Ingrown toenails are a common problem. They are painful, and if left untreated, can become infected.
Ingrown toenails are often the result of trimming your toenails too short, particularly on the sides of your big toes. Wearing ill-fitting shoes can also promote ingrown toenails. It’s important to wear shoes that fit you well!
Treatment for Ingrown Toenails
Treatment for ingrown toenails can vary. Soaking your foot in warm, soapy water several times each day is a good place to start. Sometimes surgery is needed to treat the ingrown toenail. This is known as partial nail plate avulsion, where I cut out the ingrown part of the toenail. However, there is also an approach for ingrown toenails which involves no scalpels, stitches, or skin incisions. This treatment includes numbing the toe with a local anesthetic, then using a specialized blunt instrument to free up the nail from the surrounding skin, and then the nail lifts off, while the patient is numb. The dressing is taken off the next day and a bandaid and an antibiotic ointment is all that is needed for several days until the toe is healed.
Preventing Ingrown Toenails
Here are a few ways you can prevent ingrown toenails in the first place.
- Be sure to trim your toenails straight across with no rounded corners.
- Get rid of ill-fitting or too tight shoes or socks!
- Keep your feet clean at all times.
- Avoid “bathroom surgery.” Bathroom surgery is a major archaeological excavation into the deep recesses of the nail. Stop digging! Get help.
If you suspect you have a toenail that’s ingrown (it’s not too hard to figure out), get it checked out sooner versus later. You’ll save yourself a lot of pain. Here’s to happy and healthy toenails this summer!
If you or a loved one are looking for a podiatrist in the Sarasota-Bradenton area or are experiencing heel problems, Sarasota or Bradenton is the place to be! Please schedule an appointment with Dr. Lasday, Dr. Zdancewicz, or Dr. Goecker for a thorough and professional evaluation, either in our Bradenton Podiatry office at (941) 753-9599 or our Sarasota Podiatry office at (941) 366-2627.
Oh, and one more thing…if you haven’t already, please like us on Facebook where we share foot tips, great pictures, and fun facts!