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Ingrown Toenails Specialist

Chicagoland Foot and Ankle

Board Certified Foot and Ankle Specialists & Surgeons located in Beverly/Mt. Greenwood, Portage Park Chicago, IL & Orland Park, IL & New Lenox, IL

Ingrown toenails dig into your skin to cause irritation, inflammation, and infection. Often, ingrown nails stubbornly worsen, which is why you need professional foot care to prevent lasting problems. At Chicagoland Foot and Ankle, the experienced board-certified podiatrists can stop your pain immediately using a painless in-office procedure. There are offices in the Beverly/Mt. Greenwood and Portage Park areas of Chicago, as well as Orland Park and New Lenox, Illinois, so call the office nearest you or use the online appointment scheduler.

Ingrown Toenails Q&A

What are ingrown toenails?

An ingrown toenail curves at the outer edges, growing beneath the skin bordering your nail. Most ingrown toenails are on the big toe, but they can happen on the lesser digits as well. Ingrown toenails are irritating and sometimes painful, especially if you develop an infection. 

What are the signs of an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail typically causes toe changes such as:

  • Red skin at the nail corner
  • Sore or painful toe
  • Swelling on the affected side

If you don't treat the ingrown toenail, an infection can develop. Signs of infection include:

  • Redness that spreads
  • Warm feeling in the toe
  • White or yellow seepage from the toe
  • Increased swelling

Although these signs usually indicate an ingrown toenail, other causes are possible. For example, a bone spur, which is similar to a heel spur but much smaller and located beneath your nail, can trigger the same kind of symptoms. 

It's important to see the Chicagoland Foot and Ankle team promptly to find out what's going on beneath your nail so you can get a permanent solution. Immediate care is crucial if you’re diabetic, as the disease can cause serious complications with healing. 

Why do I have an ingrown toenail?

There are a few different reasons for ingrown toenails, including:

Short nails

If you cut your nails short and round the edges, it puts the nail on track to grow into your skin. 

Toe trauma

Toe trauma can involve sports, like kicking a soccer ball, as well as accidents like stubbing your toe. 

Tight shoes

The tighter your shoes are around your toes, the higher the risk of ingrown toenails. 

Other nail problems

Other nail problems can contribute to ingrown toenails, too. For example, if you have toenail fungus, it can change the way your nail grows, and this may eventually lead to an ingrown toenail.

In some cases, you can inherit an inclination for ingrown toenails. Because most of these factors are controllable, the Chicagoland Foot and Ankle team can help you prevent ingrown toenails in the future.   

How do you treat an ingrown toenail?

Your Chicagoland Foot and Ankle podiatrist can lift the ingrown corner of your nail with a small splint to encourage healthy nail growth. 

If you need toenail removal, your podiatrist applies a local anesthetic to numb your toe before removing the embedded sliver of the nail for immediate relief. You may also need to take oral antibiotics if you have an infection.  

If your ingrown toenail grows back, you may need a matrixectomy. In this treatment, your podiatrist removes the section of the nail and treats the nail root with a chemical that prevents regrowth. After treatment, you can usually resume normal activity the next day. 

The Chicagoland Foot and Ankle team can eliminate your ingrown toenail pain. Call the office nearest you or schedule an appointment online.