posted: May 04, 2021.
One of the more frequent–and more painful—conditions we treat our Pasadena patients for at NextGen Foot & Ankle Care Centers is the ingrown toenail. Although a common podiatric problem, it seems there is some misinformation out there about ingrown toenails. Below are some facts and myths about this disorder and how to deal with it.
FACT: The most common cause of ingrown toenails is improper nail trimming. Nails that are cut so short that the surrounding skin folds over them make it more likely an ingrown nail will occur. Rounding the corners of toenails when filing also encourages downward growth back toward the nail bed.
MYTH: Your footwear has nothing to do with whether you get an ingrown toenail. Not so. Narrow, pointy shoes or too tight hose that press toes up against one another can lead to an ingrown nail.
MYTH: Any treatment for ingrown nails will be excruciatingly painful. If you detect an ingrown nail just when it’s starting to dig into the skin, you may be able to treat it at home by soaking the affected foot in warm water several times a day. It will soften the skin and allow you to ease the nail gently out of the skin.
FACT: Our podiatrist, Dr. Samvel Keshishyan, will use an anesthetic to numb your toe before treatment. In severe cases, surgical removal of part of the ingrown toenail may be necessary.
MYTH: Sticking a piece of cotton between your nail and the nail bed will prevent ingrown toenails. Not likely, and neither will cutting a notch out of the side of your toenail. In fact, these and other “folk remedies for ingrown toenails are more likely to result in injury or infection—ditto for trying to dig or cut out an ingrown nail with a sharp implement. Don’t play podiatrist!
FACT: Left untreated, an ingrown toenail will puncture the skin surrounding the nail. It will cause redness, inflammation, and severe pain. In addition, it opens the way for bacteria to enter your body and for an infection to develop. It’s important that you contact our offices in Glendale (818) 927-3668 and South Pasadena (818) 927-3668 for an appointment with our podiatrist Dr. Samvel Keshishyan promptly if you have an ingrown toenail.