If you’re one of many people who struggle with an ingrown toenail, you must be thinking about reaching out to a skilled podiatrist for help. But have you asked yourself – what do podiatrists do for ingrown toenails exactly? What kind of treatment can you expect? If you want to find out everything about the treatment for this condition, keep reading – we’ve provided all the information you’re looking for.
What Are Ingrown Toenails?
Ingrown toenails are very common – almost everybody will have an ingrown toenail at some point in their life. The condition refers to the side or the corner of the toenail that grows deep into the skin, causing pain and discomfort. On itself, an ingrown toenail isn’t anything serious, and you don’t have to worry about it – but we must note that the nail can damage the soft tissue, making an entry point for bacteria. If this happens, a toe infection occurs, and this is the point where an ingrown toenail must be treated.
Ingrown toenails usually occur on the big toes, but other toes can be affected as well. Certain patients can have complications due to this simple condition – if you have diabetes, nerve damage in your feet, or issues with circulation, you are prone to complications and should treat an ingrown toenail as soon as you notice it.
What Causes Them?
Some people have a genetic predisposition to ingrown toenails, and they can often have them without any evident reason. Still, the most common cause of this condition is cutting your nails incorrectly – that is, cutting them too short or cutting the edges too round.
Injuries to your toes can also cause an ingrown toenail, and even wearing uncomfortable shoes is a risk factor (this refers to shoes with narrow toe boxes, so there is excessive pressure on the nail and the toe).
What Are the Main Symptoms?
Of course, the main problem is pain, which can be present when standing and walking or even when you’re not bearing weight. The nail often feels a bit hard, and the surrounding soft tissue is swollen and inflamed. If the toe becomes infected, you may notice pus coming from the edges of the nail, worsening the pain and redness, and the toe will become warmer than normal.
When Should You Visit a Doctor?
The best way to deal with this condition is to reach out to your doctor as soon as you notice the problem – don’t wait for the pain to get worse or for the infection to occur. Your doctor will know what to do – if you wait for too long, the treatment will become more complicated. So, don’t waste time and reach out to your doctor as soon as possible.
What Do Podiatrists Do for Ingrown Toenails?
How will your podiatrist treat this condition? This depends on the complexity of the issue. If the nail hasn’t grown too deep, the doctor may try pulling the skin away and taping it or elevating the nail to place the splint between the skin and the nail to keep them separate. These methods are often efficient, but sometimes they aren’t enough. If they don’t bring results, the doctor has to turn to a surgical approach.
What Kind of Surgical Treatments Should You Expect?
If an ingrown toenail has to be treated surgically, that means that the portion of the nail or the entire nail has to be removed. This is often the case when there is an infection present. Your doctor will give you a local anesthetic so you don’t feel any pain, and then they will remove the nail or its part.
Usually, complete nail avulsion is reserved for the most complex cases, like when there is a recurrent ingrown toenail. If necessary, your doctor may recommend removing the nail matrix as well – this means that the nail won’t be able to grow back again at all. After the surgery, your recovery will depend on the extent of the procedure. You will be back on your feet in a week or two, but the nail will take longer to grow back. If the entire nail is removed, it will take 6 to 18 months for it to grow back completely.
Give Your Podiatrist in Miami a Call and Get Rid of Ingrown Toenails
Don’t put this off any longer than necessary – reach out to your doctor and get proper treatment. If you don’t have a podiatrist in Miami, you’re in luck – you’ve just run into one of the expert clinics. Our team at Luxe Foot Surgery will be more than happy to help you with this podiatric condition. All of our doctors are more than skilled, and they’ve treated ingrown toenails countless times. Don’t hesitate to contact us and book your free first consultation.
How Does a Podiatrist Remove an Ingrown Toenail?
Podiatrists can remove an ingrown toenail with a simple procedure called nail avulsion. The patient is given a local anesthetic so that the procedure doesn’t hurt. The surgeon can cut a part of the nail or pull off the entire nail if necessary.
Does It Hurt When a Podiatrist Removes an Ingrown Toenail?
No, it doesn’t hurt when a podiatrist removes an ingrown toenail because the patient is given local anesthesia, which prevents the pain. However, it will likely hurt later when the anesthesia wears off, but your doctor will recommend some pain medication that you can take.
What Will a Doctor Do for an Ingrown Toenail?
Your doctor can try to treat an ingrown toenail by separating the skin and the nail – either by taping the skin away or placing the splinter between the skin and the nail. If this doesn’t work, the doctor can remove the portion of the nail or even the entire nail if needed.
When Should I Go to the Doctor for an Ingrown Toenail?
Usually, ingrown toenails aren’t serious – but they are painful. Patients often put off reaching out to their doctor, but this isn’t wise because the ingrown toenail can cause an infection of the toe. That’s why it’s best to visit your doctor and get treatment as soon as you notice you have an ingrown toenail.
- Cleveland Clinic. Ingrown Toenails [Internet]. Cleveland Clinic. [Accessed on April 21, 2023]. Available from: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17664-ingrown-toenails
- American Family Physician. Ingrown Toenail Removal [Internet]. American Family Physician. [Accessed on April 21, 2023]. Available from: https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2002/0615/p2557.html