Dr. Joshua R. Modlin, D.P.M.

4214 Fleur Drive Ste. 7

Des Moines, IA 50321


Ingrown Toenails.

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Ingrown nails are nails whose corners or sides dig painfully into the skin, often causing infection. They are most often the simple result of heredity, having toenails that are a bit abnormally wide with downturning sides.  When combined with tight shoes or improper nail trimming the result can be an extremely painful toe that swells and turns red along one or both sides of the toe where the hard toenail is irritating the much softer skin.  Bacteria are always present on our skin and this is especially true around the toenails, so it is easy to see how a local infection can develop, sometimes with drainage.


General Treatments


A permanent answer to toenails that “ingrow” is a 15 minute office procedure (yes, we do have to numb your toe first with lidocaine). A roughly 1/8 inch wide piece of the side of the toenail is clipped out and removed followed by the application of a chemical called phenol to the nail corner (just under the cuticle where the toenail originates).  Then the toe is bandaged and you can walk out of the office on your own.  You do not have to be off your feet and daily bandaging is easy.  It is rare to have anything more than mild pain when the numbness wears off.  Complete healing usually takes 2-3 weeks, but the effect of having the toenail “narrowed” is life-long.  No more ingrown toenail.

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Southridge Foot Clinic

4214 Fleur Drive Ste. 7 ˙ Des Moines, IA 50321

Phone: (515) 244-0633 ˙ E-mail: iowafoot@gmail.com


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