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Ingrown Toenail Specialist

Fair Oaks Podiatry & Sports Medicine

Zakee O. Shabazz, DPM

Podiatrist located in Fairfax, VA

When the side or corner of the big toenail grows into the skin, pain and swelling may follow, as well as the risk of infection. While many cases of ingrown toenail may be treatable at home, see Dr. Zakee O. Shabazz at Fair Oaks Podiatry & Sports Medicine, in Fairfax, Virginia, if your condition gets worse.

Ingrown Toenail Q & A

What’s an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of the big toenail grows into the skin rather than remaining on the nail bed. The condition may lead to pain, swelling, and infection. Unless treated, the nail typically continues to grow into the skin rather than resuming normal healthy growth.

An abscess (pus-filled sac) and extra skin may form around the area. When pressed, it drains yellowish fluid. The abscess is the body's natural defense, cushioning the area and killing invading bacteria. Once an ingrown nail gets to this stage, home treatment may no longer be sufficient. It’s time to call Dr. Shabazz.

What causes an ingrown toenail?

Ingrown toenails most commonly occur from tight or narrow shoes, improper cutting of the toenails, damage to the nail (such as from stubbing your toe), or simply from having excessively curved toenails. Untreated ingrown nails may progress to the point that they affect the underlying bone, resulting in a serious bone infection.

Patients with diabetes frequently have nerve damage and poor circulation in their feet. Ingrown nails present a potentially serious issue for diabetes patients, since the condition may develop without the usual sensations of pain. Foot ulcers could lead to gangrene and potential amputation.

How are ingrown toenails treated?

Treatment options for ingrown toenails include:

  • Lifting: For minor cases, lifting the edge of the nail and filling the gap with cotton or a similar substance to hold the nail away from the skin may provide enough relief for natural healing to commence. Daily follow-up care at home is likely.
  • Partial nail removal: Trimming or removing part of the nail growing into the skin relieves the irritation and inflammation. This technique is usually performed under a local anesthetic in a medical office.
  • Removing the nail and nail bed: When the problem reoccurs in the same spot, Dr. Shabazz recommends removing a portion of the nail and the nail bed underneath to keep that part of the nail from growing back.

Major Insurance Providers Accepted

At Fair Oaks Podiatry & Sports Medicine, we accept most major insurance plans. Here is a list of some of the plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Golden Rule
Great West Health Care
United Healthcare