Although they can start out as a small nuisance, ingrown toenails can become a real problem if left untreated. Caused by a segment of the toenail that embeds in the skin around the nail, an ingrown toenail is characterized by pain, swelling, redness and a feeling of warmth in the affected toe. If the nail digs into the flesh around the nail and causes the skin to break, bacteria can enter, resulting in an infection. The infection can increase the level of pain in the toe and create additional problems.
While some people are prone to ingrown toenails and others are caused by improper nail trimming techniques, ingrown toenails can also be caused by trauma from repeated impact or stubbing the toe. Treatment for minor ingrown toenails can often be done in the home if you are in good health and if no infection is present. Soaking the foot to soften the skin and massaging the affected area can loosen the troublesome part of the nail.
If physician care is necessary, antibiotics may be prescribed to manage the infection and a minor outpatient surgery may be necessary to remove the offending nail. This procedure is done in our office by Dr. Cain with the help of his assistant or nurse. These nail procedures are generally done on Fridays in our office to avoid schedule conflicts with regularly scheduled appointments through the week. If you are in need of care for your ingrown toenail, contact us today.
A common misconception that people have when they hear phrases like "nail removal" or "permenant procedure", is that they are going to leave our office without toenails left on the toes that are giving them trouble with ingrown nails.