Ingrown toenails are a common yet uncomfortable and potentially painful foot condition. This unsightly condition occurs when the side of a toenail essentially grows into the skin. If the toenail is cut too short or if it has a natural curved shape, the nail may be especially prone to growing into the skin. This condition is most common in the big toe. There are a variety of home remedies to treat ingrown toenails. However, if these remedies do not work or if you have multiple ingrown toenails, your podiatrist may recommend undergoing a surgical procedure. This procedure might include removing part of the nail or the entire affected nail. Many patients are curious to know whether or not this procedure is painful. Although each patient’s experience is unique, there is information about this procedure that may be applicable to you. For example, before the surgical procedure, you may need an anesthetic injection that can potentially be uncomfortable for some patients. However, many patients report that the actual procedure following the injection is quite painless. After the procedure, you might experience pain when the numbness slowly abates. To treat this pain following the procedure, you might be able to use over-the-counter medications. If you are curious about the pain you could feel during a surgical procedure to remove an ingrown toenail, speak to your podiatrist.
Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of Quad Cities Foot and Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.
- Bacterial infections
- Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
- Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
- Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
- Genetic predisposition
Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.
Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Bettendorf, and DeWitt, IA and Rock Island, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.