Ingrown Toe-nail photo

Ingrown Toenail - Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention

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An ingrown toenail is a nail that penetrates the skin, causing pain and even infection. During your visit to the clinic, the podiatrist will pursue all possible avenues in order to find the etiology of the ingrown toenail.

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  • Constant or intermittent pain
  • Edema
  • Redness
  • Swelling of the surrounding skin
  • Infection

An untreated ingrown toenail can become infected and lead to complications. The infection can spread to nearby tissue and sometimes bone (osteomyelitis). People with diabetes who have an ingrown toenail should promptly consult our podiatrist to treat the condition and avoid complications.

Podiatric Interventions

Conservative Treatment of the Nail

This quick and painless treatment is used as a first line of attack for minor infections where the nail edge is still visible. The procedure (slant back) is to cut through the corner of the offending nail, without pain or anesthesia. If necessary, a follow-up may be needed to ensure the cure is permanent.

Partial or Total Matricectomy

Minor surgery under local anesthetic targets the infected toe. This procedure is the most common permanent solution, with an efficiency rate of 98%. Recovery is rapid, between one and two weeks. The patient can resume normal activities in the first week without any major restrictions.

Preventing Causes of Ingrown Toenails

The causes are a trauma of the foot, such as wearing the wrong shoes, an old fracture, a fungus, etc. There are also biomechanical abnormalities such as hallux valgus (bunion) or pronation and neoplasms, including melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Among the congenital factors are thick nails, the shape of the phalanx, or systemic diseases, such as diabetes, anemia, pulmonary fibrosis, lymphedema, etc.



Can Treatment Be Provided on the First Visit?

Yes, treatment can be provided on the first visit. However, the podiatrist will make an assessment to determine the appropriate treatment in view of your condition. In addition, an anxiolytic can be administered on request to accommodate people more anxious in the face of the treatment.

When to Call about an Ingrown Toenail?

As soon as you suspect an abnormality, such as redness, swelling, or pain, consult a podiatrist or doctor to find a permanent solution. The professional will target the causes and appropriate treatment. However, a diabetic should call immediately for a consultation when an ingrown toenail is suspected.

An Important Fact and Legal Aspect.

According to the Podiatry Act of the Civil Code of Québec, only podiatrists and physicians are entitled to diagnose an ingrown toenail. It is therefore not advisable to entrust the treatment of ingrown toenail to any professional other than them.