Valley Foot Care, Inc.

When Should You See a Podiatrist for Ingrown Toenails?

Dealing with ingrown toenails can be more than just a minor inconvenience; it can lead to significant discomfort and potentially serious complications if left untreated. While some cases can be managed at home with proper care, there are instances where seeking professional help from a podiatrist is essential for effective treatment and prevention of further issues.

Understanding Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when the edge or corner of a toenail grows into the skin instead of over it. This can result in pain, redness, swelling, and even infection if bacteria enter the affected area. Several factors contribute to ingrown toenails, including improper trimming, tight footwear, injury, and underlying nail conditions.

When to Consider Seeing a Podiatrist

  • Persistent Pain and Discomfort: If you experience persistent pain or discomfort that doesn’t improve with at-home treatments such as soaking your foot in warm water and gently pushing the skin away from the nail, it’s time to see a podiatrist. They can assess the severity of the ingrown toenail and recommend appropriate treatment.
  • Signs of Infection: Redness, swelling, warmth, and drainage of pus are signs of infection associated with ingrown toenails. Infections can spread and become more serious if not properly treated. Podiatrists can prescribe antibiotics and provide guidance on caring for the infection to prevent complications.
  • Chronic Ingrown Toenails: If you frequently suffer from ingrown toenails, it could indicate an underlying issue such as an abnormal nail structure or improper footwear. A podiatrist can help identify the root cause and provide solutions to prevent recurrence.
  • Difficulty Walking or Wearing Shoes: Ingrown toenails can make it painful to walk or wear shoes comfortably. This can significantly impact your daily activities and quality of life. A podiatrist can trim the nail properly, relieve pressure, and recommend footwear adjustments to alleviate discomfort.
  • Diabetes or Other Health Conditions: Individuals with diabetes or other health conditions that affect circulation or immune function are at a higher risk of complications from ingrown toenails. It’s crucial for them to seek professional care promptly to prevent serious infections and other foot-related complications.

What to Expect During Your Visit

During your visit to a podiatrist, they will examine your toe and ask about your symptoms and medical history. They may gently lift the edge of the ingrown nail and trim or remove the offending portion. In some cases, a procedure may be necessary to permanently remove part of the nail or prevent it from growing back.

Preventive Care Tips

After treatment by a podiatrist, there are steps you can take to prevent ingrown toenails in the future:

  • Trim your toenails straight across and avoid rounding the corners.
  • Wear properly fitting shoes with adequate room for your toes.
  • Keep your feet clean and dry, especially between the toes.
  • Avoid cutting your toenails too short.


Knowing when to see a podiatrist for ingrown toenails is essential for prompt and effective treatment. If you’re experiencing persistent pain, signs of infection, difficulty walking, or have underlying health conditions, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. A podiatrist can provide the necessary care to relieve your symptoms and prevent complications.

For residents in Phoenix, AZ, seeking expert podiatric care, consider visiting Valley Foot Care, Inc. Their experienced podiatrists can assess and treat ingrown toenails and other foot-related issues with personalized care and attention.

Don’t let ingrown toenails disrupt your daily life. Contact a podiatrist in Phoenix, AZ today to ensure your feet stay healthy and pain-free.