No Waiting for Gentle Treatment of All Ingrown Toenails

We’ll get you in right away at the Seattle Urgent Care Center for Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails can be very painful. In addition, if they are not treated early, an infection can set in. Thus, we make sure that patients with ingrown toenails are seen right away.

Make an appointment online here or, if no same day appointments are available online, call us at 206-344-3808 and let our receptionist know that you have an ingrown toenail and she will get you in on the same day during our open hours.

Video: Best Treatment of Ingrown Toenails

Don’t Worry – It’s Nearly Painless and Your Nail will Look Normal Afterward

We take great pride in our ability to make taking care of an ingrown toenail a nearly painless procedure for our patients. If your toe is tender we will ensure that your toe is completely numb before taking care of the nail problem. We even numb up your skin with a cold spray before you are given a local anesthetic. The most common statement we hear after taking care of an ingrown toenail is “That was easy – I wish I hadn’t waited so long!”

In addition, we usually only have to remove a very small portion of the nail. Your nail will therefore usually look normal after you have healed.

Gentle Treatment of Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails usually resolve very quickly after the ingrown portion of the nail is removed. The ingrowing portion of the nail is removed by trimming the nail corner or in some cases removing the edge of the nail back to the cuticle. Usually, a local anesthetic is used to lessen the discomfort.

If you, a friend, or a family member suffer from ingrown toenails, don’t wait to get treated. Treating them is quick and easy. Contact us today for an appointment.

Permanent vs. Non-Permanent Treatment of Ingrown Toenails

There are two primary ways to treat an ingrown toenail. The first way is called a “partial avulsion”. For this procedure, we numb up your toe (after numbing your skin with a cold spray first) and once you are completely, 100% numb we remove just a couple millimeters on the side of the nail that is growing in. Then we put a bandage on it and you are done. This procedure does not prevent regrowth of the ingrown nail and we tend to do this if this is first and only time you have had an ingrown toenail. We also will do this procedure if there is any infection present.

The second way to treat an ingrown toenail is a permanent correction that prevents the ingrown portion of the toenail from coming back again. This procedure is called a “partial matrixectomy”.  The first part of this procedure is exactly the same as the avulsion. But when we finish taking off that little bit of nail that is ingrowing, we then place a chemical on the root of the nail that prevents that portion of the nail from growing back again. We will do this procedure if you have had recurrent ingrown nails on the same nail.  Your toenail will still look normal after it has healed but that side of the nail that was ingrowing will not come back again. We cannot do this permanent procedure if you have an active infection.  If that is the case we will first do the partial avulsion and then once the infection has cleared (usually within a few days) we can perform the matrixectomy.

Are Antibiotics Necessary to Treat an Ingrown Toenail?

Antibiotics are almost never necessary to treat ingrown toenails and studies have shown that in most cases they do not speed or help with healing1. Having an ingrown nail is like having a thorn stuck in your toe. If you have an infection from the thorn, you must pull out the thorn to clear the infection. Same thing with an ingrown nail. If we numb up your toe and get rid of the piece of nail that is sticking into your toe then most patients will heal fine without antibiotics. There are a lot of risks to taking antibiotics also. If you take an antibiotic now for an ingrown toenail, you may be resistant to it later when you need it for a more serious problem. If, however, your infection does not clear right away or if you have a compromised immune system, then we will likely prescribe antibiotics.

Causes and Prevention of Ingrown Toenails

Video: Causes of Ingrown Toenails

Common causes of ingrown toenails include:

  • Cutting your toenails too short.
  • Trauma to the nail.
  • Picking at your toenails.
  • Wearing shoes that place too much pressure on the side of the nail.
  • A foot that pronates excessively. In this situation there is too much pressure on the inside of the big toe (the side closest to the other foot) when you take a step.
  • Shoes that are too tight.

To prevent ingrown toenails, make sure you are wearing shoes that fit well and do not put excessive pressure on your toes. If you tend to get ingrown toenails on the inside of your big toenails, you may benefit from orthotics to stop you from rolling into the inside of the big toe when you walk.

How Should You Cut Your Toenails to Prevent Ingrowing Nails?

It is critical that you cut your toenails properly to avoid ingrown nails. You should cut your nails straight across and leave about 1mm length beyond your toe. Also it is best to cut your nails after a bath or shower when your nails are still damp. We found that this video does an excellent job of showing how toes nails should be cut

We can not only treat your ingrown nails but can almost always tell you why they occur so that we can help you prevent future ingrown nails. If you ever suffer with ingrown nails, contact us today for an appointment in our Seattle clinic.

Home Treatment of Ingrown Toenails

Because an ingrown toenail can become infected, or if already infected it can become worse, you really should see a podiatrist as soon as possible if you have an ingrown nail. Until you can get in to see us, however, here are some home treatments to at least help prevent it from getting worse:

  1. Soak your foot three to four times per day in a solution of Epsom salts and water. Epsom salts have anti-inflammatory properties and are available at any pharmacy. Use warm but not hot water and put in enough Epsom salts that they stop dissolving and you can see some floating in the solution – usually about a quarter cup in a basin large enough for a foot. Soak each time for about 15 minutes.
  2. Cover the toe with a bandage.  Use several layers of gauze to provide cushioning.

References

1Reyzelman, a. et. al. Are Antibiotics Necessary in the Treatment of Locally Infected Ingrown Toenails? Arch Family Medicine, 2000.