by Matthew H. Paden, DPM
"Hi, this is Dr. Matthew Paden with Rocky Mountain Foot and Ankle Center. Today we’re going to talk about ingrown toenails. My patients often ask me, ‘How did you get into podiatry?’ Well, I was one of the unfortunate ones who, while in college, had a really badly infected ingrown toenail. I went to a primary care doctor and, without anesthesia, they lifted up the nail and stuffed cotton down in my toenail. I almost passed out because of that pain, and the very next day I saw a podiatrist who informed me of what an ingrown toenail was and how they could treat it. I was never so grateful to get an injection in my toe to alleviate that pain. Because of my great experience with that podiatrist in taking care of my problem, that led me to the path of podiatry.
Ingrown toenails are a big problem. We often see it in adolescents, but we can also see it in adults. An ingrown toenail is a pathology where the nail digs into the skin and it can cause a secondary bacterial infection that can produce significant pain, drainage, and can become a serious problem if left unattended.
A lot of folks try to do ‘bathroom surgery’, which often makes the problem worse. An ingrown toenail is not something that people have to live with. It can be easily treated in our offices the same day. We anesthetize the toe, and once numb, it is a painless procedure. Usually, after two weeks, the procedure has healed up and people have a pain-free nail that will not give them problems in the future.
If you’re living with a chronic ingrown toenail and every two months you’re digging it out in the bathroom, you do not have to do that. Please come see us, we’d be happy to take care of you and make your life more enjoyable."