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What Is An Ingrown Nail

How Can I Care For An Ingrown Toenail

Do I Have an Ingrown Toenail?

Ingrown toenails, if caught early, can be treated at home without a doctor visit. If you notice a slight pain and see that your nail is starting to grow into the skin along the side, you can relieve the pain and try to avoid infection. Try soaking your affected foot in warm saltwater for 20 minutes at a time, 23 times a day, to relieve discomfort. To make saltwater, get a bucket of warm clean water or fill a bathtub just enough to soak your toe. Add 12 teaspoons of Epsom salt . Regular table salt works OK too if that’s what you have.

To prevent the nail from settling back into the skin, try to relieve the pressure by placing a piece of a dry cotton under the corner of the nail that is growing into the skin. Put antibiotic cream on the irritated area twice a day this can help prevent infection.

If the pain continues or seems to be getting worse, call your doctor right away.

Treating Ingrown Fingernails Medically

  • 1Go to the doctor. If your ingrown fingernail has become infected, or it has not gotten better after around five days, you may need to see your doctor. Your physician may treat the ingrown fingernail with a topical antibiotic that you spread on the skin.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • If the infection is deep in the finger, your physician may prescribe an oral antibiotic.
  • If the ingrown fingernail is caused by a fungus , your doctor can determine this and offer treatment options to you.
  • Let your physician know if the pain around an ingrown fingernail is getting worse, if the redness and tenderness spreads, if you cannot bend the finger at any of the joints, or if you have a fever. These symptoms point to a more severe problem.
  • 2Have your nail surgically lifted. For an ingrown fingernail that is infected but has not started producing pus, your physician may want to lift it. Lifting the nail helps separate the nail from the skin so it can grow over the skin instead of into it.XResearch source
  • When the nail is lifted, your physician will place something between the nail and skin to keep it separate. Usually, your physician will put cotton, dental floss, or a splint under your nail.
  • If your nail is badly infected or ingrown, or you feel uncomfortable lifting the nail yourself, you can get your doctor to lift it.
  • What Are Ingrown Toenail Symptoms And Signs

    Ingrown toenail symptoms and signs include redness, pain, and swelling. Sometimes there may be a clear yellowish drainage, or if it becomes infected, pus drainage. Young children may show signs of limping in order to avoid putting pressure at the ingrown toenail site. Occasionally, ingrown toenails resolve without treatment. A podiatrist should treat painful, persistent, and recurring ingrown toenails. If the ingrown toenail has been present for a long time, a very vascular tissue called granulation tissue may form that easily bleeds.

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    What Kids Should Know About Ingrown Nails

    Ingrown toenails

    Just like they sound, ingrown toenails are when your nail grows into your skin. Healthy nails grow straight out. But sometimes, the edge of the nail curves down into your skin and makes the nail “ingrown.” Usually this happens on the big toe and it can hurt a lot.

    Just like they sound, ingrown toenails are when your nail grows into your skin. Healthy nails grow straight out. But sometimes, the edge of the nail curves down into your skin and makes the nail “ingrown.” Usually this happens on the big toe and it can hurt a lot.

    To make sure you don’t get an ingrown toenail, you should:

    • Cut your toenails straight across. Have your mom and dad teach you to do this. If it’s too hard, have them do it.

    • Be sure your shoes aren’t too tight.

    If you do get an ingrown nail:

    • Don’t try to dig or cut it out yourself. You can make it worse and get an infection.

    • Soak your feet in warm salt water a few times a day. This can help an ingrown toe nail feel better.

    • Have your mom or dad take you to a skin doctor if the problem doesn’t go away.

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    What Does The Recovery From Toenail Surgery Entail

    Ingrown Toenail

    The operated foot should be elevated for the remainder of the day. Typically, the dressings are removed the day following the procedure. Cleansing of the wound or soaks in Epsom salts and/or antimicrobial soap followed by application of an antibacterial cream and small bandage twice a day for one to two weeks can help to prevent infection. Open toe or loose-fitting, wide toe box shoes are recommended to avoid pressure to the toe while healing. Your doctor may want to see you return in a few weeks to ensure appropriate healing of the procedure site.

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    What Are Some Ingrown Nail Treatments And Home Remedies

    If your ingrown nail isnât infected, you should be able to treat it at home. To manage symptoms, you can:

    • Soak your feet. Reduce swelling and tenderness by putting your feet in warm water for 15-20 minutes three to four times a day.
    • Keep your feet dry. Let your feet breathe to avoid sweat or dampness.
    • Use a wedge to lift your nail. Put dental floss or a small piece of cotton under the edge of your nail to help lift it as it grows out. Change it out daily.
    • Apply antibiotic cream. Cover your toe with a bandage afterward to help protect it.
    • Pick helpful shoes. Choose open-toed shoes or shoes with plenty of room in the toe. Donât wear heels.
    • Take pain relievers. Over-the-counter options like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help reduce tenderness and swelling.

    If your symptoms donât get better — or get worse — after you try home care, your doctor may need to treat the problem. They may try:

    Approach To The Patient

    Surgical Approach to the Ingrown Toenail

    Obtain surgical consent after explaining to the patient the risks, benefits, and alternatives. Place the patient in a supine or seated position with the affected toe and foot hanging off the end of the table.

