Have you started noticing more redness and swelling to your toe since you started running? Are you experiencing pain in your toe while running? You may have an ingrown toenail! Ingrown toenails are caused when the side of the toenail curves into the skin causes it to become irritated. This produces signs of pain, redness and swelling to the skin around the nail. Many times athletes develop ingrown toenails because of wearing cleats or putting more weight towards the front of the shoe. Treating an ingrown toenail at home can be dangerous. Attempting to cut the ingrown out yourself can cause the skin to become more irritated or you can even cut yourself. If an ingrown toenail is not taken care of properly, it can become infected. You’ll start to notice more drainage, severe redness that is extending past the area of skin near the toenail and increased pain. Infected ingrown toenails should be treated promptly! If you notice that you are developing an ingrown toenail, try soaking the toe in luke-warm Epsom salt and covering it antibiotic ointment and a Band-Aid. If the ingrown toenail persists after treating it at home for more than 3 days, it’s time to see a podiatrist to help resolve the problem! Usually taking antibiotics is not enough to resolve an infected ingrown toenail. If the ingrown part of the toenail is not removed properly, the infection can come back and the irritated skin will remain the same. Ingrown toenails can be permanently removed in the office with a simple office procedure. This procedure does not require any down time and you can go back to work or in regular shoes immediately after the procedure is finished. After care is as simple as a little antibiotic ointment and a Band-Aid until you return to the office 1-2 weeks later to make sure the toe is healed. By permanently removing the ingrown portion of the toenail, you can prevent infection from occurring and wear whatever shoes you like. If you are suffering from an ingrown toenail, don’t try to remove it at home! Call Advanced Podiatry at 813-875-0555 for an appointment with one of our doctors. They can help permanently fix your ingrown toenail problem so you can run pain-free!