An ingrown toenail might seem minor because it’s just a curved toenail, but ingrown toenails are among the most painful conditions affecting the feet. At Arya Foot & Ankle, experienced board-certified podiatrist Shylaja Arya, DPM, can relieve pressure and pain on the spot with a simple in-office procedure. Call the Phoenix, Arizona, office or book an appointment online today.
An ingrown toenail is nail incurvation that causes one or both nail borders to grow into your skin. Ingrown toenails usually affect the big toe and are often extremely painful.
Without proper care, an ingrown toenail can lead to a clinically severe infection and cause additional serious complications like bone infection, foot ulcer, or tissue death.
Ingrown toenails curve at your nail border, growing into the skin there to cause serious pain.
Ingrown toenails become infected very easily, which can cause more pain as well as symptoms like:
Symptoms usually occur on one side of the toe, but occasionally, both sides of a nail can be ingrown.
The most common reasons for ingrown toenail growth include:
Although toenail fungus doesn't directly cause ingrown toenails, fungus can trigger abnormal nail growth patterns that could potentially lead to an ingrown toenail. If you have a fungal toenail, Dr. Arya treats that infection first.
Dr. Arya treats an infected ingrown toenail with either topical or oral antibiotics. This resolves symptoms like skin inflammation, swelling, and fluid drainage.
Then, she can numb your toe and remove the embedded nail border. This offers instant relief and doesn’t require any downtime. This is a temporary nail removal, so your nail grows back over the coming weeks and months.
If you have recurrent ingrown toenails, you could need permanent nail removal. In this procedure, Dr. Arya removes a strip of nail containing both the ingrown portion of the nail and the nail root (the matrix).
She uses a special chemical to treat the nail root, which prevents regrowth. Because she removes just a small strip of your nail, your toenail still appears almost normal — simply without the painful ingrown part.
In addition to treating ingrown toenails, you may seek treatment for toenail fungus and other nail-related conditions. Thick, discolored, or crumbling nails are unsightly and toenail fungus is one of the most common foot complaints.
It is important to have your toenails evaluated to ensure the correct diagnosis. Treatment of toenail fungus often depends on the diagnosis. Dr. Arya will take a nail culture to send to pathology in order to ensure the exact pathogen causing the fungus. Then, the fungus can be appropriately treated and pain from fungus can be relieved.
Dr. Arya, expert foot doctor, can ease your toenail pain right away, so don’t wait to reach out. Call Arya Foot & Ankle or book an appointment online today.