An ingrown toenail occurs when the nail grows sideways into the toe, and not outward. This causes pain in the side of the toe. The big toe is most commonly affected. It can be caused by any situation that interferes with the proper outward growth of the nail, such as improper trimming of the nail or incorrect shoes.
If left untreated the nail may continue to grow into the side of the toe. This can lead to progressive pain or recurring infection. It is most serious in people with underlying medical problems such as diabetes or peripheral vascular disease.
In some cases, the edge of the nail can be trimmed away from the side of the toe. However, many cases require surgical removal of the edge of toenail. The permanent removal of the painful nail border is a small procedure that can be performed in the office. Numbing medicine is used. The procedure takes about 20 minutes. There are no stitches to worry about. Patients are able to walk out of the office and typically require little or no pain medication afterwards. The toe is typically healed in 2 weeks. Please call the office with any questions or to plan an appointment to discuss your treatment options.