Ingrown Toenail Treatment
The pain, and possible complications, associated with an ingrown toenail demands immediate attention. Call us today at (415) 353-5715 or book online to the right and we will see you right away and get your issue taken care of. If you're not convinced just yet, read on to see how we can help! Hope to see you soon!
Ingrown toenail is a common condition in which a side or a corner of a toenail grows into the soft flesh of the toe. This happens usually in the big toe, resulting in pain, swelling, redness and sometimes infection.
Common causes of ingrown toe nails are:
Wearing tight fitting shoes often, which serves to crowd your toes and push your nails into compromising positions.
Cutting your toenails too short or curved at the edges, increasing the likelihood of growth in undesirable directions.
When there is injury to your toenail.
When the way you walk creates uneven pressure on one side of the nail, which can possibly occur on any toe.
If you try adjusting any of these causal factors and the pain is not improving by the next day or is getting increasingly severe and causing you to worry, that is when you should seek help. It is better to seek help sooner rather than later because you can dramatically decrease the healing time and reduce the risk of infection by arresting it early.
We at Magdalena Blasko, DPM, Inc. can help to relieve your discomfort and take steps to avoid complications by suggesting long-term care and prevention methods.
What are the symptoms of ingrown toenails?
You may have one or more of the following symptoms if you have an ingrown toenail.
Pain and tenderness in your toe, commonly on one side of the nail.
Swelling of the toe around that nail.
Redness around the toenail.
Wound fluid (exudate) or pus.
When infection sets in, pain, swelling and redness will worsen by spreading into the deeper tissues, a feeling down deep “in your bone” and/ or even toward the middle of the foot.
You should seek help if there is severe pain and discomfort or if swelling and redness is spreading along with pus. If you are diabetic, there can be poor blood flow to your feet and you should seek help early as there is greater risk of complications from your ingrown toenail.
For patients with compromised immune systems, it is very likely that you will not develop noticeable signs and symptoms of infection. This means that there may be no pain, redness, or pus. This means that it is extremely important to keep a regular eye on your toenails as part of your daily routine and note any abnormalities, seeking help as early as possible.
Complications of an ingrown toenail can occur if left untreated. It can infect the underlying bone and may cause a serious bone infection. If the ingrown toenail gets infected and if it is neglected, gangrene (death of tissue) may result, especially in patients with poor blood flow to their feet such as chronic smokers, diabetic patients, and patients with peripheral vascular disease.
How to diagnose an ingrown toenail?
A podiatrist can easily diagnose an ingrown toenail based on your history, symptoms and examination of your nail and surrounding skin.
How is ingrown toenail treated?
The treatment depends on the severity of your ingrown toenail.
Partial removal of your toenail – If there is pain, redness and pus we will consider it a severe case and move to remove the irritating portion. Your podiatrist will trim or remove the ingrown portion (wedge excision) under local anesthesia, by injecting the area with a numbing agent before the nail is removed.
Removal of your toenail along with underlying tissue – This is done if you have recurring cases in the same toe. When the nail is removed along with a part of the nail root, that portion of the nail will not grow back. This is done by using an FDA approved chemical.
We may recommend a course of antibiotics to fight infection depending on your condition.
Once treatment is done, we will advise you on how to prevent ingrown toenails in the future. Some of our recommendations may include:
Wearing well fitting shoes and learning how to choose them.
Trimming your toenails straight across and not too short.
Teaching you how to check your feet daily for any sign of ingrown toenails, especially if you are diabetic.
If you have nails which dig painfully into your toes, why suffer? Drop in at Magdalena Blasko, DPM, Inc. and we will help you to resolve it and keep your feet feeling their best.