Ingrown toenails are a painful condition caused by one or both borders of the toenail growing into the adjacent skin. Once this happens, the skin becomes painful and often infected. It is not uncommon for this condition to go on for months and even years if left untreated. In severe cases, the infection can even affect the underlying bone.
This is a condition that affects men and women of all ages.
Ingrown toenails are caused by a number of factors, including cutting the toenails too short, wearing shoes that are too tight, bumping the toe, which can drive the toenail into the skin, and simply a hereditary predisposition for ingrowing nails based on the shape of the toenail.
Prevention of ingrown toenails is best achieved by not cutting the toenails too short, and avoidance of tight-fitting shoes. If you have a fungal infection in your toenail(s) that makes your toenail thicker, that can put you at a greater ristk of developing an ingrown toenail. Wearing shoes with thick, fungal toenails causes added pressure which can drive the toenail into the skin, starting the process of developing an ingrown toenail.
Treatment consists of removing the ingrown portion of the toenail under local anesthesia, often combined with antibiotics. In many cases, the procedure can be done in such a way that the ingrown portion of the the toenail will not grow back, leaving a toenail that is slightly narrower, but painfree. This procedure is done in the office, and can put an end to the chronic pain people suffer from ingrown toenails. Following the procedure, an antibiotic ointment called Amerigel Wound Dressingâ„¢ is placed on the surgical site, and supplies are dispensed to replace the dressings and the Amerigel Wound Dressingâ„¢ daily at home. Complete healing usually takes about two to three weeks; however, the vast majority of patients find that their pain is greatly diminished the day following surgery to the point where they can get back into normal shoes and back to their regular activities.
There is no reason to delay treatment. The sooner you have your ingrown toenail treated, the sooner you will be without pain!