Kirk Grogan, DPM
Podiatrist Foot & Ankle Surgery located in Pacific Heights & Duboce Triangle, San Francisco, CA
Ingrown toenails are conditions that can lead to infection and pain. Dr. Grogan helps patients from throughout San Francisco who develop painful ingrown toenails. Call or schedule an appointment online today if you have a toenail that is growing into the fleshy part of your toe and causing pain.
Ingrown Toenail Q & A
What is an ingrown toenail?
An ingrown toenail is a painful condition that occurs when your toenail curves and grows into the flesh of your toe instead of growing straight out. Ingrown toenails are painful and can lead to infection.
Ingrown toenails most often develop on your big toe, although they can form on any of your toes. Your discomfort may increase when you wear shoes or otherwise put pressure on the affected toe.
What causes ingrown toenails?
Ingrown toenails are caused by a variety of factors including:
Incorrect toenail trimming
You should trim your toenails straight across. When they’re cut in a curved shape, the edges are more likely to burrow into the sides of your toes.
Poorly fitting shoes
When your shoes are tight around your toes, they put extra pressure on your toenails, pushing them into the flesh of your toes.
Thick toenails are more likely to be subject to pressure that guides growth in an unnatural direction.
Other medical conditions
While conditions like diabetes and circulatory issues like peripheral arterial disease don’t cause ingrown toenails, they can increase your risk of infection and complications. If you have one of these conditions, you need to take extra care with your feet.
How are ingrown toenails treated?
Dr. Grogan determines the best treatment based on the severity of your ingrown toenail. For example, a mildly ingrown toenail often is treated by placing a small piece of gauze between your toenail and your nail bed to guide growth in the correct direction.
However, if your ingrown toenail is more serious and an infection is present, Dr. Grogan prescribes antibiotics to clear the infection before treatment. Once your infection is gone, he numbs your toe and cuts away the part of the nail that has grown into your toe. He then applies a special chemical to prevent the ingrown part of your toenail from regrowing.
Another treatment option for chronic ingrown toenails is to cauterize the side edge of your toenail to prevent growth. In the most severe circumstances, Dr. Grogan removes the toenail and provides follow up treatment to ensure the fresh toenail grows in the correct direction.
Don’t wait for an ingrown toenail to go away on its own. Call or make an appointment online today for quick and effective treatment.