Ingrown toenails usually occur on the big toe of your foot, but they can happen to any of your toes. An ingrown toenail occurs when your toenail curves and grows into the toe, causing pain to the skin there.
If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can become infected. Along with Ingrown toenails, you can also experience similar foot pain from sources such as calluses, corns, bunions and arthritis. People with diabetes should be extra careful because foot conditions can point to other health emergencies.
Read on below to learn more about how to treat ingrown toenails and other sources of foot pain.
Ingrown toenails and other foot pains
Good foot hygiene can help prevent foot ailments. Along with keeping your feet dry and clean, remember to wear shoes or sandals that provide your feet with proper arch support. For example, if you frequently wear high heels or shoes that are too tight, you could develop a painful foot condition, such as an ingrown toenail, calluses or corns.
Athletes or anyone who engages in consistent physical activity should be extra careful of how they treat their feet. Stretching before and after exercising should be an essential part of your routine, along with using pads or braces if you have a history of injuries or sprains.
Medical conditions like diabetes, which cause water retention in the feet, also contribute to the possibility of developing conditions such as bunions or hammer toes.
- Ingrown toenails – When your toenail curves and grows into the toe.
- Calluses and corns – Thickened, hardened skin that forms from pressure or friction.
- Bunions – A painful bump that develops on the joint of the big toe. It forms when the big toe leans towards the other toes.
- Arthritis – Inflammation or swelling of the joints in your toes.
- Hammer toes – This happens when one or more of your toes bends and becomes stiff.
At-home remedies for ingrown toenails and other foot pains
Foot pain can come and go with treatment. If your pain is not severe, but it’s disrupting your ability to function regularly, try some at-home treatment options. Depending on where the pain resides in your feet, you may want to consider giving your feet a rest:
- Apply ice or heat interchangeably.
- Take pain relievers to ease the pain and reduce inflammation.
- Give your feet some rest, if you can.
- Wear comfortable, roomy shoes.
- Visit a massage therapist for a foot massage.
Whatever you can do to treat your feet well will be worth it. And be sure to give your feet time to bounce back from the repeated pressure of walking or standing for extended periods. If these at-home remedies aren’t working, you may want to consider visiting your podiatrist.
When should you visit your doctor for foot pain treatment
It’s hard to know when to visit a podiatrist, especially if you’ve never experienced foot pain. However, don’t feel ashamed if you need to ask for help. Foot pain can be severe, and if you’re running up a fever and you see pus forming and coming out of your toe, it’s time to visit your doctor.
A podiatrist can evaluate your feet and find the best treatment options. For an ingrown toenail, you may be prescribed antibiotics to treat the infection. Your doctor may have to remove your nail or cut part of it so it doesn’t dig into your other toes or cause a worse infection.
An ingrown toenail can be cause to make an appointment with a doctor if you experience any of the following:
- If pus is coming out of your toe.
- You’re hot or shivering.
- Inflammation is not going away.
- You’re still in pain after taking pain relievers.
- You have diabetes and an ingrown toenail.
To seek podiatry services, visit a Valleywise Health Medical Center. Call 1-833-VLLYWSE to book an in-person or virtual podiatry appointment today.