Does Your Toe Hurt? ‘Cause it’s Killing Me!
Ingrown toenails are one of the most common issues that I see in the office. It’s the podiatric ailment that brings us all together -- we all get them, and no matter who you are or what you do -- those suckers hurt!
If you’re wondering, “Do I have an ingrown toenail?” or even, “What does an ingrown toenail look like”, then check this out:
Yup, they’re not pretty. There are a couple of different things that can cause ingrown toenails, and they are especially common amongst children -- usually because they are cutting their nails too short. Other causes can be an injury to the nail, a fungal infection or shoes that aren’t fitting correctly.
After examining and determining the severity of the issue, we usually have three treatment options: a partial nail removal, a total nail removal (don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds), or a procedure that will keep the troublesome nail from growing back.
All of these procedures require the problem toe to be locally anesthetized and the offending nail removed with sterile instruments. The patient may be placed on an oral antibiotic if the toe is infected. They are sent home with post-care instructions and will return in one week for a follow up visit. The follow up visit will involve education on how to prevent ingrown toenails in the future. This may include educating the patient on how to properly cut their toenail, discuss better shoe characteristics or treating an underlying fungal infection.
If ingrown toenails are a persistent problem for the patient, then I may suggest a permanent procedure - called a matrixectomy. In this case, after the nail is removed, I will apply sodium hydroxide to cauterize the nail bed. This will result in a nail that is narrower than the original nail, however the problem of the ingrown toenail will be resolved. Similar post care instructions are given to the patient, and they will return for follow up in one week and again in three weeks as this procedure takes a longer time to heal.
If You Have an Ingrown Toenail, Come See Us
There is no need to live in pain with your ingrown toenails. One simple office visit will help to reveal the cause of the problem and how to resolve your issue. You will walk in with a painful toe, and leave pain free! Why suffer?
New Canaan Podiatry, LLC is Dr. Jennifer E. Tauber, DPM
and will be opening in the Spring of 2018.