Ingrown toenails are a common nail problem that many people face on a daily basis. An ingrown toenail occurs when the sides or upper corners of a nail dig into the skin and cause pain. Since the nail is growing into the flesh, the pain will only get worse over time. Without professional treatment, the patient may not be able to correct the ingrown toenail by cutting off the infected portion of the toenail.
Fortunately, at Ambulatory Foot & Ankle Clinic, we can help to treat an ingrown toenail and ensure that it does not continue to bother the patient in the future. Patients should not attempt to treat their ingrown toenail without the help from a professional. Depending on the degree of the ingrown toenail, a patient may need to have the toenail removed for treatment.
Causes of an ingrown toenailIngrown toenails can develop when you consistently wear shoes that are too tight, cut your toenails incorrectly or inherit traits through genetics. In some cases, a large amount of trauma to the toenail can also lead to an ingrown toenail. An ingrown toenail will not occur overnight, but is treatable. More often, patients do not seek treatment soon enough and only let the ingrown toenail get worse, increasing the pain. It is important to make sure that you do not cut your toenails improperly and cause an ingrown toenail as the nail grows back going into the skin.
The symptoms of an ingrown toenail include feeling pain on the toe in particular, along with redness and swelling around the ingrown portion. You may also experience drainage and odor from the ingrown toenail as well. While soaking the foot in lukewarm salt water can help relieve the pain, it will not necessarily treat the ingrown toenail.
Treatment of an ingrown toenailIf the ingrown toenail is excreting nay pus or drainage, then you need to see a podiatrist as soon as possible. Attempting to cut or pull the ingrown portion of the nail off of the foot is ill advised. Since the root of the ingrown nail can go much deeper than people realize, attempting to remove the nail without professional treatment may only remove the top portion. In which case, the root of the nail will simply grow back at the wrong angle and continue to cause pain.
Treatment for an ingrown toenail varies on the degree of the ingrown portion itself. At our clinic, we can cut the toenails properly, so over time, they stop causing irritation. However, if the ingrown toenail is severe enough, patients may need to schedule an appointment at our clinic for surgery. During this procedure, we will remove the ingrown portion or the entire toenail, if necessary, to help the new nail grow in properly.
Patients will be kept comfortable during the procedure and feel little to no pain. The patient does not even need to go under anesthetic for this procedure. Most likely, one of our team members will numb the toe in question to remove the ingrown portion or entire nail. Once successfully removed, we will bandage the toe and go over instructions for keeping it clean. The nail will heal over the next two weeks with only minor aching and soreness.
To avoid another ingrown toenail, be sure to trim the toenails properly by cutting them straight across the top. Try not to dig into the sides of the nail or trim longer than the tips of the toes. Regardless of the state of the ingrown toenail, a professional opinion from our clinic will ensure a healthy recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling with an ingrown toenail, call us at 208-803-0010 and schedule an appointment today.
If you would like to learn more about Ingrown Toenails and the various treatments we provide, call 208-803-0010 to schedule a consultation.