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Ingrown Toenails Specialist

James W. Ratcliff, DPM

Podiatrist & Foot and Ankle Surgeon located in Los Gatos, CA

An ingrown toenail is a common condition that can cause pain and swelling in the area. If you notice symptoms of an ingrown toenail, board-certified podiatrist James W. Ratcliff, DPM, offers safe and effective treatment. Located in Los Gatos, California, Dr. Ratcliff specializes in state-of-the-art, personalized foot and ankle care. To speak with Dr. Ratcliff about your ingrown toenail, book your appointment by phone or online today.

Ingrown Toenails Q&A

What is an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail is a painful condition that occurs when the edge of your nail grows into the skin of your toe. This ingrowth causes your nail to dig into your skin, resulting in pain, swelling, and redness. Although an ingrown toenail can affect any of your toes, it most commonly affects the big toe. 

In some cases, an ingrown toenail can lead to an infection, which can cause further problems with your foot health. 

What causes ingrown toenails?

An ingrown toenail can develop for a number of reasons. In many cases, improper trimming is the cause of ingrown toenails. Trimming your nails at a curve instead of straight across can cause the nail to dig into your skin as it grows back. 

Some people develop ingrown toenails as the result of an injury or wearing shoes that are too tight. For others, the size of the nail can be the problem. If your toenail is too large for your toe, it can result in repeated ingrown toenails. Having abnormally curved toenails can also increase your chances of developing an ingrowth. 

If you experience pain or discomfort with any of your toes, book an appointment with Dr. Ratcliff. Timely treatment can eliminate your pain and help you avoid complications like infection. Ingrown toenails are especially risky for people with diabetes or conditions that affect blood flow to the feet. 

How are ingrown toenails treated?

Before beginning treatment, Dr. Ratcliff performs an evaluation to diagnose your condition. Typically, a physical exam is all that’s needed to diagnose an ingrown toenail. Dr. Ratcliff offers painless treatment for ingrown toenails. 

Treatment for ingrown toenails includes lifting the nail and placing a splint. Dr. Ratcliff also offers corrective surgery to partially or completely remove the affected nail and accompanying tissue.  

In some cases, Dr. Ratcliff may prescribe antibiotics to clear up any infection. Dr. Ratcliff may also instruct you on ways to prevent ingrown toenails in the future, such as proper nail trimming, avoiding ill-fitting shoes, and wearing appropriate footwear to protect yourself from injuries. 

To learn more, call the office or schedule your appointment online today.