Ingrown Toenails are hereditary (believe it or not) and are caused by an infection beneath the edge of the nail. The body treats the edge of the nail as part of the infection and tries to fight it off. This causes the affected area to swell up a great deal due to a buildup of puss. This buildup makes the area very sensitive (i.e. it hurts like hell).
This infection can now be remedied by a simple, painless procedure performed by a podiatrist.
- In the week preceding the procedure the patient is placed on antibiotics and Domeboro astringent solution (toe soak) to reduce the swelling in the affected area.
- The patient is given 4 shots of Novocaine spaced equidistantly around the base of the infected toe.
- The edge of the toenail is pried up out of the toe and cut all the way back to the root.
- The root is cauterized with a CO2 laser so that the portion of the toenail that has a tendency to become ingrown will not grow back.
- The patient will be able to walk out of the office immediately following the procedure and will only feel a minor throbbing as the Novocaine wears off. The patient will also need to continue to use the Domeboro solution for a few weeks following the procedure.
I’ve had surgery for ingrown toenails twice. The first time was a procedure like the one BugDozer describes. The second one (the one described above) was far less painful.