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Ingrown Toenail Specialist

Alexander J Pappas, DPM -  - Board Certified Podiatrist

Alexander J Pappas, DPM

Board Certified Podiatrist & Foot and Ankle Surgeon located in Hudson, FL, Brooksville, FL, & Lutz, FL

Is your ingrown toenail swollen, uncomfortable, and inflamed? Those are all signs of possible infection, which requires immediate treatment. Leading podiatrist Alexander J. Pappas, DPM, can quickly and skillfully resolve your ingrown toenail and then help you prevent it from coming back. There are three conveniently located offices in the Tampa Bay area, so call the Hudson, Brooksville, and Lutz, Florida, office or click on the scheduling tool now.

Ingrown Toenail Q & A

What is an ingrown toenail?

When skin envelops one corner of your toenail, it’s ingrown. Because your nail shouldn’t grow under your skin naturally, this causes a number of bodily responses including irritation, inflammation, and discomfort. Ingrown toenails usually occur in your big toe but can happen in any toe. 

What causes an ingrown toenail?

Ingrown toenails usually develop due to cutting your nails too short or shaping your nails down at the corners. Wearing tight shoes can also lead to ingrown toenails. In fact, high heels the same culprit often behind bunions are a common cause of ingrown toenails.

Foot trauma, particularly consistent toe trauma like dancing in toe shoes or kicking a soccer ball frequently, can also lead to ingrown toenails. 

What are the signs of an ingrown toenail?

The most common signs of an ingrown toenail include:

  • Discomfort
  • Inflamed skin
  • Swelling
  • Drainage
  • Foul odor

Drainage and foul odor are both symptoms of an infection. You may also develop proud flesh abnormal new skin growth that stands out from the rest of your skin. Proud flesh is very prone to bleeding, and it’s a sign that you're not healing properly. 

These are all great reasons to see Dr. Pappas for help as soon as you see ingrown toenail symptoms. 

Can I treat an ingrown toenail at home?

If you have a mild ingrown toenail, you can try a few simple measures at home, including soaking your toe in warm water and applying antibiotic cream. In some cases, this may be enough to encourage the embedded nail to grow in the right way. 

Never stick a pin in your toe to drain fluid, and don’t use a file or any other tool to lift your nail corner. Above all, never cut the nail out of your skin. 

These approaches are very dangerous because they’re essentially unmedicated and unsterilized surgical procedures and, you’d undoubtedly prefer for a board-certified surgeon to take care of any surgical needs!

How are ingrown toenails treated?

Dr. Pappas uses a variety of both nonsurgical and operative treatments for ingrown toenails. He can safely lift the nail and place a small splint in some cases. Or, he can numb your toe and remove the buried part of the nail. 

If you have an infection, Dr. Pappas may need to clean and drain any fluid or pus buildup. He can prescribe topical or oral antibiotics, if needed.

If your nail is likely to grow under the skin again due to its width, Dr. Pappas may remove a sliver of the nail. Then, he treats the nail’s growth center with a special solution that deters regrowth. This makes your nail a little smaller and greatly reduces your risk of ingrown nails in the future. 

Don’t allow your ingrown toenail to worsen. Alexander J. Pappas, DPM, can treat you promptly in any of his three offices, so call the one nearest you or click the online booking tool now.