They may seem like a “small” problem at first, but an ingrown toenail can quickly become a major impediment to your daily activities—especially here in the bustling D.C. area, where most people spend a lot of time on their feet.
If you notice pain, redness, swelling, or extreme sensitivity around the edge or border of a toenail, don’t ignore it. While they can sometimes be treated at home, ingrown toenails that become infected or keep returning are serious concerns, particularly for those with diabetes or poor circulation.
The great news is that ingrown toenail treatment from Capital Podiatry Associates is quick, easy, and can bring about rapid relief from pain. We can even keep most ingrown toenails from returning permanently, if you wish.
When Should I See a Doctor About My Ingrown Toenails?
If your ingrown toenails are severely painful or demonstrating any signs of infection (pus, spreading redness), call us immediately. We also recommend you call us at the first sign of an ingrown toenail if you have diabetes or poor blood flow to your feet.
However, it’s important to understand that it’s never too early to seek professional care, regardless of your circumstances. In fact, we strongly encourage you to do so.
While mild ingrown toenails can sometimes be treated at home by avoiding tight shoes and soaking your feet a few times per day, this process can take time and is painful and inconvenient in the best circumstances. It can also fail and leave you in more pain than when you started.
By contrast, professional treatment for ingrown toenails can bring rapid and safe relief from a single appointment.
Ingrown Toenail Treatment at Capital Podiatry Associates
In most cases, we will recommend a partial nail removal. Although this sounds scary and painful, it really is quite easy and well tolerated by the vast majority of our patients—including young children.
Your toe will be completely numbed using an injection of a local anesthetic, so you should not feel any discomfort during the actual procedure. We may also prescribe antibiotics to control or prevent an infection. By the time the anesthetic wears off, you should notice a significant reduction in painful symptoms.
Downtime after the procedure is minimal, and aftercare is usually fairly straightforward. We’d recommend you take it easy the rest of the day and keep your foot elevated. You should also avoid wearing tight shoes, and may need to avoid strenuous exercise for a few days to a few weeks. However, most people are able to go back to most normal activities within 24 hours.
If you struggle with chronic ingrown toenails, we can also perform a procedure that removes part of the nail bed connected with the side or edge of the nail that keeps getting ingrown. This keeps that part of the nail from growing back and causing any further problems.