Ingrown toenails can affect your toes and cause discomfort, and if you experience pain in the area, it's possible that swelling and infection could be occurring as a result. You might be able to proceed with ingrown toenail treatment yourself but for other more difficult instances, you may need to see a physician for assistance.
Symptoms and Causes
Pain is a typical symptom of an ingrown toenail in addition to redness and swelling. If left untreated, an infection could begin in the skin tissue. These symptoms start when the nail begins growing into the flesh. Sometimes wearing tight shoes can also lead to these problems, and it is most common for these issues to occur with the largest toe.
Self-Help Treatment Options
Patients may try several remedies at home for ingrown toenail treatment.
– Fill a basin with warm salt water, and place your foot in the water to soak for about 15 minutes. Many people find that this remedy helps reduce swelling and discomfort. You can repeat the soaking process multiple times each day. Always dry your foot thoroughly after soaking to prevent additional issues.
– Use a small, clean file to gently push the skin back. Make sure to not cut or injure the skin during this process.
– Soak a small piece of cotton in water or antiseptic cleanser. Separate the skin and the nail with this cotton to cushion the area.
– Apply antibiotic ointment to the area to keep it clean and reduce infection risk. Cover the area with a bandage to help keep it clean.
– Avoid shoes that constrict or pinch the feet. Wearing open-toed shoes or sandals may be wise until the area heals.
Podiatrist Treatment Options
When home remedies are not effective for resolving symptoms, see a physician for assistance. A podiatrist may perform one of these ingrown toenail treatment options.
– The physician may lift up the edge of the nail to enable the placement of a splint beneath it. This separation will help growth to occur past the edge of the skin. You will need to perform daily soaks after this procedure.
– A magnitude issue could necessitate partial removal of the nail. The physician will administrator local anesthesia to the toe to prepare it.
– For severe and recurring problems, the physician may recommend permanent removal of the underlying tissue. This removal will prevent regrowth, which should prevent future problems from recurring. The removal process might involve the use of a laser or chemicals.
After any of these procedures, it's common for a podiatrist to prescribe either local or oral antibiotics to prevent infection.
Anyone with diabetes must remain diligent about foot care to prevent serious problems. Diabetics typically have issues with poor blood flow to the lower extremities, which can lead to nerve damage in the feet. Even a minor injury or problem can become very serious for diabetic patients. If a sore does not heal correctly, it could become infected. Infection may lead to serious sores, which could require surgery and even amputation to remove dead tissue.