Ingrown Toenail

Local Foot Doc -  - Podiatrist

Local Foot Doc

Podiatrists located in Brooklyn & Queens, New York City, NY

You may not think of ingrown toenails as a valid reason to seek medical treatment, but if they become infected or you get them regularly, you should see a podiatrist. At Local Foot Doc, with offices in Brooklyn and Queens, New York City, board-certified podiatrist Waldemar Majdanski, DPM, FACFAS, and his team of doctors are experienced in treating complicated cases of ingrown toenails and can help you prevent them in the future. For your convenience, Local Foot Doc has offices in Brooklyn and locations in the Queens neighborhoods of Woodhaven, Forest Hills, and Astoria. To book an appointment, call or click today.

Ingrown Toenail Q & A

What is an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail is when the corner of the side of your toenail, most commonly on your big toe, starts to grow into the surrounding skin. Ingrown toenails cause pain, redness, and swelling. Moreover, they can become prone to infection, in which case there may also be drainage (pus) in the area.

You usually get an ingrown toenail because you cut your toenail too short, or into jagged, rounded, or irregular ends. You’re also more likely to get an ingrown toenail if you:

  • Have poor foot hygiene
  • Wear shoes or socks that are too tight, pushing your toenails into the skin
  • Recently stubbed, kicked, or dropped something onto your toe
  • Have poor posture when walking or standing

Many ingrown toenails are treatable at home, but they sometimes require medical attention, as when symptoms worsen or the toenail becomes infected, as the infection can spread. It’s especially important to have Dr. Majdanski or another doctor at Local Foot Doc treat ingrown toenails if you have diabetes or another condition that causes poor circulation or if you have a weakened immune system because the toenails heal more slowly and are more prone to infection.

How are ingrown toenails treated?

The majority of ingrown toenails are minor and respond to simple at-home care. If you have an ingrown toenail that causes only minor discomfort, the following steps will usually help the wound to heal in 2-4 days:

  • Soak your feet in warm water for 15-20 minutes, 3-4 times a day
  • Apply antibiotic ointment or cream and cover the wound with a bandage after soaking
  • Wear open-toed shoes that won’t rub against the affected toe

You should book an appointment at Local Foot Doc if your toenail becomes infected, causing symptoms such as:

  • Worsened redness and swelling
  • Drainage (pus) from area
  • More intense pain
  • A foul smell around the area

In cases of infection, your doctor will first prescribe antibiotics to calm the infection. If the antibiotics don’t work, as a board-certified foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. Majdanski can surgically remove the affected portion of the nail to relieve the pressure on your skin and allow your nail to grow back healthily. This is an outpatient procedure performed with a local anesthetic.

How can I prevent ingrown toenails?

Dr. Majdanski and his team of doctors at Local Foot Doc can help you prevent ingrown toenails in the future by teaching you to take the following steps:

  • Cutting your toenails straight across and not too short
  • Wearing proper footwear that gives you enough room to easily wiggle your toes
  • Practicing good foot hygiene
  • Going barefoot after playing sports such as soccer to relieve the pressure on your toes

If ingrown toenails are a recurring problem or you have an ingrown toenail that keeps getting worse, don’t hesitate to book an appointment at Local Foot Doc by calling or clicking today.