Painful Ingrown Toenail

You don't have to live with a chronically painful ingrown toenail. If you find yourself having to dig out the corner of your nail over and over again, it's time for you to see a podiatrist. There are several options to relieve this kind of pain so be sure to talk to a fleshy being before diagnosing or managing painful medical conditions yourself.

Why do ingrown nails happen? For many of us, we sometimes cut the nail in just the wrong way leaving a microscopic spicule behind, that is, a wedge of nail hidden in the skin fold. As your nail starts to grow out, this spicule grows into your skin irritating it and can cause swelling, pain and an infection can erupt. For a few others, it's genetics. Sometimes the nail grows more curved into the skin than we'd like causing repeated painful ingrown toenails. 

What options are there? The easiest thing to do, is to cut the nail straight across as it grows out. However sometimes it is necessary to do a slant-back, meaning cutting it at a diagonal to remove the offending border. One should know that this should be done correctly and gently, otherwise it could make the situation worse. Traumatizing the area repeatedly can cause the skin to get thicker, which will increase pressure to the nail fold adding to the discomfort. You may even accidentally nick yourself creating a local infection if this is not done right. There are ways to remove part of the nail so that it does not ever grow back (95% success rate) using a chemical to stop the nail from growing back (the procedure is called matrixectomy and can be done in the clinic with little down time for recovery). Many patients do well and heal in 1-2 weeks but it is best to discuss this with your podiatrist for your unique situation. 

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