How We Treat an Ingrown Toenail

Peter Wishnie, D.P.M.
Owner of Family Foot & Ankle Specialists in Piscataway and Hillsborough, NJ. Make an appointment today!

Ingrown toenails can be very painful! This pain and irritation may even tempt you to go digging around the nail yourself....but don't! This will only make the toenail worse. The simple procedure our Piscataway Podiatrists use is effective and often pain free.

How we remove an ingrown toenail:

  • First, the toe is anesthetized using a local anesthetic.  Once the toe is numb, the ingrown nail is removed from the skin.  We do not remove the entire nail, just the ingrown portion.
  • We use a chemical, usually 89% phenol, and apply it in the corner of the nail groove using a Q-tip.  This chemical is used to kill the root that makes the ingrown. This process is about 90% effective in preventing a recurrence of the ingrown toenail.  The chemical is necessary to kill the root of the ingrown and prevent the ingrown from returning. 
  • In rare cases the ingrown toenail requires the root to be removed surgically.  This is usually not necessary as the chemical is highly effective. Our patients, especially children, are so happy that our treatment is usually pain free and quick! It's important to get the nail treated before it gets infected or ingrown too far. Don't wait until it's too late!

how to remove an ingrown toenail

Other offices may use freezing techniques or remove the wart. However, these techniques can be very invasive and sometimes have a long a recovery process. The warts are on the bottom of the foot so removing a wart will leave a hole. It can be painful to walk with a hole on the bottom of the foot.

In addition, the freezing technique can often damage the healthy skin around the wart. It can be painful and make walking difficult. While our office highly prefers the technique qw use, if our patients want or need the wart to be removed completely, our office can will.