Getting Ingrown Toenails Removed
We have all made the painful mistake of trimming our nails too short at some point in our lives. Sometimes, this can really affect our foot health by causing ingrown toenails.
This happens when the nail grows downward into the skin instead of straight out, usually causing an infection. Ingrown toenails are most common on the sides of the big toe. It can also be caused by shoe pressure, injury, fungal infections, poor foot structure, etc.
Warm water soaks several times a day, properly fitted shoes and socks, and trimming nails in a straight line (rather than rounded) are ways to treat and prevent painful ingrown toenails. If there is an infection, antibiotics may be prescribed.
If left untreated, the skin may begin to grow over the toenail, encapsulating the nail. Surgery is then required to remove the nail.
What are ingrown toenails?
Ingrown toenails are a common and painful condition that many people face at some point in their lives. It occurs when the edge or corner of the toenail starts growing into the skin next to the nail. This can cause redness, swelling, tenderness, and even infection if left untreated.
Ingrown toenails can be caused by a number of factors, such as improper trimming, tight footwear, or a genetic predisposition. Activities that put pressure or trauma on the toes, such as running or dancing, can also increase the likelihood of developing ingrown toenails.
It’s important to address ingrown toenails early on to prevent further complications. If left untreated, the toenail can become infected, leading to a more serious condition that may require medical intervention. In severe cases, ingrown toenails can even result in the loss of the toenail or permanent damage to the surrounding tissue.
Common causes of ingrown toenails
Ingrown toenails are a common condition that can cause significant pain and discomfort if left untreated. There are a variety of reasons that ingrown toenails can occur, with some of the most common causes including improper nail trimming, tight-fitting shoes, injury to the toenail, and genetic factors.
One of the most common causes of ingrown toenails is improper nail trimming. When toenails are trimmed too short or rounded, the skin on the side of the nail can grow over the nail and become inflamed and painful.
Tight-fitting shoes can also be a culprit in the development of ingrown toenails. When shoes are too tight, they can put pressure on the toes and cause the nail to grow into the skin.
Injury to the toenail, such as dropping something heavy on it or stubbing it, can also cause the nail to become ingrown as it grows back.
Some people are just genetically predisposed to ingrown toenails. If your parents or other family members have a history of ingrown toenails, you may be more likely to develop them as well.
When to see a podiatrist
If you have an ingrown toenail, you may be tempted to treat it yourself. However, there are times when it’s best to see a podiatrist. Here are some signs that you should make an appointment:
- You have diabetes: If you have diabetes, you need to be extra careful with your feet. Ingrown toenails can quickly turn into serious infections that are hard to treat. A podiatrist can help you manage your ingrown toenail and prevent further complications.
- The pain is severe: If your ingrown toenail is causing you severe pain, it’s best to see a podiatrist. They can help relieve your pain and prevent the problem from getting worse.
- The area is red or swollen: If your toe is red or swollen, it may be infected. A podiatrist can prescribe antibiotics to help clear up the infection and prevent it from spreading.
- You have a recurring problem: If you keep getting ingrown toenails, it’s time to see a podiatrist. They can help you figure out why you keep getting them and come up with a treatment plan to prevent them from happening in the future.
- You have other foot problems: If you have other foot problems, like bunions or hammertoes, a podiatrist can help you manage them along with your ingrown toenail.
Painless ingrown toenail treatment options
Ingrown toenails are a common and painful condition that can affect anyone. Fortunately, there are a number of painless treatment options available that can help to alleviate the discomfort and prevent the condition from recurring.
One of the most effective treatments for ingrown toenails is to soak your feet in warm water several times a day. This will help to reduce swelling and ease pain. You can also gently lift the edge of the ingrown nail and place a small piece of cotton beneath it to encourage it to grow in the right direction.
If your ingrown toenail is infected or causing severe pain, your podiatrist may recommend a minor surgical procedure to remove the ingrown portion of the nail. This is a quick and painless procedure that can be done in the podiatrist’s office.
Another option is to use a toenail brace, which can help to correct the position of the nail and prevent future ingrown toenails. This is a non-invasive option that can be effective for those with mild to moderate ingrown toenails.
How to treat ingrown toenails at home
Ingrown toenails can be quite painful and uncomfortable, but they can be treated at home before seeking professional medical help.
The first step is to soak your foot in warm water for 15-20 minutes, two to three times a day. This will help to reduce swelling and pain and also soften the skin around the ingrown nail. After soaking, gently dry your foot with a clean towel.
Next, take a small piece of cotton or dental floss and gently push it underneath the ingrown nail. This will help to lift the nail away from the skin and relieve pressure. However, be careful not to push the cotton or floss too far as it can cause further damage to the nail and skin.
