08 Aug Laser Ingrown Toenail Removal-Yes, A Laser Focused on Your Toe!
Modern technology is driving significant changes in even the most microscopic areas of life, including the medical field. Laser treatments are now used to treat a variety of diseases and conditions. Believe it or not, laser technology is improving how physicians can treat minor complications, such as ingrown toenails.
The condition sounds rather benign, but ingrown toenails can cause a great deal of pain, discomfort, and difficulty in walking. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, ingrown toenails are one of the most common conditions treated in podiatric medical practice.
Cause of Ingrown Toenails
An ingrown toenail can occur when the nail edge is damaged, and the nail no longer fits properly into the side groove of the nail bed. The nail digs into the skin, which results in pain, swelling, redness, and drainage. The two most common causes of an ingrown toenail are poorly fitting shoes and improperly trimmed nails.
Before any lasers are involved, most doctors will recommend a more conservative form of treatment for an ingrown toenail. If an ingrown toenail is mildly red and sore, simply soaking the foot in warm water and placing a piece of dry cotton under the corner of the nail may do the trick. If the ingrown toenail worsens, then pain, swelling, and drainage may increase. At this point, try using an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment that includes a pain reliever to resolve the issue.
When to Seek Medical Treatment
If at-home remedies fail to resolve the pain or infection in your toenail, it’s time to seek medical treatment. First, your doctor may try a round of oral antibiotics. If the problem worsens, surgery is often needed.
Compared to the pain from an inflamed ingrown toenail, pain after surgery to remove the ingrown toenail is minimal. Laser surgery further enables the physician to be more precise in removing the toenail. The laser heat concentrates on the matrix cells, which is a layer of cells your fingernail or toenail rests on that produces the nail. The laser is used to focus and magnify the edge of the skin. By performing the procedure in this manner, the nail has more room for growth and does not grow back into the skin.
Advantages from laser technique include:
- Local anesthesia
- Less bleeding
- Minimal pain, along with reduced post-operative pain
- Faster recovery than invasive surgery
- Immediate sterilization of infected tissue
- A low recurrence rate for repeat ingrown toenails
- A quicker return to activity
- Cosmetic improvement with lower scarring than other surgical interventions
- Accuracy, the laser is directed on the diseased part, leaving adjacent tissues uninjured.
If ingrown toenail pain is preventing you from daily activity, speak to the specialists at Oasis Foot and Ankle. Our team can get you back on your feet so that you can be pain-free and active. Don’t let ingrown toenail pain keep you down. Call (602) 993-2700 or visit our website, www.oasisfootankle.com, today for an appointment.