What is an Ingrown Toenail?
Also known as onychocryptosis, this very common condition occurs when the nail excessively curves and begins to rub and dig deeply into the nailfolds. This often causes inflammation, pain, and an increased risk of infection. The cause of the toenail’s curve can usually be traced to ill-fitting shoes placing excessive pressure on the nail, although heredity or injury to the toe can sometimes be factors as well.
How are Ingrown Toenails Treated?
Mild cases of ingrown toenails can often be resolved conservatively at home, but conditions that are especially painful, appear to be infected, or keep returning should be examined by a professional. By no means should someone ever engage in “bathroom surgery,” trying to cut out an ingrown toenail at home. This most often only leads to further pain and a much greater chance that the toe will become infected.
In severe cases, the most efficient treatment for an especially painful or persistent problem is a full removal of the nail sides, followed by the destruction of the nail growth centers via a chemical application. This procedure is referred to as a matrixectomy, and often results in the nail never growing back.
A matrixectomy procedure can be performed in our office with local anesthesia, under the full attention and care of foot specialist. It is, of course, not the only option that may be available, and more conservative methods will be employed first if they might be effective.
For help with ingrown toenails and other painful conditions, contact Ottawa Foot Practice at (613) 595-9700 to schedule an appointment with our Deakin Street office.