If your toenail grooming activity is too aggressive or has a nail deformity like ingrown toenails then it is unsightly and painful. You can choose home remedies like soaking feet in warm water including Epsom salt, then massage the pliable skin away from a nail that offers the nail space to grow above the skin. If your nail does not show improvement within 5 to 7 days, but is getting worse then it is time to see the local podiatrist.
The home remedy may seem tempting, but for diabetics in Irvine, it is sensible to approach Dr. Sima Soltani in Orange County, California. The clinic offers ingrown toenail laser treatment, home podiatry care, custom orthotics, stem therapy, and bunion surgery. The podiatrists are well-qualified to deal with ingrown nails.
Ingrown toenails occur at your big toenails, but can impact other toenails. An ingrown toenail is a condition, where the nail presses the surrounding tissue and skin while growing. It leads to discomfort and pain.
Common causes are –
- Improper trimming – too short or with more curves
- Naturally grows into curves or too thick
- Wearing tight shoes around the toes.
- High heels can place pressure on the toenails.
- Toenail trauma
Ingrown nails are treated successfully with conservative treatments like –
The aim is to keep nail edges permanently pushed away from the surrounding skin and tissue allowing it to regrow freely.
- Cotton wedges– Nail is lifted with care to insert a sterilized cotton piece between skin and nail.
- Taping– Adhesive tape is applied to pull the sore skin away from the nail’s edge.
- Plastic gutter splints– These are pushed over the nail’s edge to separate skin and nail.
- Toenail braces– Braces are hooked behind nail corners, which lifts the nail a little.
Splints or braces can take several months to grow out of an inflamed area and you need to be patient. These conventional treatments are not suitable for some, especially diabetic patients struggling with an infected toe or feet numbness. The podiatrist can recommend the non-invasive laser ingrown toenail, which is effective and safe.
When to consider ingrown toenail surgery?
If symptoms don’t take a turn after trying bandages, creams, foot baths, or braces, or the toenail is inflamed severely and oozing pus then the podiatrist will recommend surgery. Different surgery techniques are used for ingrown toenails like removing the inflamed tissue [Vandenbos technique]. Sometimes ingrown toenail edges are cut off.
Major surgical invasive procedures are –
- Partial nail avulsion– Around 1/3rd of the nail is cut on the ingrown side and even the tender tissue is removed. There is a need for a cut and stitches in partial nail avulsion surgery.
- Total nail avulsion– The nail matrix is a pocket at the lower end, where the nail is tucked. The nail matrix cells are responsible for consistent toenail growth. To avoid ingrown toenail issues again, the nail matrix is also removed. It guarantees the nail will not turn into an ingrown nail.
Noninvasive procedures are –
Phenolization – It is also called chemical Matricectomy. Chemicals like sodium hydroxide or phenol are used to destroy nail matrix.
Electro-cauterization – Heatwave is also another way for ablation of the nail matrix.
Laser therapy – Nail trimming is temporary relief from ingrown toenail pain but to eliminate the reoccurring ingrown toenail laser therapy is the best option. From the other non-invasive option laser podiatry treatment is best because the benefits range from minimal risk to expedited recovery.
Various procedures can be performed under local anesthetic at the toe base but some can request to be put to sleep with a sedative during surgery. Possible invasive surgery complications are wound getting infected, nerve damage or bleeding, and poorly healing wounds.
During nail removal, the risk of injuring the extensor tendon increase, and this can restrict toe movement. However, pain infection and bleeding are common risks in every kind of procedure and the wounds even heal at the same rate. Antibiotics are used to lower infection risk and speed the healing process.
Benefits of ingrown toenail surgery
- Removing the ingrown nail
- Enhances aesthetics of discolored or thick toenails
- Relief from the crushing pain.
- Local anesthesia means handling the surgery without pain and no fasting before the operation.
- Eliminates the root of the infection.
- A permanent solution to the reoccurrence of ingrown toenails and pain.
- Minimal time off from work.
A painless and quick way to eliminate the reoccurrence of ingrown toenails permanently is to opt for non-invasive laser therapy.