• Dr. Michael G. Krynski

Ingrown Toe Nails

Ouch! There is it is, that nagging sharp pain on the tip of big toe!


You’re wishing it away, and it’s just getting worse. Now you’ve clipped some out and put that amazing triple antibiotic or even Neosporin and it got better!

For a day, but now it is becoming red and swollen and you can't wear your favorite shoes. Such a little thing but such a big problem.


Ingrown toenails are common and I see a lot of them in my practice. Most of the time people have tried some home remedies and some people even used to get relief from those remedies but finally it’s not working. It’s time to do something about it.


What is it?

An ingrown toenail is a curved or growing crooked nail that bites into the side of your toe causing pain, swelling ,redness and sometimes infection and drainage. In extreme cases the infections can spread past the toe, deep into the tissues and even into the bone. People with compromised immune system such as diabetics or people on cancer drugs or steroid therapy are at an even greater risk.



Causes and risk factors

Ingrown nails can be causes by genetics and tight shoes or increased activity. Wet shoes and strenuous activity can also trigger it. Other predisposed conditions include diabetes, fungal nail infection, nail deformity form previous injury or genetics. Most commonly, however, it is how a person cuts their nail. Nails should be cut straight across and not rounded. This is because rounding the nail can leave a spike that can then pierce the skin leading to the above mentioned symptoms of pain, swelling, infection.


Treatment

It is this spike that often needs to be removed by the podiatrist in a simple in office procedure. The nice part is that once the local anesthesia to the toe wears off, the pain at the tip of the toe is gone! And now the infection can heal . Often times with the use of warm water and Epsom salt soaks and oral antibiotics.

We also perform procedures to prevent recurrence or the ingrown nail.


Prevention

Let your nails grow out. Hot water and Epsom salt soaks, placing a small piece of cotton under the affected nail .

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