• Plight of the Ingrown Toenail

    on Aug 17th, 2016
You knew better than to wear those tight pointy shoes all night. But you did, and now you’re paying with a painful, swollen red ingrown toenail.

Rest assured, you’re not alone. Ingrown toenails are among the most common problems I treat. They occur when the skin of the toe is crowded up against the nail, causing the corner or sides of the nail to grow into the soft flesh. Any toenail can become ingrown, but nearly always it’s the big toe. They are caused by wearing shoes that are too tight in the toe box, toenails that are not cut straight across, or an injury, such as a stub. People whose nail beds curve downward are at greater risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Whatever the cause, at Walk and Smile we can provide quick, immediate and pain-free relief. Podiatrists use a variety of methods to treat ingrown toenails. My special surgical and anesthetic techniques, used in over 27 years of practice, have provided a fast and painless cure, with almost no blood, for thousands of patients.

Here’s a quick overview of the procedure. First, I inject an anesthetic into the toe and wait for the numbing effects to kick in. Next, a tourniquet is wrapped around the base of the toe to prevent bleeding. The area is then cleaned with peroxide.

After that, I use a special instrument called a nail splitter, to cut away a sliver of the ingrown nail. Then with a scalpel I separate the ingrown portion of the nail and remove a small amount of the surrounding soft tissue. Then the entire portion of ingrown nail is excised in one move with forceps. The area is re-examined to make sure there are no remaining tiny pieces of nail or germinal cells. The area is then treated with a topical medicine called phenol, then flushed with alcohol. Lastly, I apply a drop of a special formula I developed that contains very strong antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and pain relief properties. The toe is then bandaged and you are off in your own shoe. There’s no need for a clunky surgical shoe, nor will you need even a single Tylenol or Advil. The nail will heal quickly in a healthy and attractive manner.

Two hours after the surgery, the bandage can be removed. You’ll be given a special soaking salt and antibiotic gel to use at home. By the evening of your surgery, you’ll even be able to go out on the town. Just don’t wear those tight pointy shoes.
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Alexander Fish, DPM
825 7th Avenue
Lower Level
New York, NY 10019