Dr. Jeffrey Betman, Dr. Michael Williams, and Dr. Lijo John in Chicago, IL, are here for all your foot care needs. Ingrown toenails are unsightly, can be very painful, and get infected easily. If you think you have an ingrown toenail, contact your podiatrists to talk about treatment or removal.
Ingrown toenails happen when a toenail, most often on the big toe, has been cut too short and digs into the skin of the toe. They can also occur after a trauma like stubbing your toe. The side of the nail digs into the skin and it becomes red, swollen, and painful.
Treating an ingrown toenail
When you have an ingrown toenail in Chicago, IL, there are a few things your podiatrist will typically recommend. Switch to wearing comfortable and supportive shoes as often as possible. Choose footwear that supports your arch and gives the toes room to wiggle. You don't want to put any extra pressure on your toes when you already have an ingrown toenail.
Another recommendation will be soaking the foot a few times a day in warm soapy water. Soaking the foot softens the nail, helps reduce swelling, and keeps it clean to prevent infection. Toenail removal is typically only recommended when a patient hasn't responded to other treatments or the toenail becomes infected.
Ingrown toenail removal
When an ingrown toenail becomes infected or is recurring, your foot doctor may recommend removal. Removing a toenail may sound intense, but this procedure is a quick, in-office treatment that removes the problematic portion of the toenail to prevent future ingrown nails.
First, your toe will be numbed with a local anesthetic. Once you are numb your podiatrist works to trim away the ingrown edge of the nail. If necessary a portion of the toenail can be completely removed and prevented from regrowing. When you have an ingrown toenail removed, you need some rest but won't be off your feet too long. It's important to follow your doctor's instructions on aftercare and keep your feet clean and dry to prevent infection.
Dr. Jeffrey Betman, Dr. Michael Williams, and Dr. Lijo John treat ingrown toenails and more at our locations in Chicago, IL. When you have an ingrown toenail, don't hesitate to call us for an appointment at 773-745-1919, 773-276-7272, or 773-788-0100.