One of your toenails has grown into the surrounding skin, and it hurts. In fact, it hurts a lot.
So you employ the basic home remedies:
- Repeated soaking of your foot in warm water. If you do this three or four times a day for 15 or 20 minutes at a time, you may be able to reduce the swelling and tenderness.
- Placing cotton or dental floss beneath the toenail. After a soaking session, placing something soft under the edge that is ingrown can help the nail grow in such a way that it does not dig into your skin.
- Ongoing remedies. You are also using antibiotic cream, taking over-the-counter pain relievers, and choosing shoes that don’t pinch your feet.
But what if none of that solves the issue? Fortunately, your doctor can take a more aggressive approach.
Getting the Ingrown Toenail Out
If the ingrown toenail is not too serious, your doctor may be able to lift the ingrown edge out of your skin and prop it up with cotton or dental floss just as you would at home.
In some cases, however, that may not be enough to provide relief. When that’s the case, your doctor may recommend removing a part of your toenail. For this procedure, an anesthetic is generally injected into the toe to limit discomfort while the doctor trims or removes the ingrown portion of the nail.
If that still does not fully resolve the problem, the next recommendation may be to remove a portion of the problematic nail and the underlying nail bed tissue. When this is done, it is possible that the affected part of your nail will not grow back (which may well be a blessing). There are a variety of ways your doctor may perform this procedure, including the use of a laser or a chemical to remove the nail and tissue.
We Know the Ins and Outs of Toenail Care
If an ingrown toenail is resisting your best efforts to resolve the problem at home, it is time to see a doctor to get help. The team at InStride Carolina Podiatry Group can determine the best way to address the issue—and if that turns out to include surgery, they have the expertise necessary to provide an excellent result.
Don’t walk around in pain. Make an appointment to see our podiatry team right away.