This is part 2 of our 2-part series on ingrown toenails. Go back and check out part 1 if you missed it!
Last week we took a long, hard look at some of the most common causes of ingrown toenails. We covered a lot of ground! Injuries, shoes, bad nail trimming, spotty hygiene … even just plain bad luck in the genetic lottery. As it turns out, there are a lot of reasons you might end up with a painful ingrown toenail.
This week’s blog will focus on treatment, and there’s good news for those of you pressed for time: it’s quick! That’s because, in our opinion, there’s really only one good solution for a stubborn ingrown toenail—cutting it out and stopping it from growing back. This is performed during a single, same-day appointment, and provides lasting relief.
“Hey, Wait a Minute …”
That’s not what my mom’s friend / spouse’s boss / Dr. Google told me!
You don’t have to say it—we can already hear you thinking it. And truthfully, if you do ask “Dr. Google” for advice on your ingrown toenail, you’ll probably get lots of information about conservative treatments and home remedies that will supposedly relieve your discomfort. You might be familiar with some of these suggestions:
- Soak your feet several times per day in warm and soapy water
- Prop up your nail with a piece of floss or cotton
- Cut a “V” in your toenail
We have a confession to make, dear reader: there was a time in the past when we ourselves would sometimes recommend conservative management of ingrown toenails at first, especially if symptoms were on the mild side. (Not the “V” strategy though—that just plain doesn’t work. Sorry.)
The reason we don’t really recommend conservative care anymore isn’t because it won’t or can’t work, necessarily. Sometimes it does! However, the overall success rates of these strategies are on the low side, to say the least. If they don’t end up working (which is a good chunk of the time), your pain will probably only get worse. You might even end up with an infection. And even if they do work, the odds remain pretty good that, within a few months or years, you’ll be back in the same spot.
If we told you to go soak your feet and the end result was that your toe hurt even worse than before, you’d come back and blame us! And we’d deserve it!
It is far easier, faster, safer, and better to have us simply cut it out for good—especially if your ingrown toenails have become chronic.
The Real Solution
Bring yourself and your ingrown toenail down to our office. We’ll take a look at your toenail and ask you all the basic questions—what are your symptoms, how long have you had it, what have you tried, etc. And then, in all likelihood, we’ll fix it for you, once and for all, right then and there. No need to book another appointment, no need to come back later.
This minor surgical procedure is not painful and should cause no significant distress; even young children usually tolerate it extremely well. We’ll start by using a numbing spray (so you don’t even really feel the injection) followed by a shot of local anesthetic. Once that toe is good and numb, we’ll carefully cut out the ingrown sliver of the nail—enough to relieve the pain, but not so much that the remaining toenail looks unnatural.
But won’t it just grow back?
Nope! That’s because we’ll also use a chemical agent to remove the portion of tissue (called the nail matrix) responsible for growing new nail along that same sliver. Once that’s done, your once-chronic ingrown nail edge shouldn’t give you any more problems. The recurrence rate, in fact, is less than 3 percent.
What about aftercare?
It’s pretty easy! For the most part there should be very little (if any) pain, since the phenolization process we use to remove the nail matrix will also dull the local nerve endings. Basic foot soaking and local wound care will be needed at first to help the area heal. (Don’t worry, we’ll make sure you have all the instructions you need—and there aren’t many.) Most people, however, are back up and about their normal activities within a couple of days.
Ingrown toenail removal treatment is a quick, painless, and effective process that can prevent years of suffering—permanently—in a matter of days. If you’ve been suffering with ingrown nails for any length of time, book an appointment today. You’ll be kicking yourself for not doing it sooner!
We’d be happy to see you at either of our convenient locations:
- Myers Park: (704) 334-8682
- South Charlotte: (704) 542-8253