An ingrown toenail is one of the most painful conditions we see in our office. Luckily, it’s also one of the easiest conditions to fix.
Ingrown toenails happen when the outer corner of the toenail, usually on the big toe, cuts into the skin as it grows. It’s kind of like taking a sharp piece of glass and gradually pushing it into your toe. Ouch! Take my word for it and don’t try this at home. But if you did, you’d get the same kind of result – the toe will become inflamed, hurt really bad, turn red and hot, and start leaking nasty fluid. Ingrown toenails can quickly become too painful to put shoes on.
When you come in, we’ll first numb the toe before we do anything. Don’t worry, we even numb the toe with a cooling spray before we use any needles for the anesthetic, so they won’t feel a thing. Most people are shocked at how quickly the pain goes away with that cooling spray!
Once you can’t feel a thing, we’ll gently trim the nail so it stops cutting into your toe. Everything usually heals up quickly after that. In some persistent cases, we might even trim it down to the cuticle, but you won’t be able to tell because it will be hidden by the flesh that covers the side of the toenail.
To avoid more ingrown toenails down the road, it’s important to make sure your shoes fit properly. If your toes bump against the end of the shoe or they push the toes together, it could lead to more problems.
Also make sure to trim the toenails straight across, or on a gentle curve. Use a nail clipper instead of scissors, and trim at a length that will leave a thin white line at the end – not too short, and not too long.
Ingrown toenails are really painful, but it’s not necessary for you to live with this pain. Call our office to make an appointment and we’ll get you in right away!