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Dr. Harvey R. Danciger

How to Treat Red, Swollen, Ingrown Toenails

Dr. Harvey Danciger
Dr. Harvey Danciger is a podiatrist and foot surgeon in Palm Desert, CA specializing in the foot and ankle

Ingrown toenails are one of the most common problems we see in our Coachella Valley office these days. An ingrown toenail is when the side of the nail curves inward towards the skin, causing often excruciating pain.

Patients come in all of the time saying, “I didn’t realize how painful an ingrown toenail can be. Unless you’ve had one, you have no idea.” It can be very disabling for many people, until it is taken care of. If it’s caught at an early stage, sometimes we can just trim the end of the toenail and remove that ingrown portion. This procedure doesn’t require an anesthetic, and the patient gets relief. If this is the patient’s first occurrence of an ingrown toenail, we will then wait to see if the nail then grows out fine. If this happens, it’s likely the patient won’t have the problem again.

If the patient has had recurring ingrown toenail problems, a small procedure can be done right here in our office. We numb the toe and then remove the side of the nail, making it narrower so it will not grow back into the skin. This is a standard procedure that works extremely well for our patients.

If an ingrown toenail is left untreated, the area can become red and swollen, acquiring pus and causing extreme pain. The redness can spread all the way into the toe, which is a condition called cellulitis. At that point, the nail needs to be partially removed and the patient must take antibiotics to eradicate the infection. This outcome is avoidable, however. At the first sign of an ingrown toenail, call our office to set up an appointment with Dr. Harvey Danciger.