Ingrown Toenails

Brian Wascavage, DPM -  - Foot & Ankle Surgeon

MetroWest Podiatry

Brian Wascavage, DPM

Foot & Ankle Surgeon & Podiatrist located in Framingham, MA & Marlboro, MA

Ingrown toenails account for around one-fifth of all foot issues today. At MetroWest Podiatry, podiatrist Brian Wascavage, DPM, understands how uncomfortable and frustrating ingrown toenails can be. He offers effective treatments to stop symptoms like swelling and discomfort while also preventing recurrence. Call the Framingham or Marlborough, Massachusetts, office or click the online scheduling link.

Ingrown Toenails Q&A

What are ingrown toenails? 

An ingrown toenail is a condition in which the side of a nail digs into the skin around it. Ingrown toenails usually affect the big toes. 

Untreated, an ingrown toenail can become infected. In severe cases, this may lead to open wounds and bone infections. Therefore, it's good to know the signs of ingrown toenails so you can seek care right away.

What symptoms do ingrown toenails cause?

Ingrown toenails usually cause symptoms around one side of your big toe, such as hardened skin, swelling, and tenderness when you press the nail.

If you don't treat an ingrown toenail in its early stages, infection can develop quickly. The signs of an infection include:

  • Oozing clear fluid, pus, or blood
  • Red skin
  • Severe swelling
  • Pain
  • New rough-looking skin growth

All of these symptoms require treatment as soon as possible. Trying to treat an ingrown toenail at home, like digging the corner of your nail out or cutting a notch in the nail, is dangerous and frequently makes the issue worse. 

Dr. Wascavage can safely treat your ingrown toenail and any associated complications at the office at MetroWest Podiatry. 

What causes ingrown toenails?

The most common cause of ingrown toenails is improper nail trimming habits. That includes cutting nails too close to the skin or rounding the corners of the nails. Other factors that can contribute to ingrown nails include wearing tight shoes and having a genetic predisposition for very curved nails.

Injury can also lead to ingrown toenails. That includes stubbing your toe or repetitive trauma like kicking a football or soccer ball. 

What is the best treatment for ingrown toenails?

Ingrown toenail treatment depends on how deeply the nail grows into your skin, whether it's infected, and whether you have recurring ingrown nails.

If you have a mild ingrown toenail, Dr. Wascavage may prescribe warm water soaks, avoiding tight shoes, and changing your nail trimming habits. He may splint the nail to keep it out of your skin. Alternatively, he can numb your toe and remove the edge of the nail to ease your symptoms right away. 

If you have a chronic ingrown toenail, Dr. Wascavage may remove not only the nail corner but also the matrix — the nail's growth center. That permanently prevents regrowth of that part of the nail but only narrows the nail slightly. 

For ingrown toenail help, click on the online appointment tool or call MetroWest Podiatry.