close up of woman holding foot

An ingrown toenail occurs when the corner of your toenail curves and grows into the surrounding skin, causing swelling and pain. Ingrown toenails are more common in the big toes but can occur on any toe. If your ingrown toenail becomes severely painful or infected, schedule an appointment with Dr. Robert Kaplan at Twin Rivers Podiatry in Easton, Pennsylvania, to receive expert care. However, mild cases can often be treated at home.

At-Home Treatments

Soaking your foot with the ingrown toenail in warm, soapy water may reduce swelling, which helps ease the pain. It also helps keep the area clean and free of bacteria that can lead to an infection. Applying an over-the-counter anti-bacterial cream can also help prevent infection. Adding Epsom salt to your warm water soaks may provide additional relief and soften the skin, which may help draw the toenail out. Consider using a toe protector, which provides a cushioned barrier around the affected area and may come with a medicated gel that helps soften the toenail for easier trimming. If you notice pus or discharge coming from your ingrown toenail, you may have a severe infection and should visit our office immediately.

Prevent Ingrown Toenails

Ill-fitting shoes, toe trauma, improper toenail clipping and poor hygiene can all lead to ingrown toenails. Choose shoes that fit properly instead of too-tight footwear. Women should also avoid high heels while suffering an ingrown toenail since they can put more pressure on the toe, causing increased pain and slower healing. Trim toenails straight across, never at an angle, and avoid clipping nails too short. Keep feet and toes clean and dry to prevent ingrown toenails and other foot problems, such as toenail fungus. Use only sharp toenail clippers, not fingernail clippers, and clean them before each use.

Professional Treatment For Ingrown Toenails

Dr. Kaplan has been practicing podiatry in the Lehigh Valley for more than 30 years and is dedicated to providing personalized attention and exceptional foot care. We can determine if you have an ingrown toenail with a simple exam and then decide whether you require professional treatment. In most cases, we excise the ingrown toenail and cauterize the nail root to prevent reoccurrence. We accept most health-care insurance plans and financing through Care Credit. Contact us at 610-253-2251 to schedule an appointment or discuss your foot-related concerns.