Ingrown Toenail Treatment

What is Ingrown Toenail?

If you cut your toenails too short, individually on the sides of your big toes, you may set the grade for an ingrown toenail. Like several people, when you cut your toenails, you may narrow the edges so that the nail arches with the shape of your toe. But this method may help your toenail to grow into the skin of your toe. The sides of the nail fold down and dig into your skin. An ingrown toenail may also occur if you wear shoes that are too tight or too short.


Symptoms of Ingrown Toenail

When one of your nails starts growing into the skin, you typically have symptoms in stages. First, you’ll have: 

  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Hardness

If your ingrown toe gets infected, you’ll move on to other symptoms, including:

  • Redness
  • Pus coming out of your toe
  • Bleeding
  • Pain
  • Feeling hot or shivery.

What are the causes of Ingrown Toenails?

Ingrown toenails most commonly result from trimming toenails in the wrong way. Rounding the edges of toenails instead of cutting them straight across creates areas that may later grow into your skin. If you Wear Shoes too tight, especially in the toe box, it can also encourage curved nail growth into your skin. A person’s posture, gait, and any structural abnormalities of the feet (hammertoes, bunions, foot pronation) may also make ingrown toenails more likely. Having broken, brittle toenails may leave you with sharp nail edges that can grow into the skin.

Treatment of Ingrown Toenail

Non-Surgical Treatment

If your ingrown nail isn’t infected, you should be able to treat it at home. To manage symptoms, you can:

  • Soak your feet in warm water a minimum of 4 times daily. Reduce swelling and tenderness by putting your feet in warm water for 15-20 minutes three to four times a day.
  • Keep feet dry. 
  • Wear comfortable shoes. Choose open-toed shoes or shoes with plenty of room in the toe. Don’t wear heels.
  • Take pain relievers. You may take ibuprofen for pain relief.
  • Apply antibiotic cream. Cover your toe with a bandage afterward to help protect it.

Surgical Treatment

There are various types of surgical procedures for ingrown toenails. Partial nail removal only means removing the piece of nail that is digging into your skin. Your doctor anesthetizes your toe and then narrows the toenail.
According to the NHS, partial nail removal is 97% effective for stopping future ingrown toenails.

Partial Nail Removal

During a partial nail removal, the sides of the nail are trimmed away so that the sides are perfectly straight. A piece of cotton is put under the left portion of the nail to prevent the ingrown toenail from recurring. Your surgeon may also treat your toe with a compound called phenol, which holds the nail from growing back.

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Whole Naile Removal

Whole nail removal may be used if your ingrown nail is caused by thickening. Your doctor will give you a local pain injection and then remove the entire nail in a procedure called a matrixectomy.

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