Something we’ve noticed about patients who see us about their ingrown toenails: a lot of them are at their wits’ end.
To be sure, this is a deeply frustrating, painful, even maddening problem—regularly experienced by more people that you might think.
For one, an individual ingrown toenail can seem to linger forever (or at least a few weeks), even if you’re doing everything you think you should be doing at home to relieve the pain and help your toe heal. That’s a lot of wasted time soaking your feet and hobbling from place to place.
But what’s even worse is that, by the time they finally come to see us, many of our patients have had chronic problems with ingrown toenails for years—or maybe their whole lives.
“Are these ingrown toenails EVER going away?”
It’s a reasonable question to ask. And we have some good news for you! You can make your ingrown toenails go away for good—and it isn’t even that difficult! But it may require taking a slightly different approach than what you’re used to.
How to Make ONE Case of Ingrown Toenails Go Away
So, first things first: If your current ingrown toenail strategy could be fairly summarized as “do nothing,” you probably aren’t going to be too thrilled by the results.
Absent any intervention, ingrown toenails rarely spontaneously improve—especially if you’re continuing to wear tight shoes and socks, cut your nails too short, try to dig out your ingrown toenails, or otherwise do things that irritate the nail.
So you’ll have to get involved, somehow. But how?
Option 1: Home Care
Minor cases of ingrown toenails can sometimes be treated at home. This is only recommended if:
- Your pain is still quite tolerable and not significantly limiting your activities
- There’s no evidence of infection
- You don’t have diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, neuropathy, or any other condition that could impair the function of your nervous, circulatory, or immune systems.
- You’re patient.
Patience is key, because even successful home treatments for ingrown toenails will take a little time. You’ll want to soak your toes in warm water for about 15 minutes at a time, 3 times per day, to minimize pain and swelling.
Once you’re done, you can dry the nail, place a fresh piece of waxed dental floss under the ingrown edge (to prop it up and encourage it to grow straight), apply some antibiotic ointment on the tender area, and bandage it.
Now, you might be thinking, “I don’t have time for that!” That’s fine, because you have another (and in our opinion better) option:
Option 2: Professional Care
Just come into our office, and we’ll take care of your ingrown toenail for you.
The main treatment option involves numbing the toe and simply removing the ingrown part of the nail in a minor surgical procedure. It takes just a few minutes, and most of the time only about 10 to 20 percent of the nail needs to be removed.
The treatment is not painful (you’ll just notice a bit of pressure), and the pain relief you feel by the time the anesthetic wears of can be nearly complete.
How to Make EVERY Case of Ingrown Toenails Go Away
So now that you have a game plan for your current ingrown toenail, we hope you’ll get it cleared up soon. But that still isn’t very much comfort for those whose ingrown toenails keep coming back every few months!
Fortunately, we can help here as well.
It’s possible that your chronic ingrown toenails have external causes that could be prevented by trimming your toenails straight across or wearing roomier shoes. Those are definitely things you should be doing anyway!
However, it’s far more likely that you were either born with, or over time acquired, a toenail shape that is naturally prone to becoming ingrown.
Essentially, the nail matrix itself—the part of your toe responsible for growing your nails—becomes positioned in such a way that nails will snag into skin over and over again. People with toenails that are excessively rounded or curved are at especially high risk.
If this sounds like you, don’t worry! In addition to removing your current ingrown toenail, we can also perform an additional minor procedure to either remove or reshape the problematic portion of your nail matrix. Once this procedure has been performed, your risk of developing another ingrown toenail (at least along the same edge) drops to nearly zero!
Give Ingrown Toenails the Slip for Good
It sounds too good to be true, but it isn’t: You could be done with ingrown toenails forever after just one appointment with the Foot Specialists of Long Island.
When you put it that way, seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? We hope you think so too!
To schedule an appointment with either Dr. Gasparini or Dr. Chhabra, please give our office in Massapequa a call today at (516) 804-9038. If you’d prefer, you can instead request an appointment online.