Willamette Foot & Ankle
Myles Knutson, DPM
Podiatrist & Foot and Ankle Surgeon located in Lake Oswego, OR
Ingrown toenails are one of the most common foot-related issues, but if you have diabetes or another circulatory issue, they can increase your risk of more serious complications. At Willamette Foot & Ankle, board-certified podiatrist Myles Knutson, DPM, offers various treatments for ingrown toenails, including toenail splints and toenail removal. To make an appointment, call the office in Lake Oswego, Oregon, or click the online booking feature today
Ingrown Toenails Q&A
What are ingrown toenails?
An ingrown toenail occurs when your nail grows into the soft skin that surrounds it instead of out and away from your toe.
Almost everyone experiences an ingrown toenail at some time during their lives, but if your nail turns red, oozes pus, or interferes with your ability to walk, contact Dr. Knutson right away.
What are the symptoms of ingrown toenails?
Symptoms of ingrown toenails include:
- Toe pain and tenderness
- A toenail that’s red and painful to touch
- A swollen toe
- Pus oozing from the nail
If your nail gets infected, you might also experience difficulty putting weight on it or walking.
When should I worry about an ingrown toenail?
Make an appointment with Dr. Knutson if you develop an ingrown toenail and you experience severe discomfort or signs of infection, like pus oozing from the nail.
You should also make an appointment with Dr. Knutson if you have an underlying medical condition that causes poor circulation to your feet, like diabetes or peripheral arterial disease. Issues like these may increase your risk of infection, gangrene, or amputation.
Is there any way to prevent ingrown toenails?
There’s no way to prevent ingrown toenails, but you can significantly reduce your risk. Dr. Knutson recommends:
- Cutting your toenails straight across
- Keeping your toenails trimmed
- Wearing shoes that fit
- Inspecting your feet daily
If you work a physically demanding job, it’s also important to wear steel toe boots, as they can prevent injuries to your toes and toenails.
How are ingrown toenails diagnosed?
To diagnose an ingrown toenail, Dr. Knutson has you remove your shoes and socks and examine your toes. Ingrown toenails are visible to the eye, but Dr. Knutson might also order X-rays to determine how far the nail grows into your skin.
How are ingrown toenails treated?
Dr. Knutson offers several types of treatment for ingrown toenails, including:
Lifting the nail
If you have an ingrown nail that’s only slightly red, Dr. Knutson lifts it. To do that, he places a splint or a piece of cotton underneath your nail. That separates the nail from your skin, allowing it to grow out and away from your body.
Partially removing the nail
If you have an ingrown nail that’s red and painful, Dr. Knutson might recommend removing part of it. First, he numbs your toe with a local anesthetic. Then, he uses special tools to remove the ingrown portion of your nail.
Removing the nail completely
If you regularly experience an ingrown nail on the same toe, Dr. Knutson might recommend removing the nail altogether. This procedure prevents your nail from growing back, reducing the risk of infection and other complications in the future.
To receive treatment for ingrown toenails, make an appointment at Willamette Foot & Ankle by calling the office or clicking the online booking feature today.