In Part A of this series, we introduced you to the Anatomy of an Ingrown Toenail. Now you have a better awareness of what an ingrown toenail consists of, the way it manifests, some cautionary warnings, and a few trial home remedies as well. You’ve soaked your foot, worn toeless shoes, and resisted the urge to cut the offending nail.
But now you recognize that something’s just not right, and the pain is getting worse. You’re having secondary symptoms: bleeding, skin overgrowth, green or yellow pus draining from the lesion, a foul odor (we call it malodor), and maybe redness creeping up your toe.
It’s time for the next step!
First and foremost, if you have symptoms of an ingrown toenail and you also have:
Do not pass Go, do not collect $200 – head straight to a podiatrist!
Surgery for an Ingrown toenail is actually accomplished with an in-office procedure – so there’s no need to take days off work, get assistance with transportation, arrange babysitters, and book dog walkers. You can make your appointment over your lunch break and return to work after you leave the doctor’s office. You will be given care instructions to follow over the next few weeks, then instructed to return for a final checkup. What’s not to love about that?
Place the phone call now and make the appointment as soon as possible, with a podiatrist, before the condition worsens. One visit, that’s what you want – not antibiotics first and a procedure down the road. A matrixectomy is the all-in-one process which removes the offending nail border, cleans out any abscess underneath the nail fold, with phenol applied to dissolve the nail root to prevent its regrowth.
Your toe will heal up nicely. The swelling, redness, and pain will alleviate. Draining will cease as the infection is interrupted, and your pain will come to an end. Wearing socks and shoes will feel normal again, and comfortable.
Instead of constant worry and painful episodes, you can focus on properly caring for and grooming your feet, choosing appropriate shoes (and lacing techniques) for your activities and foot structure, flexibility exercises and healthy eating habits (see Part C – Post-Surgical Care of Ingrown Toenails).
Elizabeth E. Auger, DM has been a practicing holistic podiatrist in Salt Lake City for nearly two decades, and as an athlete herself, Dr. Auger is especially knowledgeable in the area of sports injuries. She takes all new patients, offering personalized foot care solutions for those with a sedentary lifestyle or in a rehabilitative state, from infants to senior citizens.