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What Is An Ingrown Toenail?

What is an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail develops when the nail grows downward or curves into the skin. The nail digs in and irritates the skin, often causing pain, redness, and swelling. If an ingrown nail causes a break in the skin, bacteria can be introduced and cause an infection in the area.


Causes of ingrown toenails:

· Trauma

· Improper fitting shoes

· Improper trimming

· Heredity


Treatment options:

Warm water soaks several times a day, properly fitted shoes and socks, and trimming nails in a straight line (rather than rounded) are ways to treat and prevent painful ingrown toenails. If there is an infection, antibiotics may be prescribed.

If left untreated, the skin may begin to grow over the toenail, encapsulating the nail. Surgery is then required to remove the portion of offending nail.


Ingrown toenail removal procedure:

The ingrown toenail can be permanently removed with a chemical matrixectomy. A common chemical used for this procedure is phenol. The procedure involves removing a portion of the nail that is ingrown or the entire toenail depending on the severity of the ingrown.

The toe is numbed with local anesthetic before the procedure is performed. The necessary portion of the ingrown nail is safely removed. Phenol is then applied to the nail root to prevent the ingrown toenail from growing back. This is a simple in-office procedure. There is minimal pain after this procedure and most people can return to regular activities the following day.

For more information on ingrown toenails or to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!

Visoth Chan, DPM Dr. Visoth Chan is the owner and medical director of Aloha Foot and Ankle Associates. She graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a Bachelor's Degree in Animal Physiology and Neuroscience. Following this, she received her Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree at the California School of Podiatric Medicine in Oakland. She subsequently completed her podiatric surgical residency at White Memorial in Los Angeles. She takes great pride in her role at Aloha Foot and Ankle Associates and strives to make sure her patients have the best care possible. When not treating patients, she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family, especially her daughter, Emmylou.

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