin, you may be able to free it yourself. Soak your foot in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes to soften the nail. After your dry your foot, gently lift the nail from the skin by inserting dental floss or a small piece of cotton under it. Don't force the nail if it doesn't easily lift away from the skin.

When to call your Denver foot doctor

It's time to make an appointment with the podiatrist if:

  • You have diabetes: Don't try to treat an ingrown toenail at home if you have diabetes. Unfortunately, diabetes increases your risk of infections in your feet and also makes it more difficult to fight infections. Call your foot doctor as soon as you notice that your nail has become trapped in the skin.
  • Your nail won't budge: When soaking your foot isn't helpful, it's time to see your podiatrist. He or she can remove the trapped part of the nail during a minor procedure. Before the minor procedure begins, you'll receive a local anesthetic to ensure that you feel no pain.
  • Your toe is red and painful: Contact the podiatry office right away if you notice any signs of infection, which may include red, swollen skin around your nail, red streaks on your skin, severe pain and pus around your toenail. In addition to removing the trapped part of the nail, your foot doctor will also prescribe antibiotics to treat your infection.

How to prevent ingrown toenails

You can reduce your risk of further ingrown toenails by cutting your toenails straight across, avoiding tight socks and shoes, and treating toenail fungus promptly.

Don't ignore your ingrown toenails. Call (303) 321-4477 to schedule an appointment with your podiatrists in Denver, CO, Drs. Jaakola, Weber and Jovic of Diabetic Foot & Wound Care Center.

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