Ingrown toenails can be very uncomfortable and at times very painful. An ingrown toenail is when the nail curves into the skin and causes skin to become red and swollen.  If not treated properly it may lead to infection. Most people will remove the corner to get relief, however this will result in the problem returning or even getting worse.

Some causes of an ingrown toenail include:

  • Ill-fitting shoe wear
  • Improper nail trimming/Pedicures
  • Hereditary
  • Minor/Repetitive trauma: stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on it.
  • Certain foot types/Foot deformities

Symptoms and signs of an ingrown toenail are as followed:

  • Inflammation
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Drainage

Attempting to remove any part of the infected nail should be avoided as this can lead to infection. One of the best-suggested treatments for an ingrown toenail would be an in-office procedure called a nail matrixectomy. This procedure involves removing the offending edge of the affected area relieving pain, swelling and infection.  It also involves the removal of the nail root to keep the nail from growing back at the affected area.  Without a matrixectomy, the offending nail edge may return.

After treatment, you will need to apply ointment daily with a small bandage and follow up with your podiatrist in one week.  You can bear weight to affected side the same day as the procedure without limitations.

Ways to Prevent an Ingrown Toenail

  • Trim toenails properly: cut straight across, not longer than the tip of the toes. Do not dig into corners and only gently round off corners with a nail file. Use toenail clippers.
  • Avoid shoes with pointy or narrow toe boxes.
  • Never rip or tear edges of nails.

If you notice the start of an ingrown toenail, avoid “bathroom surgery” and contact our office to schedule your appointment.