Ingrown toenails can be very painful for people. An ingrown toenail is when the nail curves into the skin and causes the skin to become red and swollen from inflammation. If ingrown toenails are not treated properly, then they can become infected over time. Ingrown toenails occur several ways. They can be hereditary, believe it or not. The shape of your nail is passed along to your kids and depending on the curvature of the toenail, it can make you more prone to developing an ingrown nail. Playing sports that require cleats or pushing off the front of the shoe also cause increased pressure to the toenails, especially the big toe, making athletes more susceptible to getting ingrown nails. So what can you do about it at home? Try to avoid any restrictive shoe gear as soon as you notice increased tenderness, redness or swelling around the nail. Also temporarily discontinue sporting activities that require you to push off with the ball of your foot increasing pressure to the nail. If the nail continues to cause pain or discomfort, try soaking it in Epsom salts and covering it with an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment and Band-Aid. If the nail continues to worsen after treating it for 3-5 days at home, then you should seek professional help with your ingrown toenail. We DO NOT advise you to perform any type of ingrown nail removal at home! There are instruments specifically made for ingrown toenail removals because regular toenail clippers are dangerous to use. Using toenail clippers from home causes an increased risk of cutting your skin around the nail which only causes the ingrown toenail pain to become more severe and increases the risk of infection. And although your pedicurist can keep your nails looking nice and shapely, they do not want to remove ingrown toenails because they know the consequences if it is not removed properly by a doctor. So if you are suffering from an ingrown toenail, don’t wait to have it treated. Advanced Podiatry’s doctors have simple procedures and the right tools to help resolve your ingrown toenail permanently. Call us at 813-875-0555 for an appointment today!