You can also apply an over-the-counter antiseptic cream or ointment on the affected area to prevent infection. Be sure to follow the instructions on the package and apply it as directed.
It’s important to wear comfortable shoes that have enough room for your toes to move freely. Tight shoes can cause more pressure on the affected area and make the condition worse.
However, if the pain and discomfort persist, it’s important to seek professional medical help from a podiatrist. They can provide a range of treatments, including removing the ingrown nail or prescribing antibiotics for an infection.
Tips for preventing ingrown toenails
Preventing ingrown toenails is essential in avoiding the pain and discomfort that comes along with it. Here are some tips to help prevent ingrown toenails:
- Trim your toenails properly: Trim your toenails straight across and avoid rounding the corners. This will help prevent the nail from growing into the skin.
- Wear shoes that fit properly: Shoes that are too tight can cause pressure on your toes, leading to ingrown toenails. Choose shoes that fit properly and give your toes enough room to move.
- Maintain good foot hygiene: Keeping your feet clean and dry can help prevent infections that can lead to ingrown toenails. Make sure to dry your feet thoroughly after bathing or swimming.
- Avoid cutting or picking at your toenails: This can cause injury to the nail bed and increase the risk of ingrown toenails.
- Wear protective footwear: If you work in an environment that puts your feet at risk, wear protective footwear such as steel-toed boots.
- Seek treatment for any foot injuries: Foot injuries such as stubbed toes or dropping heavy objects on your feet can cause damage to the nail bed, increasing the risk of ingrown toenails.
Wearing proper footwear
Wearing proper footwear is crucial in preventing and treating ingrown toenails. Shoes that are too tight or too loose can cause pressure on your toes and lead to the development of ingrown toenails.
When selecting footwear, make sure it provides ample room for your toes to move freely. Avoid shoes with narrow or pointed-toe boxes that can squeeze your toes together.
For individuals who participate in sports or run, it’s important to choose footwear that is specifically designed for that activity. Running shoes, for example, have more cushioning to absorb the impact of each step and provide better support for your feet.
If you frequently wear high heels or other shoes that put pressure on your toes, consider alternating with more comfortable footwear to avoid prolonged pressure on your toes.
Additionally, maintaining proper hygiene is also important. Always wear clean socks and change them daily to prevent bacteria and fungus from growing. Keeping your toenails trimmed straight across can also prevent the development of ingrown toenails.
When is surgery necessary for ingrown toenails?
In some cases, ingrown toenails are so severe that surgery is necessary to treat them effectively. Surgery is typically recommended when other treatments have failed to relieve the pain and discomfort, or if the ingrown toenail has caused an infection that is spreading.
During the surgical procedure, the podiatrist will numb the toe with a local anesthetic, and then remove the piece of nail that is causing the problem. In some cases, a portion of the affected nail may need to be permanently removed to prevent the ingrown toenail from recurring.
The surgery itself is typically quick and relatively painless, with most patients experiencing only mild discomfort during the procedure. Afterward, the podiatrist will wrap the toe in a protective bandage to promote healing and prevent infection.
It’s important to note that while surgical treatment for ingrown toenails is generally safe, there are some potential risks and complications, such as bleeding, infection, or an adverse reaction to the anesthesia. Your podiatrist will discuss these risks with you before the procedure and take steps to minimize them.
Aftercare and follow up with a podiatrist
Aftercare and follow up with a podiatrist is crucial to ensure that the ingrown toenail does not return. In order to prevent ingrown toenails from occurring again, it’s important to take good care of your feet. This includes keeping your feet dry and clean, wearing shoes that fit well, and avoiding tight-fitting socks or stockings that can cause pressure on the toes.
If you have a history of ingrown toenails, your podiatrist may recommend regular visits to monitor your feet and prevent future issues. They may also recommend specific products for you to use at home, such as special toenail clippers or antifungal creams.
In some cases, your podiatrist may recommend a surgical procedure to remove the portion of the nail that is causing the problem. This is typically done under local anesthesia and is a relatively quick and painless procedure. Afterward, you may need to wear a special bandage or dressing on your toe for a few days, and you may need to avoid certain activities for a short period of time.
We hope you found this guide to painless ingrown toenail treatment helpful. Ingrown toenails can be a painful and frustrating problem, but they are treatable. By following the advice of a podiatrist, you can effectively manage your ingrown toenail and prevent it from becoming a recurring issue. Remember to keep your feet clean and dry, wear comfortable shoes, and trim your nails properly to avoid ingrown toenails in the future. Thank you for reading, and we wish you healthy and happy feet!