• 925 Clifton Ave, Ste. 107 Clifton, NJ 07013

Ingrown Toenail Surgery

An ingrown toenail causes throbbing toe pain severe enough to cause you to limp. If it gets infected, the toe swells so that you can’t even wear your shoes. Don’t wait until you need infected ingrown toenail surgery. As soon as you notice an ingrown toenail, visit the top-rated podiatry doctor, Dr. Velimir Petkov at Premier Podiatry in Clifton. Call today for an appointment.

Your toenails provide some protection for your toes, but they’re really an evolutionary holdover. The edges of your nails rest in a groove on top of your toes. If functioning normally, the nails grow steadily outward as new nail material forms in the nail bed. If your nail suffers damage, it may start curling or growing downward, digging into the soft flesh of your toes.

Ingrown toenails can be painful. If they’re bad enough, they can affect your gait and require medical attention. If left untreated, ingrown toenails can result in continued pain, inflammation and infection that requires ingrown toenail surgery. Visit award-winning practice in Clifton, New Jersey to discuss treatment options and prevention tips with your board-certified surgeon, Dr. Velimir Petkov.

Ingrown Toenail Surgery

Causes of Ingrown Toenails

An ingrown toenail may arise for a number of reasons, but the two most common involve:

  • Wearing poorly fitting shoes that squeeze your toes together
  • Improperly trimming your toenails

If your shoes are too tight, they compress the nail, preventing it from resting comfortably in its groove. If your nails are torn or peeling, the skin next to the nail becomes irritated and inflamed, which alters the groove. Other causes include heredity or repeated trauma to your toes and feet. Talk to your podiatrist about the proper way to trim toenails once you’ve undergone treatment.

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Do You Have Ingrown Toenails?

When you visit Dr. Petkov for an evaluation, he examines your ingrown toenail and asks whether you’ve had other problems with your toes, such as toenail fungus. To recommend the best treatment option, he also asks about your shoes, exercise routines and foot-grooming habits. Symptoms of ingrown toenails to watch for include:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Throbbing toe pain
  • An unpleasant odor
  • Hard, prominent skin called proud flesh
  • An infection that includes heat and tenderness around affected area or even drainage of pus

Tell your New Jersey podiatrist If you have or are being treated for a medical condition — such as diabetes, vascular conditions or Raynaud’s phenomenon. These conditions can cause a reduction or loss of feeling in your feet. Your podiatrist needs to know before performing any treatment to deal with an ingrown toenail.

Treatment Options in New Jersey

Unless you’re experiencing a severe deformity or infection, your treatment begins conservatively, moving to more invasive procedures if you don’t show any improvement. Depending on your level of discomfort and your overall medical health, Dr. Petkov may recommend:

  • Daily foot soaks in warm water to soften skin and nails, making them more pliable for proper trimming
  • An antibiotic ointment to help clear infection and reduce inflammation
  • Oral antibiotics to reduce the infection and prevent neighboring tissues from becoming affected
  • Ingrown toenail surgery to remove all or a portion of the affected nail, remove any proud flesh and destroy
    infected cells in the nail bed

Ingrown Toenail Removal Surgery

Before surgery, you must have any other issues treated. If you have toenail fungus, for example, you may need to undergo and recover from a laser treatment. Once you’re ready for outpatient toenail surgery, you still have some options, including:

  • For a mild case — your toe isn’t infected, and you’re just experiencing some minor pain — Dr. Petkov may elect to lift the nail enough to tuck a small piece of dry cotton under the corner to protect skin and encourage proper nail growth. After this procedure, you need to soak your foot and replace the cotton every day.
  • If your ingrown toenail is infected — causing more pain and even some pus — your NJ podiatrist removes the part of the nail that’s ingrown. A local anesthetic protects you from procedural pain.
  • When you’ve had chronic ingrown toenail problems in the same toe, Dr. Petkov may recommend ingrown toenail removal surgery. For this procedure, he removes the nail and nail bed. Your nail won’t grow back after this surgery.

Read more: Everything You Need to Know About Ingrown Toenail Removal

Recovering from Ingrown Toenail Surgery

Unless your entire nail has been removed, toenail surgery results in a healthier, thinner, permanent nail with a corrected nail edge. After the procedure, Dr. Petkov bandages your toe and provides recovery instructions. You can expect to be fully healed within a few weeks. Recovery instructions include:

  • Applying antibiotic ointment twice a day to clear any infection or keep it from returning
  • Keeping dry, clean bandages on the toe for at least a week after the procedure for padding and protection
  • Avoiding baths, swimming or foot soaks until the wound has healed
  • Taking over-the-counter or prescribed medication for any discomfort
  • Wearing only loose-fitting, supportive shoes with room to wiggle your toes
  • Trimming your nails straight across to prevent the corners from turning down or irritating the skin

While painful and frustrating, ingrown toenails don’t have to keep you from exercise or activities. Proper care and treatment keep you pain and infection-free. Contact Premier Podiatry in Passaic County, NJ for the best care and treatment for your toes and feet.

Page Updated on Apr 12, 2022 by Velimir Petkov, DPM (Podiatrist) of Premier Podiatry

Premier Podiatry: Velimir Petkov, DPM
925 Clifton Ave, Ste 107
Clifton, NJ 07013
(973) 315-5555

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