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   The Doctors
  Dr.Richard Berliner
  Dr.Jill Berkowitz - Berliner









Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused by the penetration of the edge of the nail plate into the soft tissue of the toe. It begins with a painful irritation that often becomes infected. With bacterial invasion, the nail margin becomes red and swollen, often demonstrating drainage or pus. In people who have diabetes or poor circulation, this relatively minor problem can be become quite severe. In this instance, a simple ingrown toenail can result in gangrene of the toe. These individuals should seek medical attention at the earliest sign of an ingrown toenail. There are several causes of ingrown toenails: a hereditary tendency to form ingrown toenails; improperly cutting the toenails either too short or cutting into the side of the nail; and ill-fitting shoes can cause them. Children will often develop ingrown toenails as a result of peeling or tearing their toenails off, instead of trimming them with a nail clipper. Once an ingrown toenail starts, it will often reoccur.


The only way to effectively treat an ingrown toenail is to remove the ingrown portion of the nail. Taking antibiotics may temporarily calm the infection, but once the antibiotics are finished, the infection will return as long as the portion of the nail remains ingrown. The Doctors at Mount Kisco Foot Specialists, PLLC will remove the ingrown portion of the nail in a manner that will cause as little discomfort as possible. Sometimes, the use of a local anesthetic will be required. The doctor will determine whether topical or oral antibiotics are required. Usually, the condition resolves in a few days following the procedure. The doctors will also provide you with tips to prevent recurrence of the condition, such as proper trimming of the nail, proper shoe gear, and orthotic inserts which can reduce the abnormal forces that can cause ingrown toenails.

Chronic Ingrown Toenails

If the toenail repeatedly becomes ingrown, the doctors may recommend a permanent removal of the ingrown side of the nail. This is accomplished by removing only the affected edge of the nail completely, to the nail matrix (root). A chemical is then applied which will destroy only this portion of the nail matrix. The procedure can be done in our office under local anesthesia with minimal discomfort. It may take several weeks for the toe to fully heal. You will be instructed on the daily wound care that will be required.

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