“I wish I had come to see you earlier!”
In the earliest stages, ingrown toenails might be shrugged off as a mere inconvenience. You can see the edge of the nail digging into the side of the skin, and maybe there’s a little pain or sensitivity
In time, though, symptoms get worse and worse. Soon, even a simple act like putting on shoes might become agonizing. Obvious swelling and redness develop. Without treatment, your ingrown toenail may even lead to a nasty (and dangerous) infection.
But it doesn’t have to be that way!
By intervening early enough, you may be able to keep your toenail from getting worse.
And if you are in pain, we can provide near-instant relief in a single, same-day appointment that takes just minutes.
With such quick and easy treatment available, there’s no reason to wait until things get bad before you finally seek help.
What Causes Ingrown Toenails?
There are several possible underlying factors. These include:
- Shoe gear. Wearing tight shoes that pinch your toes—or loose ones that slide around and slam into the front of your feet—can create trauma that leads to ingrown toenails.
- Poor nail trimming. Cutting your nails too short or rounding the corners too much gives them added opportunity to grow into the surrounding flesh, rather than out.
- Other injuries. Stubbing your toe, dropping a heavy object on it, etc.
- Heredity. Unfortunately, some people are more prone to ingrown toenails than others due to genetic factors.
People of all ages can get ingrown toenails. They are very common in children, so keep an eye on your little one’s feet.
Can I Treat an Ingrown Toenail at Home?
If your ingrown toenail is only a minor irritant, there are no signs of infection, and you do not have diabetes, neuropathy, poor circulation, or similar conditions, you may be able to take care of your ingrown nail at home.
Soak your feet a couple of times per day for about 15-20 minutes at a time, and keep your feet dry the rest of the day. If you have to wear shoes, make sure they have a lot of wiggle room in the toe box.
Come see us immediately if pain increases (or your condition worsens), if you have diabetes, or if you notice any signs of infection.
How We Treat Ingrown Toenails
You might not believe this, but ingrown toenails are one of the most satisfying conditions for us to treat. It’s always great to see the relief come so quickly and easily to our patients’ faces!
In the basic procedure, we simply numb your toe with a local anesthetic, remove the painful and ingrown nail border, and then bandage you up. We’ll also provide you with a dressing kit and instructions on how to use it.
And that’s pretty much it!
The pain relief is instant (or very nearly so).
There’s also a second procedure we can perform called a matrixectomy. Here, we also remove part of the nail matrix so that the ingrown edge of the toenail cannot grow back. (In other words, your nail will permanently be narrower than it used to be.)
Normally we don’t perform the matrixectomy if this is your first experience with an ingrown toenail, but it is an option that we especially recommend for patients with recurring cases.
What’s the Prognosis?
Again, the pain relief after the procedure is typically instantaneous.
Even better, most patients can walk, drive, go to work, and accomplish their basic daily tasks right away—no downtime. You may have to wait a couple of weeks before swimming or engaging in some more rigorous athletic endeavors, but lifestyle disruption is typically very minimal.
We’ll see you again for a two-week follow up appointment, and let you know if you have the all-clear for a return to full activity.
Don’t Push Through The Pain, Get Treatment Today!
So, in other words, there’s no reason to tough it out or wait until your ingrown toenail is throbbing in pain. In just half an hour, we can have you feeling as good as new. To schedule an appointment with us, call (727) 399-7167 today.