Ingrown toenails can cause intense pain and discomfort for those who develop them. At Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists, we help our patients effectively treat and prevent ingrown toenails. While it may be tempting to address your condition at home, it is always best to speak with a knowledgeable medical provider who can help you understand not only the best way to address your condition, but how you can avoid recurrence of ingrown nails in the future.
When should you go to the doctor for an ingrown toenail?
While not all ingrown nails may necessitate a visit with your podiatrist, it can certainly help speed up your recovery process. Ingrown toenails are a relatively common foot condition, and our doctors have helped countless patients overcome them. This means we can provide you with fast and effective care that will reduce your pain immediately. However, some people will require more invasive treatments or even antibiotics if they wait too long to speak with a physician. If you notice that your toe has become swollen and red, or that there is pus surrounding the ingrown nail, it is essential that you see a doctor as soon as possible, as this could indicate that you have developed an infection that will require antibiotics. Patients who have poor circulation in their extremities, including those with diabetes, should see their podiatrist as soon as they notice an ingrown nail developing to prevent potentially serious complications from occurring.
What can a podiatrist do for ingrown toenails?
When you visit one of the board-certified podiatrists at Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists, you will receive compassionate and effective care for your ingrown nails. Your provider will be able to quickly evaluate how severe your condition is, so they can move forward with your treatment. A podiatrist can remove the part of the nail that has grown incorrectly under the surrounding tissue without causing damage. For most people, appropriate hygiene measures suggested by your podiatrist will help them avoid future ingrown nails. However, for patients with chronic problems with ingrown toenails, a podiatrist can surgically remove the portion of the nail and its matrix that causes the issue permanently, so they can live their life without having to worry constantly about ingrown toenails. In addition to removal, your podiatrist can provide oral or topical medications that will treat an infection if necessary, as well as provide you with in-depth information about how you can care for your feet and nails at home to keep them healthy in the future.
How painful is ingrown toenail removal?
Removal of an ingrown toenail can cause some discomfort. However, it is important to remember that ingrown nails themselves can be extremely painful. For mild or moderate cases, relief can be immediate as your podiatrist trims your nail and removes the pressure that has caused your pain. For patients who require ingrown nail surgery, the initial injection of a local anesthetic can be painful, but the procedure itself will happen only after the area is numb. Recovery from surgery may take anywhere from 6-12 weeks, during which time your toe may be painful. Your doctor will likely prescribe or suggest an anti-inflammatory medication to help reduce your pain, as well as any swelling that may be present following your procedure. While an ingrown toenail itself will remain an intense source of pain and discomfort for as long as it is left untreated, those who undergo effective treatment with an experienced doctor can expect to see improvement of their condition quickly, if not immediately.
If you require treatment for an ingrown toenail and would like to speak with an experienced podiatrist about your options, contact Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists in Elgin, IL today to schedule your appointment.