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Phone: 309-661-9975
Heartland Foot and Ankle Associates
Call 309-661-9975
Toll Free 866-274-0285
Fax 309-661-9920

INGROWN TOENAIL FAQS

How can I avoid an ingrown toenail?

Ingrown toenails can be avoided by trimming your nails straight across. If the shape of your nail is curved, trimming along that curve is acceptable (straight across the curve itself). It is never okay to dig into the corners of your nails. If you find you are making your toes bleed when you are trimming the nails, please Contact Us immediately for an appointment.

My mom had ingrown toenails, is that why I have one?

The shape of your nails is genetically predisposed, but it doesn't mean that you will definitely have an ingrown toenail. The most common reason people suffer from an ingrown toenail is because the skin has 'taken over' nail territory. Digging out the corner will only prolong the problem!

What can parents do to help children who are suffering from an ingrown toenail?

First, please try to have them not pick at an ingrown nail! As the mom of a young daughter, I know that can be very hard! Secondly, schedule an appointment today - we have all the tools and tricks to distract and make the experience as pleasant as possible. We love helping families get better! Finally, don't try to trim it yourself at home - screaming kid + sharp instrument usually = upset and frustrated mom and dad.

What happens when I come into the office for an ingrown toenail?

We have taken the worry out of the experience! Our office provides a warm, home like atmosphere combined with state of the art equipment and instrumentation. We make it easy with snacks, beverages, and even our signature squishy feet stress balls to keep your mind at ease about any procedure. Please check out our Ingrown Toenail Procedure page for more info!

Does it hurt to have an ingrown toenail procedure done?

When you come into a doctor's office with something that already hurts, it is natural to be nervous and even afraid. My team at Heartland Foot and Ankle Associates works together to make the experience as painless as possible. In general, you will feel between 30 and 60 seconds of pain when I put the numbing medication into your foot. After that, the rest is virtually painless. (And if it isn't, our motto here is "I always have more numbing medication". We don't do any procedure until you are completely comfortable and ready!).

When can I expect to feel better after an ingrown toenail procedure?

Right after our procedure, you typically feel very good. Your toe might feel 'big and fat'. That is due to the numbing medication which wears off between 2 and 4 hours after the procedure. If there was an infection, I may prescribe antibiotics which will also make you feel better very quickly. Generally, ingrown toenails feel better within 24 hours and are healed between 2-4 weeks after the procedure.

What do I do if I get home and my foot/toe is throbbing? Help!!

The bandage we put on in the office (you even get to pick the color!) is very tight for a reason. You will have some bleeding after the procedure and we want to minimize that. Throbbing is from the bandage, so simply performing your first dressing change will relieve it quickly!

Are ingrown toenails from cutting my nails wrong?

Ingrown toenails develop for various reasons: heredity, trauma, and improper trimming. Improper trimming is the most common cause of ingrown toenails due to cutting the nail too short. Wearing poorly-fitting shoes, especially tightness in the toe box and loose shoes, can also cause pressure on the toes which can cause ingrown toenails.

Can I get ingrown nails from not cutting my nails often enough?

Ingrown toenails are normally not caused by prolonged cutting of the nail, but more so frequently cutting the nails shorter.

Is it true toenails should be cut straight across?

Yes. Toenails should be cut in a straight line and not too short. The general rule of thumb is they are too short if you can’t get your fingernail under the sides and end of the nail.

Can I just cut out my ingrown toenails at home?

It is not recommended. There is a myth that cutting a “v” in the corner of the nail will cause the nail to correct itself and most people perform this when cutting out an ingrown toenail at home. In fact that “v” does nothing for new growth of the toenail except for continuing to curve downward and cause a more painful ingrown toenail.

Can I get an ingrown toenail from a pedicure?

Yes, you can get an ingrown toenail from the toe nail not being properly trimmed during a pedicure

Does an ingrown toenail procedure hurt?

No, the ingrown toenail procedure does not hurt. Numbing medication is injected into the toe before the procedure so you don’t feel any pain. There is a little pinch when the medication is injected.

Do I need to take medicine for my ingrown toenail?

It depends. If you are in pain you can take over the counter (OTC) pain medication. The only time medication would be prescribed would be if it became infected, in which case we would prescribe an antibiotic.

What is the post-op care for an ingrown toenail procedure?

You will use the Amerigel post-op take home kit that includes wound wash to irrigate the wound, gauze to pat dry, Amerigel wound dressing, and band aids to keep the wound covered. Also, you will get a gel toe cap that will be worn to cover the wound dressing and keep the toe protected from your shoe.

Why does my toe throb after the numbing medicine wears off when I have had an ingrown toenail removed?

Your toe throbs after the numbing medication has worn off because we have wrapped it tightly to apply a good amount of pressure to stop any bleeding that may occur.

What is the difference between a temporary nail avulsion and a permanent nail avulsion?

A temporary nail avulsion is removing the corner of the toenail that is ingrown, a permanent nail avulsion is removing the part of the toenail that is ingrown and putting chemical into the corner of the nail bed to prevent the nail from growing back ingrown.

How do I use the Amerigel post op kit?

Use the wound wash to irrigate the wound and then use a piece of gauze to pat dry. Apply Amerigel wound dressing and place a band aid over the wound to help keep it protected.

What is the gel toe cap for?

The gel toe cap acts as a barrier to help keep the toe protected from things such as your shoe.

Does the nail grow back after a permanent nail avulsion?

No, the nail does not grow back after a permanent nail avulsion. A chemical is applied to the inner corner of the nail to prevent it from growing back.

Do I have my whole nail removed if I have an ingrown toenail?

No, you will not have to have the whole nail removed. Part of the nail will be cut out so that it will no longer be ingrown.

Can I do anything to make the side of my nail look better after the toe has healed from an ingrown toenail procedure?

Yes, we offer Keryflex, a non porous nail that can be applied over your nail to make it more appealing.

What is an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail is a nail that grows in and curves downward growing into the skin on the sides of the nail. This often creates pain, redness, discomfort, swelling, and sometimes warmth to the toe.

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