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Ingrown Toenail Removal in Phoenix

Having an ingrown toenail can be an extremely painful experience. Continue reading to learn more about ingrown toenails, including why they happen, and surgical vs non-surgical treatment options. 

FAQ's About Ingrown Toenails

How does an ingrown toenail happen?

An ingrown nail can have many causes. Sometimes an ingrown nail can be hereditary. Other causes can be pressure to the toenail from shoes over time, a previous injury to the toenail, incorrect cutting of toenails, nail fungus, and certain health problems that can increase your risk of an ingrown toenail.


Are ingrown toenails dangerous?

They can be, especially for those people who are diabetic, have chronic kidney disease, Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD), or other causes of poor blood flow or having weakened immune systems. Ingrown nails can cause your toe to become infected. if this is not taken care of properly, infection in these high-risk populations can lead to possible hospitalization to treat this infection.

What are the signs of an ingrown nail?

Common signs of an ingrown nail are pain to the top of the toe, specifically a corner of the toe. If you're flexible enough, looking at the tip of your toenail, many times you can see the nail curling into the rest of your toe. Other signs and symptoms of an ingrown nail are pain, swelling, redness, and drainage (Can be clear, pus, blood, or a combination).

Will an ingrown nail go away by itself?

No. Once a nail has started to ingrown, either the direction of the nail growth has to be changed, or a procedure/surgery has to be done in order to remove the ingrown part of the nail completely. There are both surgical and non-surgical options available for the treatment of an ingrown toenail.


Can I dig out an ingrown toenail at home or have it dug out at a salon?

You should never try digging out an ingrown nail at home or have a nail tech try to do this at a salon. Ingrown toenail removal is technically a surgical procedure that should only be performed by a doctor. Trying to remove an ingrown nail any other way can be very dangerous due to the risk of severe infection, injuries to the toe, and worst case scenario hospitalization and or amputation of the toe.


Who can treat ingrown nails?

A Podiatrist or foot doctor is one type of physician that can treat ingrown toenails. Our training on everything foot and ankle-related gives a Podiatrist unique expertise as a specialist.


When to see a doctor for an ingrown toenail?

If your ingrown toenail is not getting better after several days, or if it is infected, you should make an appointment with your local podiatrist or foot doctor.

FAQs About Ingrown Toenail Surgery

What are some signs or symptoms of an ingrown toenail?

Some common signs and symptoms will be toe or toenail pain.

  • This pain can be under the toenail as well. Most often, the big toenail becomes ingrown but sometimes smaller nails become ingrown as well.


  • A sore toenail can be another sign.


  • At times at the tip of your toe, you will be able to see the impacted toenail.




What are the signs of an infected ingrown toenail?

  • Not all ingrown nails are or will become infected, but sometimes they will.


  • Signs of an infected ingrown toenail will be pain, redness, swelling, or drainage including blood, pus, or a combination of both. In cases of severe infection, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever can be seen.




What happens during ingrown toenail surgery, what is it like?

  • When you come to the office, the doctor will go through your health history.


  • A thorough exam will be done. If it is safe to move ahead with the procedure, consent forms will be signed, and step by step the surgery will be explained to you.


  • Numbing medicine will be injected around your toe to keep you comfortable during this procedure.


  • Your toe is then prepped to clean your skin and nail.


  • A tourniquet, used to control bleeding is then wrapped around your toe.


  • Sterile instruments will be used. The nail border that is ingrown is then lifted from the nail bed, cut back all the way to the nail root, and then removed.


  • At times, permanent destruction of this nail border is required. This is called a matrixectomy.

  • During a matrixectomy, once the nail is removed, a chemical to burn any additional nail root is placed in that corner of your toe to prevent that corner from ever coming back.


  • Finally, the tourniquet is removed, bandages are applied, and aftercare instructions as well as a post-op care kit, and a surgical shoe will be given to you.





Do I need an antibiotic if my ingrown toenail is infected?

The majority of patients do not require an antibiotic after ingrown toenail surgery, even if their ingrown nail is infected.

  • The procedure itself allows for the infected toe to drain enough, that in a few days, the signs and symptoms of infection go away.


