Evaluation and Treatment
Ingrown toenails, where the toenail begins to grow into the skin surrounding it, are painful. Unfortunately, they often lead to infection if not properly treated. Infected ingrown toenails are especially dangerous if you have diabetes or vascular disease. If you are experiencing pain, redness or infection around the toenail, we offer same day appointments for evaluation and treatment.
What Causes Ingrown Toenails?
Ingrown toenails are common, and can be caused by everything from trauma to genetic factors. A common risk factor for ingrown nails is toenail fungus which causes nails to become thick, abnormally shaped and to grow inward. Fungus thrives in tight spaces, including the narrow toe boxes of traditional shoe gear, specifically ill fitting, narrow toe boxes. Moreover, narrow toe boxes facilitate micro-traumas when toenails bump against the ends or sides of the shoe's toe box. These tiny tears allow a path for microbes to enter and infect toenails and often result in painful, and infected ingrown nails.
We recommend wearing shoes with anatomically correct toe boxes, like those made by barefoot and minimalist shoe manufacturers. Anatomically correct shoes we like are made by Lems, Xero, Vivobarefooot, Wildling, and Oesh- to name a few. There are many anatomically correct shoe manufactures that make handsome dress shoes and sandals to replace the ones causing your foot, ankle and nail issues.
Ingrown toenails are characterized by pain, swelling, redness and a feeling of warmth in the affected toe. If the nail digs into the flesh around the nail and causes the skin to break, bacteria can enter, resulting in an infection. The infection can increase the level of pain in the toe and create additional problems such as
- Redness and swelling
Treatment consists of meeting with our physician for an evaluation and an in-office procedure called a matrixectomy to remove the offending parts of the ingrown nail.The entire visit for a matrixectomy takes approximately forty minutes, however the actual procedure to remove the ingrown portion of the nail takes about five minutes to perform. Antibiotics are sometimes prescribed to control infection and the affected area takes approximately four weeks to heal. During your healing process we are available on our texting platform, 7 days per week from 7am-9pm to answer questions about the healing process. We are with you every step of the way.