What You Need to Know about Ingrown Toenails – Ask A Podiatrist
Today, we’re introducing a new series Ask A Podiatrist! — featuring Elizabeth E. Auger, Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) in Salt Lake City, Utah. As an athlete herself, Dr. Auger is the perfect connection for those of you who love hiking, trail running, snowshoeing, and the myriad of popular activities available in this region.
Dr. Auger intentionally chose Salt Lake City for her practice and established 3 convenient locations for patients. Why? Because she gets to live in a place she loves; which offers plenty of outdoor activities, and the opportunity to help improve the lives of those who reside in, and visit, SLC!
Q: How can I tell whether or not I have an ingrown toenail?
A: When you have an ingrown toenail you’ll experience some discomfort on the side of the offending nail border. There may be some swelling and also some redness in the area. So pain, swelling, and redness; it can be one of these or all three.
Q: Can an ingrown toenail be mistaken for anything else?
A: It most certainly can. There are other conditions which may present with similar symptoms:
- You could have a bone spur that’s developing underneath the nail; an x-ray is required for this diagnosis.
- Children are also more prone to what we call an osteochondroma. This benign tumor which often grows in the bone at the tip of the toe often presses into the nail causing pain, swelling, and redness (x-ray would determine this as well).
- There may also be a foreign body in there. For example, you may have gone hiking or were gardening and a piece to dirt became lodged into the area where the nail meets the skin. Now your body is reacting to the ‘foreign body’ and causing some pain, swelling, and drainage in the area.
- Sometimes, people develop a cyst or clogged sweat gland (eccrine poroma), which could also be mistaken for an ingrown toenail.
However, the most common condition is just going to be the ingrown toenail, and we know that this can be diagnosed at the time of the visit. READ MORE OF OUR INTERVIEW HERE!