You may find it hard to believe how much misery an ingrown toenail can cause. But when neglected, your ingrown toenail may lead to an infection that requires hospitalization or intravenous antibiotics. At his private practice in Sacramento, California, board-certified podiatrist Tobin C. Gallawa, DPM, FACFAS, specializes in the management of ingrown toenails and provides the care you need to relieve your pain and prevent more serious health issues. To schedule an appointment, call the offices of Tobin C. Gallawa DPM FACFAS.
An ingrown toenail occurs when your toenail curves and grows into your skin, usually on the sides of your toenail bed. Ingrown toenails are common; however, you may not seek medical care because you fear the treatment is worse than the condition. When left untreated, your ingrown toenail may lead to a severe infection that requires a hospital stay or intravenous antibiotics.
Dr. Gallawa is an experienced podiatrist and understands the fears surrounding the treatment of ingrown toenails. This is why he spends so much time listening to his patients, then educating them about their condition and the details of his treatment options to alleviate their anxiety and concerns.
You may develop an ingrown toenail from many causes. In some cases, the painful condition is an inherited trait that makes you more susceptible to ingrown toenails. You may also develop an ingrown toenail after stubbing your toe or wearing shoes and socks that are too tight.
However, cutting your toenails too short is the most common cause of ingrown toenails. If you trim your toenails to close to the toenail bed, it encourages the tissue to grow over the nail, resulting in the ingrown toenail.
Initially, your ingrown toenail may cause swelling and tenderness. Over time, your toe may become red and sore, which may be signs of an infection. Any toe can develop an ingrown toenail; however, it most commonly affects the big toe.
Treatment for your ingrown toenails may depend on your symptoms. If you don’t have an infection, Dr. Gallawa may recommend at-home remedies such as soaking your foot in warm water with Epsom salt and then massaging the nail bed to reduce inflammation.
If your ingrown toenail is causing severe pain, Dr. Gallawa may perform an in-office procedure to remove the portion of your nail embedded into your skin. He carries out the procedure using a local anesthetic to minimize discomfort. If you have an infection, he also prescribes an antibiotic.
If you suffer from chronic ingrown toenails, Dr. Gallawa may recommend a simple in-office procedure to remove the entire nail to resolve your problem permanently.
For relief from ingrown toenail pain, call the office of Tobin C. Gallawa DPM FACFAS.