What to Do About an Ingrown Toenail?
If you have an ingrown toenail, you will be happy to know that there are many ways for you to alleviate the pain you may be experiencing and prevent the nail from growing any further into the surrounding skin.
Never Perform “At-Home Surgery”
One of the remedies that podiatrists will never endorse is “at-home surgery,” which involves using clippers or another sharp instrument to cut the nail and surrounding skin. This can result in the ingrown toenail becoming infected and needing professional medical attention as soon as possible.
Soak Your Foot
Soaking your foot in a combination of water and Epsom salt can help you manage the pain and, if applicable, discharge any pus or liquid. You can do this several times a day, as it also softens and loosens the skin.
Bandage the Toe
Apply an antibiotic ointment and then bandage the affected toenail to prevent a toenail infection as well as encourage the nail to begin growing out and over the skin.
Wear Shoes that Do Not Put Pressure on Your Toes
Shop for shoes that fit you well. Your shoes should feature plenty of room in the toe box, which will lessen the risk of the shoes putting pressure on your toes.
When to See a Podiatrist
Your ingrown toenail requires proper care and treatment so it can fully heal. Not sure when to see our podiatrists? Schedule an appointment if:
No Improvement in 2-3 Days or Gets Worse
If you are treating your ingrown toenail at home and not seeing any improvement, or the pain/swelling is getting worse, it is best to have the ingrown toenail evaluated.
The Area has Become Painful
Most ingrown toenails do cause mild to moderate pain, but if your pain is making it difficult for you to walk and is limiting your mobility, it is time to call our office.
You have an Infection
Bacteria can enter the site of the ingrown nail and cause a toenail infection. Pus/liquid, redness/darkening of the area, and a toe that feels warm to the touch are the most common signs of an infection.
You have Diabetes, Poor Circulation, or Other Conditions that put You at Risk
Diabetes, poor circulation, and other health conditions can make it more likely for your ingrown toenail to become infected and cause further complications. It is best to see our podiatrists sooner than later so you can be sure the toenail is healing.