One of the most common issues I see in my Houston, TX podiatry practice is ingrown toenails. This is one that spans the ages – from very young children to senior citizens.
Ingrown toenails form for different reasons. In children, the nail sometimes is wider than the nail bed and the edges embed into the skin, which becomes red, inflamed, painful, and often infected. As we mature, the nails can naturally curve, which can cause them to grow in. Incorrect cutting of the nails can also cause and ingrown toenail to form.
If you believe that your nails are beginning to ingrow, do NOT perform “bathroom surgery.” In most cases this will cause the situation to worsen and increase the pain and infection. I have seen patients in the office after using tools such as razor blades and pliers to “remove” the nail, only to end up with a bloody mess.
For some reason, ingrown toenail surgery is particularly feared. In truth, it is pretty easy. the only uncomfortable part of the procedure is an injection at the base of the toe for anesthesia. After waiting a few minutes for the toe to become numb, the procedure itself takes about two minutes and is entire without pain. Only the small piece of nail that is growing into the skin is removed and the rest remains untouched. If there is any infection, it is cleared and a bandage is applied. In most cases, there is no pain when the numbing wears off.
The next time you think your nail may be ingrown, visit your podiatrist for this quick and easy procedure. It is much simpler than taking matters into your own hands.