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Ingrown Toenail Specialist

American Surgeons Group

Podiatrists located in Homewood, Mokena, & South Chicago Heights, IL

Ingrown toenails are a common issue that can lead to serious bone infections without proper treatment. Board-certified podiatrists Timothy Horak, DPM, and Julia Shauger, DPM, treat infected ingrown toenails at American Surgeons Group in Homewood, South Chicago Heights, and Mokena, Illinois. If you have an ingrown toenail, don’t hesitate to call or book an appointment online.

Ingrown Toenail Q & A

What is an ingrown toenail?

Ingrown toenails occur when the corner or side of your nail grows into the soft flesh of your toe. This is a common problem that can happen to any toenail, but usually occurs in the big toe.

Wearing tight shoes or trimming your toenails too short may encourage the nail to grow into your skin. Sometimes, ingrown toenails occur on their own in people with large or curved nails.

Although ingrown toenails usually resolve on their own, you should schedule an appointment at American Surgeons Group if your pain is severe or becomes worse. People with diabetes are at increased risk of complications due to ingrown toenails and should schedule an appointment as soon as they notice a problem. 

What are the symptoms of an ingrown toenail?

Ingrown toenails cause redness and swelling on one or both sides of your toe. The toe may be tender to the touch at first and develop into pain that affects your ability to walk comfortably. You may also be able to see the toenail growing into the skin.

Without prompt medical care, an infected ingrown toenail can affect the underlying bone in your foot and lead to serious problems. 

How can I prevent ingrown toenails?

There are steps you can take to decrease your risk of getting an ingrown toenail, including:

  • Trimming toenails straight across, not curved at the sides
  • Keeping toenails at a length even with the tips of your toes
  • Wear proper-fitting shoes 

If you have diabetes, you should routinely check your feet for ingrown toenails or other signs of foot problems.

How do you diagnose and treat ingrown toenails?

Dr. Horak or Dr. Shauger can diagnose an ingrown toenail by examining your foot. In some cases, they may take an X-ray or ultrasound to look for signs of bone infection.

Treatment for ingrown toenails depends on the severity of your condition. Ingrown nails that aren’t infected may improve with home treatments, such as soaking your feet in warm water or placing dental floss under the edge of the toenail.

Infected toenails may require treatment with antibiotics. Dr. Horak or Dr. Shauger may also partially or completely remove the infected toenail after administering a local anesthetic injection.

For expert care in preventing or treating an ingrown toenail, call American Surgeons Group or book an appointment online.