Podiatrist Services For Painful Ingrown Toenail

An ingrown toenail is often caused by ill-fitting shoes or improper toenail trimming. Signs and symptoms of an ingrown toenail may include pain, redness, and inflammation around the affected toe, increased warmth over the affected area, and drainage that oozes from the soft tissue of the toe. While some people only experience mild symptoms, others may be unable to wear shoes or even walk properly. If the toe is severely infected, you may develop systemic symptoms such as a fever, chills, and muscle pain.  If you have pain or swelling or notice a yellow or green discharge in the area of the ingrown toenail, see your podiatrist. Here are some podiatrist services you can expect from your foot doctor during your office visit.

Splinting And Partial Toenail Removal 

If your toenail is only minimally ingrown, your foot doctor may gently lift your ingrown nail and place a small piece of cotton or gauze underneath it. This procedure will separate your ingrown toenail from the skin so that your nail can grow above the edge of your skin, however, it can take up to a few months for your nail to grow out. If you have a severely ingrown toenail that may include intense pain, swelling, and pus formation, your podiatrist may remove part of your toenail instead of just splinting it. Before they remove the portion of your toenail, the podiatrist will numb the affected area with a local anesthetic. 

Toenail And Nail Bed Removal

If you keep getting ingrown toenails on the same toe, your podiatrist may recommend removing both the toenail along with the underlying nail bed. Doing so may help prevent the part of your nail that keeps getting ingrown from growing back. Following your procedure, your foot doctor may recommend taking an over-the-counter pain medication to relieve minor discomfort and keeping your foot elevated for a day or so.

Your foot doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic ointment or a course of oral antibiotics to be taken after your toenail and nail bed removal procedure. When you resume your normal activities, you will be advised to avoid strenuous activities and swimming until your foot doctor clears you to do so. In addition, while you should avoid taking baths for a couple of weeks, you can take showers.

If you develop an ingrown toenail that is associated with soft tissue pain, redness, inflammation, or drainage, make an appointment with your podiatrist. Early treatment may help prevent permanent nail bed and soft tissue damage as well as infections.