Ingrown toenails may seem like a small thing, but if you’ve ever had one you know how painful they can be.
A severe ingrown toenail can be debilitating. And if you develop an infection, you may even risk losing the toe—especially if you have diabetes.
If you are currently experiencing pain or swelling along the edge of a toenail, don’t wait for the pain to become unbearable. Call our office so we can help! We can provide fast, painless relief.
What Are the Symptoms of Ingrown Toenails?
An ingrown toenail occurs when one edge or corner of a toenail—usually (but not always) on the largest toe—grows into the surrounding nail fold skin.
The most obvious symptoms are pain and tenderness along the nail border. You may also notice redness and swelling of the skin. If the ingrown toenail becomes infected, there may even be pus or a foul odor.
Ingrown toenails can lead to further complications, including fungal nail infections. If you have diabetes or poor circulation, an infected toenail could be a precursor to an amputation if you do not seek treatment immediately.
What Causes Ingrown Toenails?
There are several possible causes, including:
- If you were born with toenails that are significantly more curved than the average, you may just be naturally prone to getting ingrown toenails.
- Repetitive injury. Wearing shoes that are the wrong size, kicking a soccer ball over and over, or other actions that either put excess pressure or cause repetitive trauma to the nails can cause ingrown nails.
- Traumatic injury. Stubbing your toe, dropping a heavy object on your foot, or other traumatic injuries can trigger an ingrown toenail.
- Improper trimming. If you cut your toenails too short or round the corners too excessively when trimming, they may be more likely to become ingrown.
If you have had ingrown toenails in the past and want to prevent them, make sure you are wearing shoes of the appropriate size and type, and keeping your toenails trimmed at a moderate length while cutting straight across—not too long, not too short.
How Are Ingrown Toenails Treated?
Ingrown toenails should receive prompt, professional care—especially if you have diabetes, poor circulation, neuropathy, or other complicating conditions.
Generally speaking, you should not attempt to treat ingrown toenails yourself. Home remedies are often ineffective at best, and attempting to dig out the nail yourself only increases your infection risk.
At our office, Dr. Anthony Spitz provides fast, gentle, effect, pain-free, and permanent relief for ingrown toenails. Appointments only take a few minutes, and will have you feeling much better.
We perform a pair of simple procedures—the first to remove the ingrown nail border, and the second to prevent the regrowth of that portion of the nail. The recurrence rate after this procedure is extremely low, even for people who have struggled with recurring ingrown toenails in the past.
Ingrown toenail removal is generally performed under a local anesthetic, right in our office. You will be able to walk, wear normal shoes, and return to most everyday activities immediately afterward. You may have to wait a little longer before you can return to certain athletic activities, such as soccer or swimming.
We will give you a clear timeline for recovery and make sure you have all the information you need to protect your toe as it heals.