Recently there has been news of celebrities suffering from ingrown toenails such as tennis player Victoria Azaranka, who had to drop out of a match due to the painful condition. Ingrown toenails have edges of the toenail that are incurvated or appear to be curving in the skin or have skin growing over the side of the nail. The skin near the affected nail border most often presents as red, swollen, and painful. If not treated early the toenail may even become infected and drainage may be present.
Ingrown toenails are very common but can be prevented. Often shoes that do not fit properly and are too tight can lead to the development of ingrown toenails so it is important to wear shoes that provide your toes with enough room. Also when cutting the toenails, nails that are cut too short and not straight or with sharp edges can lead to incurvated nail growth. When cutting your nails avoid cutting them too short and try to cut as straight across the nail as possible.
To treat an ingrown toenail the podiatrist can approach the ingrown toenail a couple of different ways. For quick relief the podiatrist can just cut the corner of the nail of at a slant, taking a wedge of nail out. The podiatrist can also cut out the entire length of the affected incurvated border. Often with nails that continue to become ingrown even after removal, chemicals like phenol can be applied to the nail after removal of the ingrown border to prevent regrowth of the incurvated nail. It is especially important to have the nail taken care of by a podiatrist when the patient is diabetic or has peripheral vascular disease.
We see patients of all ages suffering with pain because of an ingrown toenail, including children. Click here to see a video testimonial of a 10 year old patient that was treated by one of the physicians at Atlantic Foot and Ankle Associates. If you are suffering with pain from an ingrown toenail, please do not wait to see a podiatrist. Make an appointment at one of our four offices conveniently located in Palm Coast, Orange City, Daytona Beach, and Port Orange.