5 Common Questions about Treating Ingrown Toenails

Santa Monica podiatrist answers common questions about ingrown toenails:

How do ingrown toenails happen?

Ingrown toenails commonly present in all age groups. Usually they present with a red swollen area along the side of the toe. They may or may not present with drainage from the site, but they are painful.

Why are ingrown nails so painful?

Due to local irritation of the skin along the toe nail, usually the area will swell. The local swelling increases the pressure of the skin against the solid nail plate, creating greater irritation of the soft tissue. A vicious cycle. The more you walk with an ingrown toenail, the greater the chance of the area becoming more irritated and painful.

Ingrown toenail treatment

Assuming you have an ingrown nail, how should you address it?

Usually begin by soaking the foot/toe in warm water for 10 minutes twice a day. Follow this with application of a topical antibiotic and a band aid. If the discomfort and swelling continues or increases, you need to see your local podiatrist (foot doctor).

When should you go see your podiatrist?

Assuming the symptoms don’t resolve and you go to your doctor, the treatment is fairly straight forward. The source of the irritation has to be removed. As we have already noted, the source of the irritation is the nail. Is it bothering the skin because of its shape, or because of the way it was trimmed? Only you know for sure.

What will the foot doctor do to get rid of the problem?

Usually, the doctor will numb the toe at its base. Once the area is numb, the offending portion of the nail is removed from the area. Rarely is it necessary to remove the entire nail plate. If this is a problem that frequently presents, often the portion of the nail that is the irritant is permanently removed through a quick surgical procedure that is performed in the office, called a matrixectomy.

For an appointment with a doctors at one of our nine Southern California locations please call (877) 989-9110 or visit us at www.footankleinstitute.com.

Dr. Bob Baravarian

Dr. Bob Baravarian

Dr. Bob Baravarian is a Board Certified Podiatric Foot and Ankle Specialist. He is currently a member of UCLA Medical Group, Chief of Podiatric Surgery at Santa Monica/UCLA medical center and Orthopedic Hospital and an assistant clinical professor at the UCLA School of Medicine. He also serves as co-director of University Foot and Ankle Institute. He is Editor Emeritus of the international medical journal, Foot and Ankle Specialist.

Dr. Baravarian been involved in athletics his entire life and played competitive tennis in high school and college. He has an interest in sports medicine, arthritis therapy and trauma/reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle. He servers as a consultant to the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) tour, multiple running organizations and several shoe manufacturers. He is also fluent in five languages (English, French, Spanish, Farsi and Hebrew),

Podiatrist Dr. Bob Baravarian is available for consultation at the Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks and UCLA Westwood offices.
Dr. Bob Baravarian

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


nineteen + twenty =

  • CustomerSure
    Everyone is courteous, professional and efficient.
    Joseph O.
  • CustomerSure
    Dr. Justin Franson, Suzanne and Jasmine are awesome!!
    Rian B.
  • CustomerSure
    Thank you for taking such good care of me.
    Catherine C.
  • CustomerSure
    I felt well cared for at this first session.
    Jeffrey C.
  • Yelp
    Visiting UFAI was definitely a low point of my trip to LA, but only because my buddy managed to get a stress fracture in her foot while we were long boarding, and it kinda ruined our plans.  We ended up looking some ...
    Shanley W.
  • Yelp
    Customer service is great, doctors are awesome, and it's so easy to get an appointment.
    Lisa D.
  • CustomerSure
    Dr. Briskin is fantastic. A great doctor, as well as a warm caring person.
    Elisa B.
  • CustomerSure
    I felt I was listened to when I had something to say. I appreciated the communication between the doctors and the Physical Therapist in relation to specific treatment and overall condition.
    Harry T.
  • Yelp
    Have already sent six folks to you. Love you guys!
    Lorna B.
  • Angies List
    Exceptional care. Was concerned that I was going to need surgery, but opted for Platelet Rich Plasma injections that now, two months out, have reduced the inflammation significantly. I actually played basketball last ...
Same day appointments now available!
or call us:
  • University Foot & Ankle, a Preferred Provider to:
  • UCLA Health System - UCLA Medical Group
  • MPTF - Member Industry Health Network
  • Cirque du Soleil
  • ATP - Association of Tennis Professionals
  • And consulting physicians for:
  • C&S - Cedars-Sinai
  • Saint John's Health Center