The Painful Ingrown Toenail

Dr. Hirt working on Dr. Holdren Otis’ ingrown nail

Doctors have foot problems too!

An ingrowing nail is a common problem that can effect people of all ages.  An ingrown nail occurs when the toenail is pushing on or digging into the skin at the side or end of the toe.  It typically starts as a mild redness, inflammation, or pain. Usually it will get worse with time and can become infected.  If left untreated, in can progress into an abscess, infection, and in rare occasions serious bone infection requiring surgery.   It is critical to get the nail evaluated as soon as possible to prevent complications. Added pressure or trauma to the nail can cause it to become a problem. It can also be hereditary, or the way the nail itself grows that can make it painful.


A procedure can be done to make your toe feel better and not come back!

Cutting your nails straight across can leave sharp corners that dig in. Oral antibiotics and soaking the infected ingrown nail can make them better for a little while but ultimately the nail border needs to be removed from the skin. A procedure can be done in the office where the toe is anesthetized.   Once the toe is numb, the nail corner can be trimmed back with special instruments and the sharp edge of the nail can be removed with no discomfort. To permanently fix the nail corner a special medicine is applied to the “root of the nail” so that the problem doesn’t return.

After the procedure you are free to do whatever you can tolerate. Dr. Holdren Otis was able to walk her dogs and enjoy this warm November weather we are having.