What to Do if You Have an Ingrown Toenail | Ask a South Park Podiatrist

October 8, 2019

An ingrown toenail develops when the edge of a toenail, usually on the big toe, grows into the skin, causing pain and discomfort. In this article, we’ll discuss how our South Park podiatrists remove ingrown toenails safely, and tips you can use to avoid developing ingrown toenails in the future.  

Why You Should Seek Professional Ingrown Toenail Removal

If you are suffering from an ingrown toenail, it is generally recommended that you seek professional help from a podiatrist rather than attempt a removal yourself. A podiatrist has more specialized tools, a sterile environment, and much more experience—most podiatrists have removed dozens of ingrown toenails, whereas you may have only removed one.

Additionally, a podiatrist will able to inject a numbing solution so you will not feel any pain as they trim or remove the nail. Your podiatrist may also remove some of the underlying nail bed, and in some cases, part of the nail’s growth center. If the toe is infected, they may prescribe antibiotics to treat it. 

Tips for Preventing Ingrown Toenails

You can prevent ingrown toenails by using the following tips:

  • Always trim your nails straight across; avoid making them rounded or pointed
  • Avoid cutting the nails too short; the corners should lie against the skin loosely
  • Use scissors or clippers that are specifically designed for toenails
  • Wear shoes that fit properly, especially around the toes
  • Always wash your nail clippers before and after each use

Recovering from Ingrown Toenail Surgery

After your ingrown toenail has been removed, you can control the pain and assist the healing process by:

  • Taking over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to reduce pain and swelling
  • Soaking the foot in warm water with Epsom salt
  • Gently massaging the foot and the toenail to improve bloodflow to the area
  • Wear loose-fitting, open-toed shoes

Visit our South Park Foot Surgeon Today

If you live in South Park and need help with an ingrown toenail surgery, stop by Ryan Foot and Ankle Clinic! Our skilled South Park foot surgeons can help you get back on your feet in no time. To schedule an appointment, click here.