Ingrown nails are something we see often at Prairie Path Foot and Ankle Clinic. Like many other things, there is a range of severity of ingrown nails and also causes. Some people report to us that they have never had an issue with the nail before, while others have had problems for years - and even still there are people who have said that ingrown nails actually run in their family.
In terms of the severity of an ingrown nail, there are a few main areas to assess. For starters, determining whether infection has resulted from the ingrown nail can quickly direct the course of care. In instances where an ingrown nail has become infected, it is often necessary to anesthetize (numb up) the toe, to remove the ingrowing portion of nail and clean out the infection. Treatment for infected ingrown toenails may also include short course of antibiotics. The second thing to assess for with an ingrown nails is how long it has been a problem. If a toenail has been ingrown and painful many times within a year or for many years - a permanent solution may be recommended to remove just the portion of nail growing in a downward/inward direction. The third thing to assess for is how long the current ingrown nail has been present for. In some, an ingrown nail can be a month old, but simply irritated and red without infection. In other instances, two days can result in infection and/or the development of a granuloma. A granuloma is essentially a bundle of inflammatory tissue around the nail, which looks red and bleeds easily.
Even in cases where an ingrown nail has served as a chronic annoyance, there are treatments available. The worst thing you can do for your ingrown toenail (aside from trying to ignore it) is try to 'pick it out' on your own. Our feet and toes are the furthest thing from our eyes and it is all too easy to leave a portion of unseen nail under the nail border, which can lead to even more pain and possible infection down the line.
If you have a painful ingrown toenail, come see us today! We provide gentle, yet effective treatments that can help you get back to wearing shoes without pain!