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.

2 × one =

  • CustomerSure
    Everyone was very helpful and I was so happy to be squeezed in for a same day appointment. Thanks again!
    Anci K.
  • HealthGrades
    Dr. Yau takes time with his patient(s) and explains the foot condition professionally. I highly recommend Dr. Yau as a podiatrist.
    Art H.
  • Yelp
    Dr. Baravarian is a very caring and patient doctor. During my first visit with him he really took the time to listen to my concerns and talk to me about all my options regarding my chronic pain. I highly recommend Dr....
    Sarah L.
  • Yelp
    Right after my first visit with Dr, Briskin was over I knew I found the right doctor. My problem was approached with caution, care and expertise treatment. The treatment was important, but the doctor's mannerism is al...
    Kirk W.
  • Yelp
    I highly recommend Dr. Baravarian at UFAI.  After months dealing with another doctor and getting no results (and a really painful cortisone shot), I was finally diagnosed correctly and had a successful surgery.  I fou...
    Mari W.
  • Yelp
    Dr. Franson and the entire staff at University Foot & Ankle Institute - Valencia are awesome!! I had both feet corrected (bunion surgery) by Dr. Franson and he did amazing work!! He is caring, gentle and friendly, and...
    Helena O.
  • CustomerSure
    Everyone is amazing.
    Susan H.
  • CustomerSure
    I'll love you even more if I get my boot off tomorrow!
    Linda H.
  • CustomerSure
    PT Staff are very nice and knowledgeable. It took me a little time to understand how the PT was correcting my issue, but I think I've been cured!
    Terasa H.
  • Yelp
    Dr. Bob is outstanding.  A week ago today he performed surgery on my tarsal tunnel, and I am well on the mend from his handiwork.  He is professional, patient, and thorough in explaining his procedures and opinions.  ...
    Karen L.
Same day appointments now available!
or call 24/7:
  • 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