  • In certain higher-risk patients, I will prescribe an antibiotic to help prevent any complications.

  • In the average, healthy patient though, an antibiotic will actually do more harm than good in this scenario. Now if after the surgery, a toe becomes infected while healing, then I have no problem prescribing an antibiotic.


Do I need to wear the surgical shoe during recovery from ingrown toenail surgery?

  • The surgical shoe is given to you to wear at home if you don't have any looser fitting shoes at your appointment.

  • The surgical shoe can be worn in place of your normal shoes if they tend to be tight in the toe while in recovery.


  • The surgical shoe is not required if you have shoes loose enough in the toe, that won't put extra pressure on it.

  • Some patients will opt to bring a pair of sandals with them to their appointment, which is totally fine to do.


  • Wearing shoes that are too tight during your recovery period can lead to more pain and more bleeding, increases your risk of infection, and increases healing time.

How bad is the pain after ingrown toenail surgery?

Ingrown toenail surgery is a minor procedure. Because of this, patients typically do very well after this procedure is done.

  • Usually the first 4-8 hrs after this surgery, your toe should be very numb. After the numbing medicine wears off, there is some pain.


  • To help control this, feel free to take an over-the-counter pain reliever. No prescription is required for other pain medications.


  • Like all surgeries, the first 12-24 hours are usually the most painful, but as time goes on, the pain will decrease. Most patients can stop taking pain medication after 24-48 hours post-surgery.


What are the ingrown toenail surgery aftercare instructions?

After this procedure, your bandages will remain on for the first 24 hours.

  • After 24 hours, remove your bandage, and you will soak your toe in the Epsom salt provided and warm water for 20 mins.


  • The soaking helps to soften blood and drainage, to keep the site moist, and to draw out any active infection.


  • After soaking your toe, you will pat it dry and then apply ointment and a bandaid. This soak only needs to be done on the first day.


  • Every day you will apply a new bandaid with ointment.

  • After the first week, you can apply the bandaid with ointment during the day but remove this at night.

  • During the recovery process, no swimming or submerging your foot in pools or other bodies of water (lakes, rivers, ponds, kiddie pools, etc.), and no placing your feet in hot tubs or spas.

  • It is ok to shower normally, but be sure to pat dry the area once done, and apply a new bandage with ointment



How long does it take to heal from ingrown nail surgery?

On average, the time it takes to heal from an ingrown nail removal surgery is about 2 weeks. This depends on many factors like aftercare being performed correctly, and your health history. A follow-up appointment will be made with your podiatrist to be sure that you have healed properly.



What are the signs and symptoms of infection after ingrown toenail surgery?

Signs and symptoms of infection after surgery will be increased redness, swelling, pus, or drainage that can smell bad, or be yellow to green in color.

  • Some people will also see redness streaking up their foot or leg.


  • In severe cases, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever will be seen. If you are concerned about the look of your toe post-recovery, please do not hesitate to call our office. I will guide you on whether you should come in, or report to the nearest ER.




How much is ingrown toenail surgery without insurance?

Here at Direct Podiatry Arizona, we remain out of network for all insurance plans. Because of this, you don't have to wait weeks for this procedure to be performed. The price of ingrown toenail removal surgery is $375. With an added matrixectomy, the price of the procedure is $400. This includes your pre and post-op appointment, aftercare kit, and surgical shoe. As with all of my patients, I am available to you via email, text, or phone call if any problems or concerns come up during your recovery period.

Non Surgical Ingrown Toenail Removal in Phoenix

  • Onyfix is a non-surgical nail correction system that slowly changes the curve of your nail over time.

  • Onyfix application requires no downtime and is pain-free.

  • Onyfix is a system that is great for children with ingrown toenails, as well as adults who are potentially trying to avoid surgery.


Ingrown Toenail Removal in Phoenix at Direct Podiatry Arizona

At Direct Podiatry Arizona, Dr. Sondema Tarr offers both surgical and non-surgical ingrown toenail treatment in the Phoenix area. If you are having issues or concerns with your ingrown toenail, request an appointment online to schedule a consultation by clicking the box below.

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