Ingrown toenails are those where the edges of the nails grow into the surrounding skin. They can happen on any of your nails but are most common on the big toe, where the nail is thick and tough.
An ingrown toenail might seem like no big deal at first. But as the nail grows deeper into the skin, it can become excruciating. The skin becomes red and swollen, interfering with your ability to treat the nail on your own.
At first, an ingrown toenail causes mildly swollen, hardened skin. Eventually, ingrown toenails can lead to:
Ingrown toenails are treatable in their early stages. Waiting too long to seek treatment can result in a need for surgery. That's why the Richmond Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates providers offer same-day removal of ingrown toenails.
Ingrown toenails are usually caused by cutting the nails too short or on a curve. Cutting your nails straight across helps prevent ingrown toenails. Other common causes include:
Ingrown toenails can cause several complications when left untreated, particularly for those with underlying conditions. If you have a disorder like diabetes, an ingrown toenail can severely infect your skin and the underlying bone.
The podiatrists at Richmond Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates offer conservative and surgical treatment for ingrown toenails:
If your ingrown toenail isn’t fully embedded in the skin, your doctor can lift it gently. Lifting the nail from the edge can treat an ingrown toenail without damaging the surrounding skin.
In many instances, your foot and ankle surgeon partially removes the ingrown portion and preserves the rest of the nail. After numbing your toe with a local anesthetic, your provider carefully trims and removes the embedded part of the nail.
Complete removal might be the best course if your ingrown toenail returns or becomes infected. Richmond Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates offers the KeryFlex® nail restoration system from the Podiatree Co.® This system creates a composite resin nail that’s placed over the exposed nail bed while your natural nail regrows.
The Onyfix system from Neubourg Healthcare Inc. in Toronto, Canada, corrects ingrown toenails, helping your nail maintain its natural shape as it regrows.
Call Richmond Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates today or schedule an appointment online to learn more about ingrown toenails.