Solutions for Ingrown Toenails
Ingrown toenails are a very common and painful ailment caused when the sides or corners of the toenail dig into the skin. It’s a condition that can be caused by cutting toenails too short, wearing shoes that are too tight, heredity, poor foot structure, or fungal infection. Left unchecked it can lead from swollen and tender toes to ones that are sore, red, and infected – with skin beginning to grow over the affected area.
Most cases can be treated quite simply: avoid wearing tight shoes or socks, and wash the foot in soapy water several times each day. Ingrown toenails can be prevented with the same methods, with the addition of being careful while cutting toenails in a particular way—straight with no rounded corners. Occasionally antibiotics may need to be prescribed in the event of an infection.
For serious cases of infection surgery may be required. Normally it involves cutting out a section of the toenail with a scalpel. This is called partial nail plate avulsion. Laser treatment is a newer option. With local anesthetic it can be performed painlessly. Once the ingrown side of the nail is removed, the root causing the problem is treated with a special chemical and the carbon dioxide laser. Patients can walk immediately after the laser operation and then only need to apply a bandage and ointment at home following the procedure.
If you have ingrown toenails at any stage that you need to have assessed, or are specifically looking for someone to perform minimally invasive laser surgery, contact Sheldon H. Nadal, D.P.M., at his Toronto office to discuss your options.