Ingrown Toenails Specialist

Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic

Podiatrists & Foot and Ankle Surgeons located in Normal, IL & Pontiac, IL

20% of people who see the doctor for foot issues have an ingrown toenail. At Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic in Normal and Pontiac, Illinois, Craig Cortese, DPM, FACFAS, Steve Yeschek, DPM, and Carl Cortese, BS, DPM, FACFAS, can expertly resolve ingrown toenail pain and restore normal appearance. Then, they’ll help with preventive care so you can prevent a cycle of ingrown toenail pain. Call the office nearest you or book an appointment online today.

Ingrown Toenails Q & A

What is an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail curves downwards and penetrates the skin at your nail borders. This causes pain, inflammation, and swelling.

Ingrown toenails can cause infection at the site where they puncture the skin, sometimes causing fluid leakage and foul smell. Untreated, the infection can spread through the surrounding flesh and even into the bones.

What causes ingrown toenails?

Ingrown toenails occur for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Genetics
  • One-time trauma, like stubbing your toe
  • Repeated trauma, like kicking a ball
  • Cutting your nails in a curved fashion
  • Cutting your nails too short
  • Wearing too-snug shoes
  • Wearing shoes that crowd your toes together (small toe box)

Nail fungus can sometimes cause irregular nail pattern growth that could result in an ingrown toenail, as well.

How do you treat an ingrown toenail?

Your podiatrist at Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic starts with a careful exam of your toe and foot. They determine the extent of the damage, and whether you also have an infection. If you have an infection, your podiatrist may prescribe oral antibiotics.

Your podiatrist can also perform a minor surgical procedure on-site to remove the embedded portion of the nail, if needed. They administer local anesthesia first, which means it's not painful.

Even after removal, some ingrown toenails keep coming back. In this situation, your podiatrist may recommend laser surgery to remove the nail root. This prevents regrowth permanently.

You'll wear a light bandage home after an ingrown toenail procedure, and generally recovery is swift. In most cases, your podiatrist recommends a return to your normal routine the next day.

How can I prevent ingrown toenails?

In most cases, a few simple foot care routines at home can help you prevent ingrown toenails. Start with trimming your nails in a straight line. Avoid cutting nails so short that it exposes your nail bed. Always choose proper footwear that's not too short or overly binding in the toe box.

If you’re at risk for foot problems because of diabetes or another chronic condition, make sure to see your Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic podiatrist for regular foot care checkups. Your podiatrist can spot problematic nail growth patterns before they get out of control.

Click on the online appointment scheduler or call Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic offices for ingrown toenail care today.