What causes an ingrown toenail?
Ingrown toenails are mainly caused by improper cutting of the nail and surrounding skin. If the nail is trimmed at an angle rather than straight across, there is often a piece of nail left behind. Other causes of ingrown toenails are contributed by tight fitting shoes or cleats, pedicures, fungal toenails, and the genetic shape of your toenail.
Do I have an ingrown toenail?
Symptoms and severity of ingrown toenails can vary from discomfort to severe pain and infection. Most often, ingrown toenails will begin with pain at the corner of the toenail and progressively symptoms worsen causing redness and swelling. If left untreated, the inflammation caused by the nail can allow bacteria to grow and cause an infection or abscess. If you notice a raised, red, bleeding portion of the adjacent skin this is called a granuloma. It is best to seek treatment by a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms or are unsure if you are developing an ingrown toenail.
How is an ingrown toenail treated?
Seeking treatment by a Podiatrist for an ingrown toenail is recommended because they are specially and medically trained in this specific problem. It is advised you do not have your ingrown toenail touched by a pedicurist or nail salon. There are options when it comes to treating ingrown toenails. A slant back procedure entails removing the corner of the ingrown toenail and the nail under the skin fold at the edge of the toenail however this is a temporary solution.. A partial nail avulsion is a procedure in which the entire side of the nail is removed down to the root leaving the central portion of the nail intact. Most often your doctor will recommend removing the ingrown nail permanently. This means a chemical is used at the root of the nail cells in order to prevent recurrence of an ingrown toenail. Of course your doctor will evaluate which procedure is best for you.
How is the procedure performed?
At Healthy Feet Podiatry, our doctors will perform a nail avulsion for you the same day- at the time of your initial evaluation. Our goal is to reduce your pain promptly so you can leave our office with your ingrown toenail fixed. We use local anesthesia to numb the toe and perform the procedure using a special tool to remove the nail. This is followed by a special chemical used to prevent the nail from regrowing. The site of the procedure will take about two weeks to heal and during this time we recommend use of antibiotic ointment and a bandage. Patients come into the office with a painful ingrown toenail and leave a happy camper with their problem solved. We create a relaxing, stress-free environment to ensure our patients have the best experience throughout this procedure!