If you’ve just noticed an ingrown toenail starting to form, you might wonder about the next course of action. Although not every case of ingrown toenails requires professional treatment, you certainly don’t want the problem to linger or escalate. Eventually, the nail may become significantly more painful, swollen, or even infected.
When your ingrown toenail is mild and has no signs of infection—perhaps it’s just a little tender—you may start by attempting home remedies first. Soaking your feet in warm water 2-3 times per day is a good strategy. You can also try placing a small wedge of cotton or floss under your nail to gently push it upward; just make sure you change it at least once every day.
That said, home remedies for ingrown toenails are not always successful, and often surgery is the best way to go. You should consider surgery if you meet one or more of the following conditions:
- Pain is severe
- You have difficulty wearing shoes or performing daily tasks
- You notice any signs of infection—swelling, redness, pus, etc.
- You suffer from any condition associated with poor blood flow or nerve function in the feet, such as diabetes
- Ingrown toenails are a recurring problem for you
The good news is that ingrown toenail surgery is a quick, simple in-office procedure that shouldn’t cause any pain, and most people are back on their feet performing normal activities within a day. In short, we simply cut and remove a small part of the nail (the ingrown portion, to be precise), treat any infection as necessary, and send you home. In fact, if ingrown toenails continue coming back, we can even perform an additional procedure that will not only remove the troublesome nail edge, but prevent it from returning permanently!
The worst mistake you can make with ingrown toenails is ignoring them, especially if you have diabetes or another condition that increases your risk of complications. When a throbbing nail is keeping you from what you love, get it checked out. You can make your appointment with Family Foot & Ankle Center at one of our Greater Cincinnati locations by calling (888) 689-3317 today.