An Ingrown toenail is a nail that has irritated, in some manner, the surrounding skin of the respected toe. This can be cause by the genetic predisposition of the toenail, or an irregularly cut toenail, a broken toenail, or some other trauma to the nail. A toenail has two borders, one on each side and has the potential to be ingrown into the surrounding skin. This ingrown toenail acts as a foreign body and can result in activation of body’s natural defense system. This can lead to an acute infection. Just like any other infection, this needs an immediate attention of a trained specialist.
Paronychia is a condition in which nail border(s) is causing irritation to the surrounding skin which has led to an acute infection. Once there is an active infection, due to an infected ingrown toenail, an ingrown toenail surgery is almost always required. This can be done either temporarily or permanently, depending on the shape of the nail, condition of the nail, and the desires of the patient. If this is a chronic problem, we generally recommend a nail avulsion of either a small portion of the nail, or in rare cases, the whole nail. One of the reasons we don’t recommend temporary nail avulsions, in most cases, is that there is an extremely high recurrence rate in temporary procedures and a very low recurrence rate in permanent procedures.
A person can be predisposed to developing ingrown toenail secondary to their genetics, their natural toenails shape, or their personal toenail hygiene routine. Most of the time, patients develop ingrown toenails due to incorrect maintenance of their toenails. We recommend cutting your toenail straight across no shorter than the skin of the nail groove on either side of the toe and then round the sharp edge with an Emery board/nail file.
Foot and Ankle experts at Arizona Foot and Ankle Specialists can help with your ingrown toenails. No matter what toe or toes are affected we have an answer for you. We will perform a thorough examination of your condition, determine the need for antibiotics and or nail surgery. At AzFAS we strongly believe that patient education is one of the most vital components of treatment and that’s why we spend extra time with our patients educating them about their ingrown toenail condition, best way to avoid the problem in the future, and the best treatment plan. If you or a loved one is suffering from ingrown toenails, infected or just painful, don’t wait and come see us at Arizona Foot & Ankle Specialists, we would love to help.