Ingrown Toenails - Podiatrist Kansas City, Lee's Summit, MO and Overland Park, KS
Dr. Mark Green discusses the symptoms, causes and treatment for ingrown toenails.
Ingrown toenails are usually excessively incurvated borders on either side of the toe, which commonly affects the great toenails. Ingrown toenails are a very common and often a very painful condition seen in kids and adults alike. The borders of the big toenails are most commonly affected, and can be curved downward excessively. While poor trimming habits seem to get the blame for most ingrown toenails, the most common culprit is hereditary.
Usually the nail border is excessively curved all the way back to the base of the nail, under the cuticle. That means that the growth center for the nail or nail matrix is also excessively curved downward. When the matrix produces a new nail, it produces it with an excessively curved shape at the borders. As the nail then grows out it cuts into the skin like a knife, which can certainly be painful and lead to infection.
Many patients have performed "bathroom surgery" for many years not realizing that a simple, in office and permanent procedure is available. A minor procedure can be performed in the office under local anesthesia to remove the ingrown border permanently. After the offending nail borders are removed, a chemical is applied to prevent the ingrown portion of the nail from coming back. We leave the normal portion of the nail and growth center alone. No incisions are made. No stitches are needed. And most people are more comfortable after the procedure than they were before. You're wearing normal shoes right away, and minor daily care with a topical antibiotic and a band-aid is all that's needed. Once it heals it will look like a normal nail, but more importantly the painful ingrown portion of the nail is gone, permanently.
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