What to Expect at Your Podiatrist's Appointment for Ingrown Nails

My previous post gave you some pointers on preventing ingrown toenails and when to seek professional advice. Here is what you can expect at your podiatrist's appointment.

1. A history and physical exam will be performed. What I check for is how good your circulation is, possible causes for the irritation (nail salons, shoe wear, genetic deformities, etc) and how bad the ingrown nail is. 

Removing an ingrown nail can be done with minimal discomfort. Only the offending border is removed with little noticeable deformity. Pain is relieved the same day.

Removing an ingrown nail can be done with minimal discomfort. Only the offending border is removed with little noticeable deformity. Pain is relieved the same day.

2. You will be offered the following options:
- Do nothing: In mild cases, some suggestions to prevention will be reviewed. 
- Avulsion (in-office small procedure): We have a better angle at seeing your toenail so we can perform a slant-back of the offending nail with sterile nail nipper. In some cases we'll inject a numbing medication to provide optimal comfort.
- Matrixectomy (also an in-office procedure): This will permanently prevent the nail from growing back (95% chance of success). You will be given a numbing injection, followed by removal of the nail border with sterile instruments, and a chemical is used to burn the nail root so it does not grow back. Many people tolerate this procedure and are able to walk out of the office without pain. Limited activities is recommended for the first week.
- Rarely will going to the operating room be necessary. 

What is offered on your first visit will depend on you and your insurance. A discounted cash price is also available.