If you haven’t experienced an ingrown toenail in the past, you might not know whether you have one. Instead, you may think the discomfort is stemming from another type of problem with your foot.
It’s important to understand the symptoms of ingrown toenails that are just getting started and the signs of ingrown toenail issues that are worsening so you can seek out the best treatment options to get it handled quickly. Here are a few of the signs that you have an ingrown toenail starting:
Early Signs of Ingrown Toenail Issues
Ingrown toenails often start out as no big deal. They’re pressing on the skin a little, and you might notice it feels uncomfortable if your shoe hits your toe a certain way, or if you bump your toe into something. You probably won’t think too much about any of that. But over time, that nail edge that’s pressing on your skin could start cutting into you and allowing the nail to become ingrown. If you treat the start of an ingrown toenail it may not get any worse, which is why it’s important to know what to look for.
1. Pain or Discomfort on Either Side of the Toenail
Your toes and toenails shouldn’t hurt unless there’s a definite reason such as an injury to one or more of them. If you have pain or discomfort on either side of the nail, especially near the front where the corner of your nail is located, you may have an ingrown toenail starting. Naturally, you want to prevent ingrown toenails when possible, and some home remedies may help do that. You can usually keep the problem from getting any worse when you treat it quickly.
2. Redness on the Skin or Under the Toenail
Checking for redness in the area is important if you think you may have an ingrown toenail. When this occurs, you may also find that the area feels firm or tender to the touch. If you notice that your skin is red, firm, and tender, that could be an indication that your toenail is becoming ingrown in that area. Investigating the problem is important to reduce the chances of an ingrown toenail getting worse.
3. Swelling of Your Toe
A swollen toe could be another indication that you’re getting an ingrown toenail. If you haven’t injured your toe or you don’t have any other reason for it to be swollen, looking for an ingrown toenail is important. Don’t ignore that swelling. Instead, take a look and find out what’s causing it, so you can get it treated and feel better again.
4. Overgrowth of the Skin Around the Nail
As a toenail becomes ingrown, some skin in the area will often get thicker and grow around that part of the nail. In order to treat an ingrown toenail at home, you may need to reduce the overgrowth of skin and get access to the actual piece of nail that is cutting into you.
It’s important to do this gently and carefully by pushing the skin away, as you don’t want to cut or remove pieces of skin that could cause more pain and increase your infection risk. If you can’t get to the actual nail area, let a professional help you.
Signs of Infection or a Worsening Ingrown Toenail
Sometimes, ingrown toenail pain will go away on its own and the problem will resolve without needing to see a podiatrist. That’s especially true when you try at-home treatments and when the ingrown toenail is just getting started. But when those treatments don’t work and your ingrown toenail continues to worsen, the most common symptoms you could encounter include:
- Trouble walking normally or putting pressure on the toe.
- Infection, which is usually indicated by pus from the nail.
If you’re noticing these symptoms, it’s time to have your ingrown toenail treated by a professional. That will help reduce your pain and take care of any infection that’s located in the area.
Contact Foot & Ankle Group for Help Today
If you aren’t sure whether you have an ingrown toenail, or you’re worried that you have one that’s getting worse and not responding to treatment, getting medical attention is important. Call to make an appointment with us today. At Foot & Ankle Group we’re here to help, and we want to make sure you’re getting all the support and medical treatment you need to heal an ingrown toenail and get back to living life without pain.
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