Ingrown nails are one of the most common ailments treated in our office. Some are caused by improper nail cutting, but many more are caused by the actual shape of the nail we were born with. Some nails are just curly. Whatever the cause may be, we can help.
Ingrown nails start out by pain with pressure. Pressure from shoes or when a bed cover lays on the toe. It can then be followed by redness and swelling of the skin surrounding the nail (paronychia). If the problem progresses, it can lead to an abscess in the skin surrounding the nail. Sometimes a simple treatment of removing the very tip of the nail, soaking and oral antibiotics can do the trick. Other ingrown nails will require partial removal of the nail border with application of a medication to the root. This medication, phenol, is used to inhibit regrowth of the ingrown portion of the nail. This procedure is done in our office and only requires one day of elevation, ice and rest of the foot. After that you can safely continue your normal activities. Once the toe heals, the nail usually looks very normal and you won’t have to deal with pain from ingrown nails again.
Lora Baker, DPM, FACFAs, FAPWCA