An ingrown toenail is one of the most painful conditions we see in our office.
Luckily, it’s also one of the easiest to fix.
Remember, if the ingrown nail is infected, we want to see you the same day, if possible, to prevent further damage.
Ingrown toenails happen when the outer corner of the toenail, usually on the big toe, cuts into the skin as it grows.
It’s kind of like taking a sharp piece of glass and gradually pushing it into your toe.
Ouch! Take my word for it and don’t try this at home, kids. But if you did, you’d get the same kind of result – the toe will become inflamed, hurt really bad, turn red and hot, and start leaking nasty fluid.
Ingrown toenails can quickly become too painful to put shoes on. And if you stub your toe, watch out!
Because of that intense pain, we get patients with ingrown toenails in for an appointment right away. When you come in, we’ll first numb your toe before we do anything.
Don’t worry, we even numb your toe with a cooling spray before we use any needles for the anesthetic, so you won’t feel a thing. In fact, you’ll be relieved when the pain from your ingrown toenail magically disappears.
Then we gently trim the nail so it stops cutting into your toe. Things usually heal up quickly after that.
In some persistent cases, we might even trim it down to the cuticle, but you won’t be able to tell because it will be hidden by the flesh that covers the side of the toenail.
To avoid getting another ingrown toenail down the road, it’s important to avoid wearing tight shoes that push the toes together, trimming your toenails on a curve, and keeping toenails too short.
If you have diabetes, circulation problems or are on chemotherapy and get an ingrown toenail, call our office right away.
These can interfere with your body’s ability to heal itself, and we need to take care of it before your toe becomes infected.