An ingrown toenail is a common condition typically affecting the great toe, in which the corner or side of the nail becomes incurvated (turned inward) and grows into the skin and soft flesh of the toe. This results in irritation of the surrounding soft tissue, often causing pain, redness, swelling, warmth, and sometimes and infection. At Gotham Footcare, the physicians specialize in the treatment of recurring and severe ingrown toenails and specialize in performing ingrown toenail surgery. Patients can visit locations in Midtown and Downtown Manhattan.
Common causes of ingrown toenails include the following:
Early and mild ingrown nails are slightly painful and red. More severe cases result in red, swollen nail borders, which may lead to the formation of yellow purulent discharge from the affected area. If left untreated or undetected, an ingrown toenail can infect the underlying bone and lead to a serious bone infection, which may require intravenous antibiotics and surgery.
Home treatment is strongly discouraged if an infection is suspected, or if you suffer from medical conditions that put your feet at high risk, such as diabetes, nerve damage, or poor circulation. Make sure to visit Gotham Footcare to ensure the right treatment is provided to you.
At Gotham Footcare, your doctor will first examine your toe and select the treatment best suited for you. X-rays of the affected toe will be taken to rule out the presence of gas produced by bacteria that may result in a bone infection that would require intravenous antibiotics and/ or surgery. If an infection is present, an oral and topical antibiotic will be prescribed.
Sometimes a minor surgical procedure may be performed in the office to ease your pain and remove the offending nail. After injecting your toe with a local anesthetic, your doctor will cut out the ingrown portion of the toenail and chemically cauterize the underlying nail matrix (nail root) to prevent that portion of the nail from permanently growing back. Most people experience very little pain after surgery and may resume normal activity the next day.