Many people will deal with an ingrown toenail at least once or twice in their lifetimes. It is a very common condition that can have a variety of different causes and triggers. However, if you are getting ingrown toenails frequently, it is likely that a larger underlying problem is at work.
Few things are more frustrating or painful than an ingrown toenail that comes back again and again, but the good news is, with the right tactics, this condition can be successfully prevented.
Finding the best and most successful solution for you will depend on the underlying factors of your specific circumstances. If home-based treatments are not effective, we can provide a permanent surgical fix with an extremely low recurrence rate.
Wear Sensible Footwear
Avoid shoes that are too small or shoes that have a tight or narrow toe box that puts pressure on the nails, pushing the edges of the nails into the surrounding skin. Open-toed shoes, or shoes with lots of wiggle room for the toes, are usually best.
Shoes that are too big can also be a problem, especially if they tend to slide around on your feet. During activity, this can cause the tips of the toes to jam up against the front of the shoe.
Shoes that are the right size should feel snug but not tight around the heel and balls of the feet and should not slide around. There should be about a half inch of space, when standing, between the front of the shoe and the longest toe.
If you will be in an environment that puts your foot at risk of accidents or injuries, such as a job site, make sure your feet are protected with appropriate closed-toed shoes.
Permanent Correction and Prevention of Ingrown Toenails
In some cases, even diligent home care will not prevent you from getting an ingrown toenail. Quite often this is because the shape of your toenails makes them prone to becoming ingrown.
If this is the case for you, we will typically recommend permanently fixing your ingrown toenails via a minor surgical procedure. It is performed under a local anesthetic and is relatively painless; by the time the anesthetic wears off, your symptoms should already be significantly improved.
During the surgery, the shape of the nail is altered by removing the edge of the nail that continues to cause problems, followed by the application of phenol on the exposed portion of the matrix (nail root) to prevent this part of the nail from growing back.
Cosmetic results tend to be very good. The majority of the nail removed is beneath the skin fold, therefore the change in the width of your nail is minimal—leaving a slightly thinner, but normal-looking toenail. And of course, you won’t have to deal with ingrown toenails anymore.
Get Rid of Your Ingrown Toenails for Good
Nobody should have to live with and suffer from recurring ingrown toenails. If at-home preventative care fails to resolve the problem, our surgical solution is quick, convenient, and long-lasting.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Bobrowski and the team at InStride Crystal Coast Podiatry in New Bern, please call (252) 638-4700 today. You can also request an appointment online.