Ingrown toenails are a very common podiatric problem. No one knows exactly what causes them, but they tend to be very painful when experienced. The border of the nail curves down and grows into the skin causing pain and sometimes infection. The nail grows from a matrix located under the skin just behind the nail plate. With an infected ingrown toenail, you usually see redness, swelling, and drainage coming from the border of the affected nail.
There are a few different procedures that your podiatrist can discuss with you. The most common is a simple partial nail avulsion where your toe is numbed up and a small piece of the nail is removed on the affected side. This is a non-permanent procedure and the regular nail grows back with time. This is the gold standard for infected ingrown toenails. If the toe is not infected, the same procedure can be done but phenol is used to kill the matrix from where the nail grows, making it a permanent procedure. After this procedure, the nail will be narrower than before the procedure. After the procedure, you soak the area daily with Epsom salt and warm water and place topical healing cream to the area and keep clean and dry.
If you think you may have an ingrown toenail call Wachtel Family Foot Care at 215-368-5319 to visit with Lansdale’s community podiatrists. We will be happy to discuss the condition in detail with you and get you moving along again!