Treating an Ingrown Toenail
When a toenail is ingrown, it is curved and grows into the flesh. Anyone can suffer from ingrown toenails as a result of trauma, improperly sized footwear, or improper trimming of the nails. Led by Dr. Bryan Sheehan, Ankle & Foot Centers of Mid-America in Bentonville, AR, and Grove, OK offers a full range of podiatric services to the patients they serve. Here's how to treat an ingrown toenail.
1. Salt water soaks. To treat an ingrown toenail, soak your foot with either Epsom salts or Castile soap to soften the affected area. This may help to draw the skin away from the toenail. Soak your foot for 20 minutes at a time. Do this a few times a day for the first couple of days. Dry your foot completely and apply an antibiotic ointment and bandage to the area.
2. Antibiotics. If you still have an ingrown toenail after you've tried at-home remedies, see your foot doctor for advice. If your ingrown toenail is infected, it might be red, swollen, and painful, and it might drain pus. If an infection is present, an oral or topical antibiotic may be prescribed.
3. Lifting the nail. Your foot doctor may lift the corner of the toenail that's digging into the skin by placing dental floss, a cotton wedge, or splint under it. This separates the toenail from the skin and helps it grow above the skin edge. At home, you will need to replace the material daily.
4. Partial nail removal. Matrixectomy, also called Partial Nail Removal, is used to remove a portion of an ingrown toenail which causes discomfort for a patient. Before the procedure, your doctor will numb your toe by injecting it with local anesthesia. The procedure helps to prevent the ingrown nail from returning.
5. Complete nail removal. If you have chronic pain or the infection returns, your doctor may suggest surgery to remove the whole nail. Before the procedure, your doctor will numb your toe by injecting it with local anesthesia. Your doctor will then remove the nail. On average it takes 10 to 12 weeks to heal if the whole nail is removed.
When you have an ingrown toenail, your feet need some TLC. Call your foot doctor at Ankle & Foot Centers of Mid-America at (479) 224-6411 today to schedule an appointment in Bentonville, AR. Call (918) 787-6893 to schedule an appointment in Grove, OK. You will experience exemplary service and state-of-the-art care at Ankle & Foot Centers of Mid-America!