Ingrown Toenails

Phoenix Foot and Ankle Institute -  - Foot and Ankle Specialist

Phoenix Foot and Ankle Institute

Foot and Ankle Specialists & Podiatrists located in Scottsdale, AZ & Phoenix, AZ

There are more than 3 million cases of ingrown toenails each year, making ingrown nails the most common reason for visiting a podiatrist. At Phoenix Foot and Ankle Institute, Marta Riniker, DPM and Jeffrey McAlister, DPM, FACFAS, offers effective treatment for ingrown toenails, including permanent solutions for long-term comfort. He can get you out of pain quickly with his skilled and gentle approach. To schedule a visit, call the office in Phoenix, Arizona, or request an appointment online today.


What causes ingrown toenails?

Ingrown toenails develop when your toenails have been cut too short or at an irregular angle, and they dig into the skin around your nail bed as they grow. They can cause pain, redness, swelling, and even infections if they’re not treated properly.

Teenagers are at a heightened risk for developing ingrown toenails as they learn to care for their bodies and practice personal grooming tasks. Other factors that increase your risk of developing ingrown toenails include:

  • Toenail damage or trauma
  • Wearing tight-fitting shoes
  • Having unusually curved toenails

Ingrown toenails are even more dangerous if you have diabetes, which slows your natural healing process and can increase your risk of infection.

When should I see a podiatrist for my ingrown toenail?

The team at Phoenix Foot and Ankle Institute generally recommends soaking your foot in warm water and keeping the area clean and dry throughout the day. This can help the ingrown nail to correct itself. If this at-home treatment doesn’t relieve your discomfort within 5-7 days, schedule an appointment with Dr. McAlister.

If you have recurrent ingrown toenails or you’re in significant pain, it’s best to get treatment right away. Proper podiatric care can prevent future ingrown toenails so you don’t have to stress about the discomfort returning in a few weeks or months.

Dr. McAlister is extremely careful when treating ingrown toenails and aims to make the process as painless as possible. Using gentle techniques, he removes the portion of nail that’s causing your pain and trims your nail to prevent a future ingrown toenail.

Minor surgical procedures and topical medications can stop the nail from growing into that area of the nail bed again. If this is something you’re interested in, talk with Dr. McAlister about your treatment options.

How can I prevent ingrown toenails?

Dr. McAlister provides personalized suggestions to prevent ingrown toenails based on the anatomy of your feet and nails and your lifestyle. General guidelines for preventing ingrown toenails include:

  • Cutting your toenails straight across at about the length of your toe
  • Keeping your feet clean and dry
  • Wearing shoes that fit well with plenty of room for your toes
  • Wearing steel-toed boots or other protective footwear if your job puts you at risk for toenail damage

Taking care of your feet with regular exams, especially if you have diabetes, is another way to prevent ingrown toenails.

To get treatment for your ingrown toenail, call Phoenix Foot and Ankle Institute or request an appointment online today.