ingrown toenail

What is an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail occurs when one or both borders become swollen, red, painful,  and sometimes bleeding or pus come from the sides of the nail.  Sometimes the skin grows over the nail.

Can ingrown toenails heal themselves without treatment?

The pain of the ingrown toenail can improve if you wear shoes that don't touch the toenail, and it might feel better.  That doesn't mean the ingrown toenail has gone away.  It just means that it is less irritated or inflamed with adjusting your activities.  Eventually the toenail will become more inflamed, infected and painful.  You should not hold out hope that the ingrown nail will fix itself.  Call our office to have your ingrown treated before it becomes infected or worse.  

How are ingrown toenails treated?

Non-surgical treatment:

It is important to treat ingrown toenails before they become swollen and infected.  In our office, we can file with a very thin file on the edges of the nails to help relieve pressure from the ingrown nail.  We advise soaking feet in warm (not hot) water with Epsom salts, applying antibiotic ointment on the painful border with a bandaid covering, wearing shoes with adequate room for the toes (and avoiding shoes that the foot slides to the end of the shoe), and taking a pain reliever, such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol.  If there is no improvement in the ingrown toenail pain with the above measures within three days, do not wait.  Call our office to come in for treatment.

Surgical treatment:

If you have never had an ingrown toenail before, we can perform a temporary removal of the ingrown border, and the border can grow back.  Usually people have long-term problems with ingrown toenails, and that is when we advise permanent removal of the ingrown border.  What that entails is numbing the toe up, and a very small portion of the nail border is removed.  A medication is placed at the root of the nail so the ingrown nail border does not grow back.  

Don't wait to have your ingrown toenail treated!  Call our office today (562) 429-5300.  We have same or next day appointments available, so we can treat you quickly and get you back on your feet!





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