Ingrown toenails, also known as onychocryptosis, can be embarrassing, annoying, and painful. It is a condition that Dr. Perlstein sees regularly at the office, and one of the most common nail problems people deal with. An ingrown toenail occurs when the surrounding skin on one or both sides of the nail grows over the edges of the nail. When this happens the nail corners or sides will dig into the soft tissue of nail grooves. When your toenails grow they are supposed to grow going straight out, however ingrown toenail corners curve and grow into the flesh. Ingrown toenails can affect one or more of your toes, but many times it is the big toe that gets the brunt of it.
Causes of ingrown toenails include:
• Not trimming nails properly – nails should be cut straight, and be even with the tips of toes
• Trauma to the foot – such as a stubbed toe, or from general day-to-day activities
• Skin conditions like fungal infections
• Nails that are too large for the toe
• An inherited condition
• Shoes that fit too tightly and not allowing enough toe space, which can aggravate the condition
Symptoms of ingrown toenails include:
• Redness caused by irritation of the toenail
• Swelling of the affected areas
• Pain and tenderness
Treatment for your condition
If an infection is not suspected of your ingrown toenails, it can usually be safely treatedfrom home by soaking your foot in warm water. However, it is important to “bathroom surgery” and repeated cutting of the nail as this will only make the condition worse. When attempts to reduce your symptoms from home fail, or when pain,inflammation, swelling or discharge accompany your ingrown, the toenail is most likelyinfected, and should be treated by Dr. Perlstein. However, those with diabetes, nerve damage or poor circulation should always seek care immediately if an ingrown toenail is detected, regardless of the severity.
At our office, Dr. Perlstein will examine the affected toe and determine the best treatment for your condition. If you are suffering from an infection then an antibiotic may be prescribed. Another treatment may involve trimming or removing the infected nail with a minor in-office surgical procedure. For patients that have chronic toe pain ,we add medication to the nail root so that this problem can cured permanently .Ingrown toenails may be annoying, but rest assured they can easily be prevented and treated.
Prevention of ingrown toenails:
• Wear shoes that fit your feet – make sure there is room to wiggle your toes, and they are comfortable
• Protect your feet from trauma when possible, such as wearing the appropriate shoes during sporting activities
• Trim your toenails straight across using nail clippers, and avoid repeated trimming of the nail borders
• Keep your feet clean and dry to prevent infection, and remember to change your socks and alternate shoes every day
If you are struggling with ingrown toenails, or would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact our office. Dr. Perlstein will be able to look at your feet, identify any issues, and come up with a treatment plan.
Dr. Michael Perlstein’s podiatry office is located at 4414 14th Avenue in Brooklyn, New York. He serves patients throughout the greater New York City area, including those residing in Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
Dr. Perlstein’s office is open Monday through Friday as well as on Sunday.