Is Surgery Necessary for an Ingrown Toenail?

 

Many people suffer from the pain and frustration of having ingrown toenails. Unfortunately, some cases are much worse than others’. Although uncommon, those cases often lead to surgery to remove a part of the nail – or all of it! The question now is, how do you determine if surgery is necessary for the condition of your toenail?

 

Here are some steps that would help you determine if surgery is necessary for your ingrown toenail before seeing Sheldon H. Nadal, DPM:

 

*Use a well-lit magnifying mirror (a lighted mirror and magnifying glass also work) and examine the toe. What you need to check is if the nail is improperly or irregularly curved. You want to find out this information as it can indicate the reason for the ingrown nail. If the skin is red or hot to touch, it means that the surrounding tissue of the toe might be inflamed. You should also check if the toe is swollen as this indicates possible infection. You should also check the exact location where the nail might be ingrown into the skin.

 

*The next thing you should determine is the pain level of the toe and its surrounding area. Rate the pain on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being mild and 10 being the worst you have ever felt.

 

*Try determining what might have caused the ingrown toenail. Common causes or wearing footwear or socks that do not fit properly or that are too tight; incorrect cutting of the nails and/or grooming methods; injury to the toe such as “stubbing” or “jamming” it. These factors will be taken into consideration by your podiatrist when deciding whether or not a surgery is necessary. For instance, you can make corrections with regards to the footwear you wear by choosing properly fitting shoes. If possible causes of the ingrown toenail are situations that can be changed, then make those changes and see if they help to improve the overall situation.

 

*If the situation does get worse and you find it painful or uncomfortable to do your usual routine, then setup an appointment with Sheldon H. Nadal, DPM armed with as much information as you can. Make a note of your symptoms and make sure to list any possible causes for the problem. You can also prepare a list of questions that you may have so you can ask our podiatrist at the time of your visit.