Foot and Ankle Excellence
Bruni Leka, DPM
Podiatrist & Foot and Ankle Specialist located in Philadelphia, PA
Ingrown toenails may seem like a minor annoyance, but without treatment, they can lead to a serious toe infection. Compassionate and highly skilled podiatrist Bruni Leka, DPM, provides comprehensive care for ingrown toenails at her practice, Foot and Ankle Excellence, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. If you have an ingrown toenail that needs treatment, call or book an appointment online today.
What is an ingrown toenail?
An ingrown toenail develops when the corner or side of your toenail grows into the surrounding soft flesh. This happens when the side of the nail curls downward and digs into your skin, resulting in pain, swelling, and redness. Without treatment, your toe can become infected.
When should I see a podiatrist for an ingrown toenail?
Ingrown toenails are common and often improve with home treatment, like soaking your foot in warm water 3-4 times a day and avoiding tight-fitting shoes that cramp your toes. If the pain and other symptoms of an ingrown toenail persist despite home care, Dr. Leka can help.
If you have diabetes, call Foot and Ankle Excellence at the first sign of an ingrown toenail. Don’t attempt to treat an ingrown toenail, or any other foot problem, on your own.
How do I know if I have an ingrown toenail?
Early signs and symptoms of an ingrown toenail include swelling and tenderness of the skin next to your toenail. If the condition persists, it may become infected. Signs and symptoms of an infected ingrown toenail include:
You may also see a small amount of pus draining from the infection site. Ingrown toenails most often affect the big toe, but this can happen to any toenail.
What causes ingrown toenails?
There are many reasons an ingrown toenail may develop. Common causes of ingrown toenails include:
- Trimming your nails too short
- Rounding the corners of your toenails
- Injuring your toe and nail
- Wearing shoes that are too tight
- Having naturally curved toenails
Sometimes, getting a pedicure at a salon that doesn’t clean and sterilize their instruments properly can lead to an ingrown toenail.
How are ingrown toenails diagnosed and treated?
Dr. Leka diagnoses your ingrown toenail based on a physical exam of your toe and a review of your symptoms. If home remedies haven’t resolved the issue, she may recommend an in-office treatment, such as:
- Carefully lifting the nail and placing a separator, like clean cotton, beneath it
- Partially removing the nail
- Using oral or topical antibiotics
In extreme cases, Dr. Leka may need to surgically remove a portion of the nail and underlying tissue.
If you have an ingrown toenail that doesn’t go away with home care, call Foot and Ankle Excellence or book an appointment online today.