Stabbing pain. Swelling and redness. Skin so tender that just putting on a shoe can be an adventure.
Yep—ingrown toenails aren’t very much fun. And the longer you wait to treat them, the greater your risk of developing a dangerous infection—especially if you have diabetes, nerve damage, or poor circulation.
In this condition, soft flesh surrounding the toenail “folds over” a corner or edge of the nail itself. And as the nail digs downward, the discomfort can become extreme.
Fortunately, ingrown toenail treatment is relatively straightforward and simple.
What Causes and Ingrown Toenail?
There are several possible causes for your ingrown toenail. The most common include:
- Improper toenail trimming. If you cut your nails too short, there is a greater likelihood that the adjacent skin will fold over the nail as it grows out. Leave a bit of length on the nail, and cut in a fairly straight line, rather than rounding the corners too much.
- Ill-fitting shoes. Shoes that are too short or tight in the toe box can pinch nails and push them downward. Shoes that are too large slide around on the feet and bump up on the nails repeatedly.
- Direct trauma. Stubbing your toe, dropping something on your foot, or even kicking a soccer ball over and over can contribute to an ingrown toenail.
- Inherited genetics. Some people simply have excessively curved nails due to their genes. Unfortunately, this makes them prone to developing ingrown nails again and again.
An ingrown toenail can be a very painful condition to deal with on a daily basis. If you are dealing with the pain that comes with an ingrown toenail, reach out to our office today. Our treatment plan will get you back on your feet in no time. Fill out the form below for more information and to request an appointment today!
Treatments for Ingrown Toenails
Ingrown toenails can be treated via a simple procedure performed in our office. A local anesthetic is used to numb the toe, so you shouldn’t feel any pain or discomfort. We then simply trim and remove the ingrown toenail, and bandage the toe. By the time the anesthesia wears off, you should be feeling a lot better!
If there is an infection present, we will of course provide additional treatment and prescribe an antibiotic as well.
For recurring ingrown toenails, we can also perform a second procedure to either alter the shape of the nail or remove a portion of it. Changing the shape of the matrix will allow the nail to grow back flatter, making it less likely to grow in. Removing a portion will prevent that part of the nail from growing back at all.
Is Recovery Difficult?
Recovery is usually very quick, with limited discomfort. We will provide all the instructions you need for your aftercare. Treatment is tolerated very well by the vast majority of patients, including small children.
There may be some residual throbbing, soreness, or pain after the anesthetic wears off, but this can typically be controlled with over-the-counter painkillers.
Most people can go back to work or school the following day, and return to more vigorous physical activities within a week or two. Full healing time varies but generally ranges from 2-4 weeks.