Ingrown toenails occur when the edge of a toenail digs into the skin. If the skin is penetrated it can lead to infection. With repeated infection, the skin may grow over the toenail, resulting in a large, swollen, tender mass.
Ingrown toenails are usually caused by cutting toenails too short. They can be hereditary, but may also be caused by pressure from tight shoes, trauma, or fungal infections.
Treatment for ingrown toenails ranges from conservative foot soaks, gently cutting back the corner of the affected nail with a very small nipper, or surgery (see below for more info). We may also prescribe antibiotics if the area is infected.
MORE ABOUT INGROWN TOENAIL SURGERY
We often recommend ingrown toenail surgery for patients who suffer from recurrent ingrown toenails. The procedure is safe, minimally invasive and has a very good success rate. Most patients who have the procedure done will never experience regrowth. The chance that your ingrown toenail will regrow is minute. It can be performed on adolescents. It can be performed on multiple sides at the same time.
We understand that the aesthetic look of your nail is very important. We try to take off as little as possible. Your nail should still look like a normal nail after the procedure. The chiropodist will be able to show you how much of the nail will need to be removed during your first consultation. We remove enough of the nail that is needed so that it won't regrow after the surgery, but also that the nail will look as normal as possible.
The procedure involves first injecting a local anesthetic into the affected toe, removing a sliver of the nail on the side of the ingrown toenail, and then applying a chemical to permanently kill the nail matrix. The chiropodist uses a local anesthetic to numb the area, and does not proceed until completely sure that the area around the toe is numb. You should not feel anything during the procedure itself. The only pain that you would feel would be during the initial anesthetic injection. Keep in mind that we use a very small needle to minimize any pain during the injection.The procedure does not involve cutting the skin, so no scar forms. The procedure itself takes about 30 minutes to perform in our clinic.
Patients are sent home with a post surgical kit that includes an antibiotic cream, bandages and dressing. The chiropodist will advise you to soak your foot/feet and apply the antibiotic cream and gauze/bandages to help expedite healing.
Patients are able to resume most every day activities soon after the surgery. Patients will be booked a follow-up visit (at no charge) one week later to ensure proper healing.