An ingrown toenail is also known as onychocryptosis; and in the presence of infection it is a paronychia. An ingrown toenail involves the corner of the nail growing into the skin and the toe subsequently becomes painful, red and swollen. There is sometimes bleeding or pus due to infection. Many times, patients attempt “bathroom surgery” and try to remove the nail themselves but this can sometimes lead to further complications. The infection can be localized to the skin but if left untreated the infection can get into the bone which is a serious issue.
There are different reasons that cause ingrown toenails; however, the main one is trimming nails too short or into the corners. When the nail is too short, it digs into the skin fold as it grows and can puncture the skin. Tight fitting shoes, especially a narrow toebox and heels, can put pressure on the curvature of the nail. Trauma to the toenail can change the way the nail grows and lead to ingrowing. Nail disease such as fungus can also be a cause.
Treatment of ingrown toenails involves removing the offending portion of nail and eliminating infection if present. At Foot Healthcare Associates, our physicians – Dr. Mozen, Dr. Belken, Dr. Josey, Dr. Martins and myself, Dr. Barnett, offer various comfortable procedures. Based on the stage or severity of your condition, we will select the appropriate treatment plan. We also provide light sedation in an operating room setting for those patients who prefer to be asleep for the procedure.
Preventing the ingrown toenail and subsequent infection is ideal! Some tips include trimming nails straight across, wearing comfortable shoes with a wide toebox, and if you get pedicures ensure the tools are sterilized. Always practice proper foot hygiene. If you have questions, please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or set up appointment at Foot Healthcare Associates by calling 248-258-0001.