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Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown  toenails  are  probably  the most common  foot  problem  we see  in  our office. And, unfortunately, people have a lot of false information about ingrown toenails. But with proper diagnosis and treatment, we can correct this painful problem.

What are Ingrown Toenails?

An ingrown toenail quite simply is a painful condition. It develops when one or both sides of your nail curls down. This lets it invade the skin on the sides or tip of your toe. Any toe can develop ingrown toenails. But usually it’s your great toe that’s affected.

Symptoms of Ingrown Toenails

At first, an ingrown toenail will be a little red and irritated. But, without treatment, you could feel  burning or see your skin folds thicken. Sometimes, the pain is worsen when you wear shoes, but that’s not always the case.

Over time, an ingrown toenail will progress. This means that the nail keeps advancing into your skin. Eventually, it will cut through the flesh. At this point, you’ll experience more pain. And, the cut will be vulnerable to the bacteria and fungus which your nail plate would normally keep out.  When that happens, you end up with an infected ingrown toenail.

But the problems don’t stop there! With continued neglect, your skin folds will get more inflamed. Then, if you stay away from the podiatrist, you could end up with large, bulbous “cherry red” granulomas. Even worse? The infection may deepen. It could even invade your underlying bones. Luckily, we can easily correct this complex cycle.  But first we must understand why you get ingrown toenails in the first place!

Ingrown Toenail Risk Factors

The most common cause of ingrown toenails is improper cutting or “picking” of toenails. All nails should be cut straight across and allowed to grow out to the edge of the nail fold. Because of the fleshy nature of their toes, some patients are predisposed to tissue overgrowth on the nail.

Other common causes include fungal thickening of the toenail and bone spurs hidden under the nail plate. In both cases the nail is thickened and tented up in the center, thereby pressuring the sides down and into the surrounding skin folds. Bunion deformities, whereby the big toe leans against the second toe, may also cause irritation on the side of both toenails and lead to ingrown toenails.

Treatment Options for Ingrown Nails

Cutting a “V” into the  center  of  the toenail has never, in our opinion, helped to alleviate pressure on  the nail. Remember, the  nail  plate is rigid and will not simply bend out of the skin by cutting a wedge in the center. Furthermore, we have never found over-the-counter ingrown nail medication to be effective. In fact, both of the remedies only serve to delay proper treatment and increase the risk of infection.

The correction of an ingrown toenail is usually quite simple and can be done painlessly in the office with local anesthesia. We can remove the offending portion of the nail in such a way that we almost always deliver a permanent correction. Which means you won’t have to keep returning to the office in pain. That’s why, if you suffer with an ingrown nail, seek a permanent solution right away. The sooner you seek treatment, the lower your risk for infection and other ingrown toenail complications!

Madeline C

Thank you for taking care of my toe. I'll be flipping back into gymnastics in no time!

Madeline C

Meera Manahan

Dr. Bachmann, Thank you for fixing my foot, so I could go climb Kilimanjaro! My 2 girlfriends and I summitted on Christmas Eve. What a gift you gave me - thank you!

Meera Manahan

Karen Noland

Thank you for your exceptional skill, warmth and generous spirit!

Karen Noland

Sharon Dixon

Dr. Walsh, You always make me feel so much better.

Sharon Dixon

Kim Johnston

I wanted to tell you that you have the nicest staff in the world. They seem to go out of their way for your patients.

Kim Johnston

Tina

Dr. Bachmann, You did a great job on both my toes. I am healing well on this last one. It feels good to mark it off my "to do" list. Now I can start my step aerobics class again. Thank you for taking good care of me.

Tina

Marilyn Sparacino

You did a perfect job on my right foot.

Marilyn Sparacino

Isabel O’Brien

He's all fixed up thanks to your patience, sympathy and skill, Dr. Bachmann.

Isabel O'Brien

Channin Henry

Thank you for everything! You are a Great Doctor!

Channin Henry

Deanna Muehlenbrock

Dr. Walsh has been phenomenal! She had an awesome bedside manner with me as well as my children. Always talking them through every step of the way. You know you have found a lifelong doctor when you entrust your children's care to them. I have recommended Dr. Walsh to many of many friends and all have loved her.

Deanna Muehlenbrock

Jenny McLeod

I wanted to thank you for being so tender with Hallie yesterday.  She was eager to tell me that you thought she was "99.9% perfect."  Although her psoriasis/arthritis in no way defines her, I know she is aware of her health versus her three sisters.  You were the best part of her day and it meant the world to me.

Jenny McLeod

Pierre B.

After having a severe case of Plantar Fasciitis, we tried all procedures and treatments to reduce pain and inflammation.  Nothing worked.  I was told by Dr. Bachmann of a new procedure, a laser treatment (MLS) that was new but very effective.  I tried it and after treatment #1 I already felt an improvement.  I'm on treatment 9 of 10 and can honestly say it has relieved the pain and constant irritation I was experiencing for the past 9 months.  I would recommend this treatment and the excellent service of Dr. Bachmann's team of health care professionals.

Pierre B.

Casey B

After just 2 treatments with the MLS Laser for my ankle injury, I felt a significant decrease in pain and swelling.  I am very active in the gym so it was very important for me to heal quickly.  Each treatment is quick and painless as well which is a definite plus!  I would recommend this treatment to anyone in pain!

Casey B