Diabetes and Ingrown Toenails: Why You Need Professional Care

Nov 16, 2023
Diabetes and Ingrown Toenails: Why You Need Professional Care
Are you dealing with the discomfort of ingrown toenails and also managing diabetes? The two might be more connected than you think. This article delves into why these conditions often occur together and why you may need professional care for your ingrown t

Ingrown toenails might seem trivial, but when coupled with a chronic condition like diabetes, they can quickly escalate into a medical issue. 

It’s crucial to take proper care of your feet, especially if you have diabetes. At Los Angeles Institute of Foot and Ankle Surgery in Burbank, Santa Clarita, and Northridge, California, our team of podiatry surgeons have years of experience treating ingrown toenails and other foot-related concerns. 

In this article, we share the importance of professional care for your ingrown toenails if you have diabetes. 

The link between diabetes and ingrown toenails

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects regulating your blood sugar levels. High blood sugar can damage the blood vessels and nerves, particularly in your feet, leading to various foot problems.

In people with diabetes, reduced blood flow and nerve damage in the feet make it difficult to sense minor injuries or irritations, like an ingrown toenail. Furthermore, diabetes can impair the body's ability to heal, increasing the risk of infection.

Why ingrown toenails are a concern for people with diabetes  

An ingrown toenail happens when the nail’s edge grows into the surrounding skin. For most people, this is just a nuisance. However, for diabetics, an ingrown toenail can lead to severe complications:

  • Lack of sensation: Nerve damage may make it difficult to feel the initial pain of an ingrown toenail, leading to delayed treatment.
  • Increased risk of infection: High blood sugar levels make it easier for bacterial infections to flourish. An untreated ingrown toenail can become a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Impaired wound healing: Diabetes slows down the body’s natural healing processes, making it difficult for the affected area to recover.

These complications make professional care for a seemingly minor problem like an ingrown toenail imperative for people with diabetes. 

Signs and symptoms to watch for 

Being vigilant about foot care when you have diabetes is vital. Here are some common signs that you may have an ingrown toenail:

  • Redness and swelling: These are often the first visible signs.
  • Pain: Initially, you may experience slight discomfort that intensifies over time.
  • Pus discharge: In severe cases, the area around the toenail might show signs of infection, such as pus.

If you observe any of these symptoms, consult one of our podiatrists immediately, especially if you manage diabetes.

Why professional care is crucial

When you have diabetes, you should seriously consider the complications of developing ingrown toenails. Home remedies and over-the-counter treatments may not cut it and could even open you up to problems. 

At the LA Institute of Foot and Ankle, we provide cutting-edge treatment options tailored for people managing diabetes and foot issues. From diagnosis to treatment and aftercare, we’re a one-stop solution for all your foot care needs.

Managing diabetes can already be stressful, and the added complication of an ingrown toenail can make it overwhelming. However, by opting for professional care, you are taking a proactive step in managing your health. Book an appointment online today or call 818-848-5588 today.