Ingrown toenails can be very painful especially if they get infected. Ingrown toenails can be caused by trauma to the nail, thickening of the nail, or due to the curvature of the nail.
The toenail is supposed to grow straight outward from the nail bed to protect the toe. Frequently, ingrown toenails are caused by the nail curving into the skin. Stubbing or hurting the toe can also result in a ingrown toenail. Wearing shoes that are too tight can push the skin against the toenail and start a ingrown toenail. Toenails that have rounded edges or are trimmed too short may curve or grow into the skin which causes pain and inflammation. If left alone, this can cause the ingrown toenail to become infected which causes the toe to become red and swollen. Drainage is also a sign of infection.
Ingrown nails tend to recur if they are not treated properly. The nail edge that is damaging the skin needs to be removed so the rest of the nail can grow properly. Dr. Stephen Moore and Dr. Efthymios Gkotsoulias will evaluate the affected toe to determine the best way to repair the injury. If the problem has progressed too far, the nail may need to be partially removed.
For a partial removal, your toe will be numbed. The portion of the nail that is digging into the skin will be cut away. Depending on the severity of the ingrown toenail and if there has been recurrence, acid can be used to permanently prevent the curved portion of the nail to regrow. Any infection will be cleaned out and antibiotics may be required. This is especially important in patients with weakened immune systems and diabetics.
If you are struggling with painful ingrown toenails, you don’t have to suffer with this. Ingrown nails can be treated by our podiatrists at Greater Houston Foot and Ankle Specialists. Contact us for an appointment at (832) 299-6311 at one of our office locations in The Woodlands, Kingwood, or Tomball.