The Running Doctor: Healing ingrown toenails

Saturday, 25 November 2017 23:12 Written by

Players, and people in general, often times turns their feet (pronates or rolls-in) and the nails get injured.

They are coming into the office with an ingrown toenail and all the accompanying problems.

There are several causes of an ingrown toenail. Among them are foot deformities, trauma and bunions which can cause the big toe to rotate on its side. The rotation pushes the toe tissue up around the nail, forcing the nail edge into the flesh.

After a few weeks or months, when the injury is forgotten, an ingrown nail may develop. As continuous pressure of the soft tissue progresses, there is a decrease in blood supply to the area under the nail border and that creates tissue breakdown, leading to bacteria growth and a severe infection.

Treatment is directed to removing the ingrown part of the nail. This is the only way to cure the infection.

The worst treatment for ingrown toenails is home surgery. This treatment may leave a nail spicule or point fragment. Once the nail spicule is removed, the infection needs to stay clean in order to heal properly.

Dr. Robert F. Weiss is a podiatrist specializing in foot and ankle surgery, Weiss is a veteran of 35 Marathons and has a practice in Darien, affiliated with Stamford Hospital and member of Stamford Health Medical Group-Foot & Ankle Institute, and resides in Westport.