What is an Ingrown Toenail?

Dr. Grobes of Foot Pain Doctors of Jacksonville has many years experience treating painful ingrown toenails effectively.

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An ingrown toenail is a condition where the corner of a toenail grows into the soft flesh. This normally results into pain, redness, swelling and often times infection. Infection at the toe occurs when the toenail causes a break in the skin which is often marked only by redness increased warmth and/ or drainage. If the condition reaches this stage, it is absolutely urgent that you see a professional to have the condition treated. Dr. Grobes at Foot pain Doctors of Jacksonville has many years of experience diagnosing and treating painful Ingrown toenails effectively. Without treatment the condition will often worsen and possibly lead to increased complications such as sepsis (infection in the blood stream) or infection into the bone of the toe leading to amputation.

• Heredity: For many people, the tendency for ingrown toenails are inherited such as curvature of the toenail bed.
• Trauma: Sometimes they result from trauma such as stubbing your toe, an object falling onto the toe or engaging in activities that involve repeated pressure on the toes such a kicking or running.
• Improper Trimming: I find this to be the most common cause of an ingrown toenail. Cutting the toenails on an angle at the corners or cutting them too closely frequently results in the skin folding over the toenail edge then forcing the edge of the toenail to grow into the skin.
Oftentimes, improper trimming will cause the toenail to repeatedly grow into the skin many times for weeks, months or sometimes years. If this occurs a more permanent procedure to treat the problem would be recommended which will be discussed further in this blog.
• Improperly Fitting Footwear: I have found shoe gear to be the second most common cause of ingrown toenails. There are three important aspects in regard to properly fitting shoes to prevent ingrown toenails.
1. Adequate length
2. Adequate width
3. Adequate toe box height
Toe Box height is the measured area inside of the shoe, at the area of the toes, from the insole to the inside top of the shoe gear. Without an adequate toe box height your toenail(s) will repeatedly press against the top of the toe. Note that different styles and brands of shoe gear will have different available toe box heights. I advise to try on newly purchased shoe gear later in the afternoon. Many times, the feet are slightly wider due to minimal swelling that occurs as a day progresses.
• Nail Conditions: Ingrown toenails can be caused by nail problems such as fungal nail infections, trauma or thickening of the toenail.

If an ingrown toenail has not caused an infection at the toe, many times the toenail border can simply be removed by way of numbing the area with a topical substance to remove the toenail painlessly. This can be performed on most cases. However, if the condition is more severe, the toe would need to be anesthetized by way of injection after numbing the area with a freezing agent to reduce or eliminate any pain associated with the injection. Pain relief is usually immediate. A follow-up visit is often necessary to evaluate the condition to ensure of no developing infection or to evaluate if the current infection had resolved.

For those who experience an Ingrown toenail at the same location multiple times, there is a simple procedure that is performed here in our office that removes the painful Ingrown Nail border permanently to ensure of no additional recurrences. This procedure is completed within 15-20 minutes on average. It consists of applying a chemical directly to the area of the ingrowing nail to cease the growth of the matrix at the toe.

Call our office today for an immediate appointment or a free initial consultation. (904) 329-1391

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