An ingrown toe nail is a common condition where the corners of toe nails push inward down the side or end of the toes. Even a minor ingrown toe nail can quickly flare into something much worse if left untreated, and before you know it you have a severely infected and painful toe nail.
The cause of ingrown toe nails are quite varied. They can be caused by improper cutting techniques, tight fitting footwear placing pressure on the sides of your nails, hereditary factors and infection or trauma.
Regardless of how an ingrown toe nail occurred, the treatment is quite simple.
First, the Podiatrist, will examine the affected toe and take a detailed medical history. The questions often asked are: Is this the first time the nail has been infected and ingrown or is it an ongoing problem? And is the ingrown toe nail painful?
Sometimes the ingrown nail can look terrible but be relatively pain free. If this is the case, treatment may only consist of trimming away the nail from the nail groove and packing the area with sterile cotton wool and dressing with a sterile dressing.
If basic treatment is not successful then a minor surgical procedure may be required. Having performed this procedure on dozens of patients, you can be assured of a quality care with experience.
Before commencing nail surgery, a more detailed history is taken to make sure the patient is suitable for the procedure. Local anaesthetic is administered into both sides of the offending toe, and the toe will normally go numb within minutes. The procedure itself is relatively painless.
Once the area is dressed, the patient walks out of the clinic pain free and rarely gets pain even when the anaesthetic wears off. The patient will normally return the following day to change the dressing and again a week later to make sure it is healing correctly.