This is such a common question, and we get asked all the time the best way to handle Ingrown Toenails.
Ingrown Toenails can be extremely painful and are often caused by cutting our toenails incorrectly. There are a few people who inherited really bad toenails, but the rest are self-inflicted. Then we shove our foot into shoes that are too narrow or tight and we make them even worse!
Help is on the way! There are some simple steps you can follow to avoid ingrown toenails. First, cut your toenails straight across the top, not rounded. Second, avoid tight shoes and socks. Yes, the socks can do it! Third, and most important, stop picking at your toenails! Fourth, (and yes it sounds like common sense, but you would be surprised) please clean your toenail clippers with alcohol before you cut your nails. Self-inflicted infections are common.
If you are like many of the poor souls who are seeking help, it is time to come to our office so we can take a look. Often, a round of antibiotics and a minor procedure in the office are all that is needed to alleviate your pain. Sometimes, a more advanced procedure, called a matrixectomy, is needed to remove a deformed toenail permanently.
Do not perform bathroom surgery on your ingrown toenails! This can lead to a significant infection and even toe loss in the immunocompromised population with diabetes or vascular disease.