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Ingrown Toenail Specialist

Aloha Foot and Ankle Associates

Podiatry & Foot and Ankle Surgery located in Mission Viejo, CA

An ingrown toenail can be very painful, and if you have diabetes or another chronic condition, it can increase your risk of infection or other serious complications. At Aloha Foot and Ankle Associates, the team of expert podiatrists specializes in treating ingrown toenails. They will discuss all your treatment options and offer proven, permanent solutions if indicated. Call the office to schedule an appointment or book online today.

Ingrown Toenail Q&A

What is an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail occurs when your nail grows into your skin instead of out and away from your toe. Over time, this causes the skin around your toe to become red, swollen, and irritated. 

Since ingrown toenails can become infected, it’s important to seek professional medical help. This is especially important if you have any history of diabetes, poor immune system, and/or poor circulation.

What are the symptoms of an ingrown toenail?

Common symptoms of an ingrown toenail include:

  • Swelling around your toe
  • Infection 
  • Redness surrounding your toenail
  • Pain and tenderness

As the pain gets worse, you might also find it difficult to wear closed-toe shoes or stand/walk around and perform your daily weightbearing activities.

What causes an ingrown toenail to form?

Ingrown toenails occur for various reasons. Some of the most common causes include having unusually curved nails, nails with a large width, injuring a toenail, wearing shoes that crowd your toes, or cutting your toenails too short. 

How can I prevent an ingrown toenail?

If you want to lower your risk of an ingrown toenail, the team at Aloha Foot and Ankle Associates recommends:

  • Wearing comfortable shoes that fit properly
  • Keeping your toenails at a moderate length
  • Inspecting your feet regularly
  • Trimming your nails straight across

How is an ingrown toenail diagnosed?

The team at Aloha Foot and Ankle Associates diagnoses an ingrown toenail by conducting a clinical exam. They will also ask about your lifestyle and symptoms. Because an ingrown toenail is visible to the naked eye, there’s no need for X-rays or an MRI.

How is an ingrown toenail treated?

Treatment of an ingrown toenail depends on the severity of your symptoms and health history. Following an exam, the team might recommend:

Partially removing a small part of the nail without anesthesia

If you have a mild ingrown toenail, the team may recommend performing a “wedge resection". This is where a small wedge of the offending nail is removed with clippers. This is usually a quick conservative process and doesn’t require anesthesia. 

Partially removing some or all of the nail (nail avusion)

If the ingrown toenail is severe and the area is very tender, and there may or may not be an infection present,  the team might recommend partially or totally removing the nail. The team administers a local anesthetic to numb your toe and carefully removes the ingrown portion of the nail. This is not a permanent procedure and the portion of nail removed will grow back.

Permanently removing some or all of the nail (matrixectomy)

If the same toe regularly experiences ingrown nails, the team might recommend a definitive solution like a permanent partial or total nail removal. They administer a local anesthetic to numb your toe and use a medical-grade solution to remove your some or all of your nail entirely. 

To receive treatment for an ingrown toenail, schedule an appointment at Aloha Foot and Ankle Associates. Book a consultation online or call the office today.