NYC Foot & Ankle Center
NYC Foot & Ankle Center

Ingrown Toenail

Podiatry located in Manhattan Valley neighborhood of the Upper West Side, New York, NY

Most people experience an ingrown toenail at one time or another, but if you have diabetes or another medical condition that affects blood flow to your feet, it increases your risk of infection and other complications. At NYC Foot & Ankle Center in the Manhattan Valley neighborhood of the Upper West Side, expert podiatrists Diana Valencia, DPM, Emmanuel Bustos, DPM, and the team provide complete care for ingrown toenails. They know how to stop the pain, prevent infection, and restore mobility. Call NYC Foot & Ankle Center today to schedule ingrown toenail treatment, or book your appointment online.

Ingrown Toenail Q & A

Should I see a podiatrist if I have an ingrown toenail?

Ingrown toenails typically aren’t serious, but it’s important to see a podiatrist nonetheless. 

Without treatment, the nail grows farther into your skin, increasing the risk of infection, gangrene (tissue death), and other complications. Although these complications can develop in anyone, they’re most common in people with diabetes and peripheral artery disease (PAD). 

What are the symptoms of an ingrown toenail?

Ingrown toenail symptoms include:

  • Pain and tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Inflamed skin
  • Infection

You might have difficulty wearing socks and shoes as the nail grows farther into your skin. 

Who is at risk of having an ingrown toenail?

Anyone can experience an ingrown toenail, but various factors increase your risk. For example, if you wear shoes that don’t provide ample room for your toes, your nails may grow into your skin instead of outward. 

Poor nail care habits also increase your risk. For instance, cutting your nails at an angle instead of straight across encourages them to grow into your skin.

How is an ingrown toenail diagnosed?

Your NYC Foot & Ankle Center provider asks about your symptoms and examines your toe. 

Ingrown toenails are easy to identify, but it's still important to let your provider know if you have an underlying medical condition, like diabetes or poor circulation, that increases your risk of complications. These insights help guide treatment and promote quicker healing.

Depending on the severity of your ingrown nail, your provider might order X-rays to see how far the nail has grown into your skin and to check for signs of infection.

How is an ingrown toenail treated?

The NYC Foot & Ankle Center team treats ingrown toenails using a conservative, minimally invasive approach. They might suggest:

  • Lifting the nail with a cotton swab or piece of dental floss
  • Taping the nail so it grows away from your skin
  • Placing a gutter splint under the nail to guide its growth
  • Partially removing the nail to prevent an infection from worsening

Sometimes, minimally invasive surgery is necessary to remove the affected nail and tissue. For example, if you regularly experience ingrown nails on the same toe and they become infected or increase your risk of other health problems, removing the nail prevents it from growing back.

To explore ingrown toenail treatment options, call NYC Foot & Ankle Center today and make an appointment, or book your visit online.