Why Did My Ingrown Toenail Return?

The ever annoying ingrown nail: Its like that cockroach you squash and throw away, just to find another one right behind it. You hear all the stories of how the local Podiatrist removed an offending nail and they never had another problem. So you think, why not? You have the nail removed and then some time later you have the same problem on the same side. Its like the other nail was never removed. Slightly frustrated, you call up your podiatrist with some serious questions. The BIGGEST question being:

How Did This Happen?

If the cells that are responsible for the growth of the nail were not killed by a chemical called Phenol, then the nail will grow back. Having said that, there are some things you should know.

  1. Having the offending nail border removed does not mean you can go back to haphazardly trimming your nails and picking at them. It is likely that type of mechanical trauma is what caused the initial problem. Word to the wise, trim your nails straight across and dont pick in the corners.
  2. It might also be a good idea to avoid wearing narrow, restrictive shoes. By squeezing your toes into a narrow toe box, you are pressing the soft tissue border into the nail. This can also be an eventual cause of an ingrown nail.
  3. Careful wear you walk. Unfortunately, this is one of those causes that cannot always be avoided no matter how vigilant you are.
  4. Finally, if you continue to have repeated offenders, then it might be time to consider a more permanent solution to your nail problems.

If he cells that produce the nail are chemically destroyed then chances are, and Im saying this because it can happen albeit not often, then not every cell was actually destroyed. This can be from several factors:

  • The entire nail was not removed from the proximal nail border (the end under the cuticle).
  • The chemical was not left in place for an adequate amount of time

Aside from these two paths of ingrown toenail travel, the overwhelming majority of ingrown nails are resolved after the first attempt. In any situation there are always outliers that like to defy the odds. Please do not feel discouraged if this happens to you. Also, be kind to your physician: sometimes these things just happen no matter how hard you try to keep them from happening.

If you have any foot or ankle related concerns and are in need of a specialist who understands the foot/ankle, please contact Dr. Bowman at 713-467-8886 or visit our website for more information.

Category: Nail Problems

Tags: Dr. Bowman, Ingrown Toenail, Nail Problems