Ingrown toenails are due to the nail plate penetrating the edges of the skin and causing pain and can lead to an infection. Most commonly the cause of an ingrown toenail is tight shoes leading to excess pressure on the nail plate. Trauma from stubbing the toe, dropping something on the toe or incorrectly cutting the nails can lead to a deformed nail plate causing an ingrown. Genetics and thick fungal nails can also lead to curvature of the nail plate.
Most commonly there is pain to palpation about the offending border with surrounding redness and occasionally drainage seen on your sock.
99% of ingrown toenail procedures are performed in office under a local anesthetic using lidocaine most commonly, unless you have an allergy then other anesthetics can be used. Once the toe is numb a small sliver of the nail plate will be removed and then using a q-tip a chemical is placed in the opening and the nail matrix is eliminated so the nail border will not return. Post-operative soaking instructions are dispensed and explained and you will be seen 1 week later for follow-up to clean the toe. You are wearing a shoe the same day. However the more pressure you keep of the toe for the 1st 2-3 days is optimal to control any discomfort during the healing process.