When Dr. Patel said my ingrown toenail removal would be seamless, he was not lying! I had the procedure done at the end of April and was able to run in my first 5K road race less than a month later, with no discomfort or issues. Thanks Dr. Patel!”
Christina S., Monroe, CT
Toenails serve a purpose for your feet. They are not miscellaneous or unnecessary parts. They help protect the ends of your toes from trauma and damage. However, this doesn’t make them invulnerable to injury. They sustain damage just like any other part of your lower limbs. In some cases, like ingrown toenails, the hard tissue itself can actually become the source of toe pain.
How Do They Develop?
Ingrown toenails are sharply curved edges of a nail, resulting in one side growing into the soft skin next to it. This issue can develop for a variety of reasons. The most common cause is improper trimming, but tight shoes can also influence the condition. Trauma to the end of the toe or even inherited nail shapes can also contribute to the issue.
Nails that are clipped too short or have rounded-off edges allow the hard tissue to curl downward instead of growing straight. As it curls, it pinches and even pierces the skin beside it. Tight shoes put pressure on the keratin and can change its shape, encouraging it to curl. This problem is painful and causes redness and swelling around the affected area. If the damaged spot becomes infected, it will begin to ooze clear or pus-filled discharge. If you do not address the problem, the nail will continue to grow into the skin and cause increasing discomfort.
How Do You Treat This?
Ingrown toenails are typically handled with conservative, minimally-invasive measures. Dr. Sanjay Patel can evaluate the extent of the problem and help you manage the care of your toe condition. You may need to change shoes to reduce pressure on the ends of the toes. If the damage is minimal and the keratin hasn’t curved too much, our expert staff may be able to lift the nail up and use cotton or a splint to hold it in the correct place. That way, as the nail continues growing, it will stay above the skin edge. The more the nail has grown into the skin, however, the more likely that you’ll need a minor procedure to cut away the damaged area. After numbing the affected digit, the doctor will carefully clip and remove the nail that is pinching or piercing the soft tissue around the nail.
In severe or recurring conditions, we may actually recommend a more invasive remedy to permanently remove the nail. This way, it cannot grow back and continue to cause pain. This involves surgically cutting away the hard tissue and treating both the nail bed and the nail matrix.
If you’re struggling with nails that grow incorrectly and cause discomfort, don’t wait to seek relief until walking or wearing shoes is unpleasant. You can eliminate the source of your discomfort quickly and easily by seeking professional care. Contact Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. in Milford and Hamden, CT, to take care of your toes today. Use our website contact form or call: (203) 876-7736 for the Milford office, or (203) 288-4055 for the Hamden location.