You might have experienced it before, your nail appears to be red, inflamed and quite painful (ouch!). If you have experienced this before, that means you might have had an ingrown toenail in Providence, which is also referred to as onychocryptosis. An ingrown toenail is a common problem that occurs when the edges or corners of the nail grow into the skin next to the nail. When this happens, the edge of the nail breaks through the skin, which causes inflammation. This inflammation initially presents itself as a minor discomfort, but it could potentially become a recurring problem or become infected–this is when visiting Dr. Segal, our foot doctor in Providence, is important.

Causes of Ingrown Toenails in Providence

Ingrown toenails are quite common—especially in athletes—and is mostly found in the big toe. Anyone can get an ingrown toenail–they are common for both men and women. The most common causes of an ingrown toenail include:

  • Poor hygiene
  • Irregular, curved nails
  • Poor-fitting footwear
  • Trauma
  • Poor posture
  • Cutting toenails incorrectly

If you have experienced any of the above causes, it is important to contact Dr. Segal in Providence, RI for ingrown toenail care and assessment. With a better understanding of your individual symptoms, Dr. Segal can create an appropriate treatment plan.

Symptoms of Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails can cause no pain at all, or they can be very painful—it depends on the severity and cause of the condition. The most common symptoms of an ingrown toenail include:

  • Pain and tenderness along the side of the toenail
  • Redness around the toenail
  • Swelling in your toe
  • Pus draining from the area

Most of these symptoms do not require medical attention, but you should visit Dr. Segal, our podiatrist in Providence, RI, if you experience extreme discomfort in your toe or if you have diabetes or any other conditions that cause poor circulation to your feet.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Ingrown Toenails in Providence

Dr. Kenneth Segal, our Providence foot doctor, can diagnose your toe with a physical exam. He may also perform an x-ray if the ingrown toenail was caused by an injury, or to show how deep the nail is. If you have an ingrown toenail in Providence that is not infected, it can probably be treated at home with various home remedies.

Some at home remedies for the treatment of ingrown toenails in Providence might include:

  • Soaking feet
  • Pushing skin away from the toenail edge
  • Using OTC medications
  • Applying topical ointments to prevent infection

If your ingrown toenail has progressed and becomes infected, Dr. Kenneth Segal may recommend surgery. Surgery involves removing either all or half of the toenail in an effort to stop the infection altogether. Contact Dr. Segal, our Providence podiatrist, for more information about ingrown toenail treatment today.