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Diplomate, American Board of Podiatric Surgery

Diplomate, American Board of Podiatric Surgery

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Ingrown Toenails

Overview

Ingrown toenails are very common. They are generally heredity and can also be caused by incorrect cutting of the nail itself. It’s a very painful condition that occurs when the nail grows into the skin as this occur’s the skin around the nail become’s red and swollen, this cause’s the problem to get worse.In 37 years in practice we have treated thousand’s successfully.Home treatment’s should start with soaking the foot in Epsom salts for 20 minutes, this will hopefully reduce the swelling and reduce any discharge from the toe. Apply OTC topical antibiotic ointment is also recommended.You can stick a small piece of cotton under the nail edge to lift the nail so it can grow over the skin.If you’re not seeing improvement with the first 3 to 5 days or it is getting worse, you need to call us.

Causes

Ingrown toenails can develop for many reasons. In some cases, the toenails are simply too long. Trauma, such as stubbing a toe, shoes that cause pressure or having someone step on it can cause the nail to jam into the skin. Incorrect cutting and also cause them. Many times they are a hereditary condition because of the shape of the toes or nails. Patients with diabetes and poor circulation need to be especially careful because it can become infected along the side of the nail and the nail bed area.

Symptoms

Ingrown nails should be treated as soon as possible. This is really important if you have diabetes or poor circulation because it can become severe quickly. If the skin is red, painful, or swollen on the sides of the nail, there may be an infection. The ingrown nail can produce a bacteria-rich environment that can cause an infection. The infection must be treated quickly by numbing the toe and trimming it out followed sometimes with antibiotics. We use a cold spray to anesthetic the toe at the base, we never numb near redness or the painful area.

Treatment

The patient can self treat with mild antiseptic solution to the area and soaking in antibacterial soap with some water. If this doesn’t improve it within 3 to 5 day’s then see a podiatrist.

If you have to see us for treatment we first numb the toe before we treat it, we use a cold spray to numb the skin a the base of the toe before the numbing. This type of numbing is a way to reduce discomfort and get the toe numb, I will always check to make sure it is numb before doing anything.  If the problem has never occurred before then trimming out the ingrown nail should solve the problem. If the nail is a recurrent problem then permanent excision of a small portion of the nail with a chemical solution can be done; it heals over 7 to 10 days. The way this is done only a 1/16 inch of nail is removed , so the nail still look’s normal size. Normally no time off from work is necessary.

Below is a picture of one of my patient’s before and after.

Ingrown Toenail Before and After

Ingrown Toenail Treatment

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