Ingrown nails are one of the most common problems we treat in both adults and children in our practice. Also called onychocryptosis, this condition can affect any toenail, but is typically found on one or both big toes. The most common symptoms of an ingrown nail are swelling, redness, and pain. If left untreated, ingrown nails can result in infection and an inability to participate in work and recreational activities due to pain. This section of our website is dedicated to helping you understand more about this condition, its prevention, and treatment options.
Ingrown toenails can be caused by a variety of factors but the most common are due to incorrect nail cutting techniques and ill-fitting shoes. Sometimes heredity or poor foot structure lend themselves to repeated cases of ingrown nails. To prevent ingrown nails, cut straight across your nails, as opposed to tapering the edges. I also advise examining your shoes regularly to ensure that your toes have adequate wiggling room. This is particularly important with children, who tend to outgrow their shoes quickly!
Generally for mild-to-moderate cases and with children, I opt with the most conservative treatments first, such as soaking the toe in warm Epsom salt water daily to reduce inflammation, pain, and to soften the nail enough to be able to trim it more easily.
If daily foot soaks haven't eased your ingrown nail problem, or if your case has progressed to severe pain, there is a simple procedure that can be conducted in our office that involves numbing the toe to remove the inflamed tissue and offending portions of the nail. It’s a fairly quick procedure and can be done in a regular office visit. Patients can usually return to work or school the same or the very next day.
If you or someone you love has an ingrown toenail, make an appointment today to see Dr. Jack Harvey in Manteca, CA who will get you back on your feet in no time!