What happens if I never treat an ingrown toenail?

Feet are often overlooked and ignored until a painful problem actually arises. Leaving a small problem such as an ingrown toenail untreated is never a good idea. 

An ingrown toenail occurs when the nail of your big toe curves down into the skin on the side of your nail. They most commonly occur with improper trimming of the nail but poorly fitting shoes, injury and hereditary are also factors for getting an ingrown toenail. 

With an ingrown toenail, your skin can become red, tender and swollen. If it is untreated, infection can set in and yellow fluid or pus could drain out of the infected area. Surrounding skin can also begin to form over the ingrown toenail over time. The condition can also worsen to the point of the infection of the ingrown toenail getting into the bone at the end of your toe. This is called Osteomyelitis and the infected bone could need to be surgically removed. 

As tempting as might be, you should not try to treat your ingrown toenail on your own. This could only lead to further injury or infection. Dr. Danciger can provide antibiotics and safely remove the ingrown part of the nail if necessary. If you have an ingrown toenail, act promptly and make an appointment to get the condition resolved at our podiatric office.

Dr. Harvey Danciger
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Dr. Harvey Danciger is a podiatrist and foot surgeon in Palm Desert, CA specializing in the foot and ankle