Can My Ingrown Toenail Heal on Its Own?

 Can My Ingrown Toenail Heal on Its Own?

An ingrown toenail makes it difficult to wear shoes or even walk sometimes. This condition often affects the big toes on your feet but can happen to any of your toenails. 

Ingrown toenails don’t always require visiting the doctor, but they often need home care to relieve the pain and discomfort.

At Beltsville Foot and Ankle Center, our team has the knowledge and expertise to guide you through an ingrown toenail. Our podiatry specialist, Dr. David Deiboldt, provides several treatment options when your ingrown nail is resistant to home therapies.

What is an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail is a condition that happens when the nail on your big toe grows down into the tissues of your toe. This condition can happen to any of your toes but most frequently occurs on the big toes of your feet.

You can suffer from ingrown toenails for several different reasons. Cutting your nails at an angle instead of straight across is one of the main reasons people get an ingrown nail. An injury to your nail or tight-fitting shoes may also cause your toenail to become ingrown.

Certain medical conditions can also put you at risk for ingrown toenails. If you have diabetes or a problem with circulation, you’re more likely to suffer from this condition.

Ingrown toenails cause pain and discomfort in your toe. However, if they’re left untreated and continue to grow into your skin, they may become infected and cause more critical issues.

Understanding the symptoms

You’ll likely know it when you have an ingrown toenail. It usually causes pain when you bump your toe or when your shoes fit tightly. Other symptoms that signal an ingrown toenail include:

If you have an infection around the toenail, you may notice that your skin is extremely red or turning color. You may also see pus around the nail or notice that the skin is warm or hot. 

Do you need treatment for the ingrown nail?

The simple answer to this question is yes — you need some form of treatment for an ingrown toenail.

Unfortunately, ingrown toenails don’t go away by themselves. While you might not need a specialist for this condition, you should take care of it at home.

Plenty of home treatments allow you to get relief from an ingrown toenail. Dr. Deiboldt recommends a few home therapies, including:

You can also gently lift the edge of the affected nail and place a cotton pad underneath. You should change this pad daily to avoid infection or bacteria building up.

Ingrown toenails can create discomfort, but you can use anti-inflammatory medication to ease any pain. Once the nail isn’t embedded in your skin anymore, the pain should go away.

Sometimes, home treatments aren’t enough to remove the problem, especially if you have an infection in the nail. In this case, it’s important to see Dr. Deiboldt as soon as possible to get expert treatment for your ingrown toenail.

When your ingrown toenail isn’t getting better, don't hesitate to call our office in Beltsville, Maryland at 301-804-1174, or book a consultation online today.

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