  • Prepare the affected toe with standard povidone iodine solution. Use lidocaine or bupivacaine without epinephrine for local anesthesia in a digital block fashion.

  • Use a tourniquet or rubber band around the toe to assist in hemostasis for only a short duration use with caution in patients with known peripheral vascular disease or diabetes .

  • Identify the lateral 20 to 25 percent of the ingrown nail as the site of the partial lateral nail avulsion. Use a nail elevator under the nail to separate it from the nail bed .

  • Use a nail splitter to cut from the distal end of the toenail straight back toward the cuticle beneath the nail fold .

  • Grasp the avulsed lateral nail fragment with a hemostat down to just past the cuticle. Remove it by twisting the avulsed nail outward toward the lateral nail fold while pulling in a straight direction toward the end of the toe. Ensure that the entire nail fragment and flat edge of the nail bed is retrieved to prevent formation of a nail spicule and the potential for recurrence of an ingrown nail.

  • After surgery, apply a dressing of antibiotic ointment , 4 X 4 gauze, tube gauze, and paper tape, ensuring a comfortable bandage .

  • Information from references 8, 12, and 17.

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    How Can Ingrown Toenails Be Prevented

    • Cut your nails straight across do not cut them too short or too low at the sides. The corner of the nail should be visible above the skin.
    • Keep your feet clean and dry. Let air get to your toes when possible.
    • Avoid tight shoes and use cotton socks rather than synthetic.
    • If you have diabetes, you should take extra care when cutting your nails:
      • Cut the nail straight across or follow the shape of the end of the toe, but be very careful not to cut too low at the sides as above.
      • Gently file any sharp edges with a nail file.
      • If you have any loss of feeling in your feet, you should visit a podiatrist to have your nails trimmed, rather than doing it yourself.
      • If you can’t see your feet or nails very well, you should visit a podiatrist to have your nails trimmed, rather than doing it yourself.

    Destruction Of The Matrix

    What Is An Ingrown Toenail?

    Although phenol has antiseptic and anesthetic properties, it may cause tissue damage and possibly infection, delaying postoperative healing.20 The best evidence demonstrates that partial nail avulsion followed by phenolization or direct surgical excision of the nail matrix are equally effective in the treatment of ingrown toenails.16 Another study found that partial nail avulsion with phenolization yielded better results than partial avulsion with nail matrix excision.21 In the latter study, local antibiotics did not reduce the risk of infection or recurrence of the ingrown toenail, and phenolization did not increase the risk of infection more than matrix excision.21 A Cochrane systematic review found that partial nail avulsion combined with phenolization is more effective at preventing symptomatic recurrence than surgical excision without phenolization, but has a slightly increased risk of postoperative infection.8 Trials evaluating different treatment methodologies have not adequately assessed patient satisfaction because follow-up time in each trial was less than six months, which is not an adequate time period to measure symptomatic recurrence. Although phenolization may be the most appropriate and beneficial treatment for most patients, risks and benefits should be discussed with each patient.

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    What Causes An Ingrown Toenail

    An ingrown toenail can have many causes:

    • Incorrectly cut toenails. If you cut your toenails too short or rounded, the nail may grow into the skin.
    • Improperly fitting shoes.
    • Tearing the corner of the nail.
    • Toe trauma, such as banging your toe or getting stepped on.
    • Congenital for instance, if your nail is larger comparatively with your toe, or the surrounding tissue of the nail border naturally grows around your nail.
    • What are the signs and symptoms of an infected ingrown toenail?

    At first, an ingrown toenail can feel hard and swollen. If the nail grows into the skin, or the skin grows over the nail edge, bacteria can enter. The nail may become infected. Signs of ingrown toenail infection include:

    • Liquid or pus coming out of the toe.
    • Pain.
    • Toe feeling warm or hot.

    Other Treatment For An Ingrown Toenail

    An ingrown toenail may also be treated by a gutter splinter using slit plastic tubing to keep the nail, and the lateral nail folds apart. These are held in place by using tape or acrylic adhesive. An artificial nail may be sculptured using formable acrylic solution.

    Chemical or medical nail avulsion is a painless, slow way to remove damaged nails. As the process destroys the whole nail, it is rarely used for ingrown toenails.

    Alternative surgical procedures are described, for example, removal of the surrounding soft tissue and shortening the bone of the distalphalanx.

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    Prevention For Cat Ingrown Nail

    To avoid your cat developing ingrown nails and ensure the well being of your cat, make sure that you give her adequate exercise. She should be able to scratch her nails on concrete, gravel, asphalt, and other abrasive surfaces to keep nails properly filed. Most importantly, your pet cats nails should be regularly trimmed at least every 4 to 6 weeks as recommended by groomers. In case you are having trouble with your cat not co-operating read our tips on how to trim the nails of an aggressive cat.

    Treatment For Cat Ingrown Nail

    Ingrown Toenails

    Your vet will clip the hair around the affected nail and trim all the other nails. The affected nail shouldnt be touched as it will be uncomfortable and even painful for your cat if its clipped and removed from the flesh. Next, the vet will flush and clean the wound to remove any foreign materials. Some cats may need to have their foot bandaged but this will depend on how severe the ingrown nails growth is. Your vet may prescribe antibiotics to prevent further infection but this will depend on the ingrown nails depth and age.

    To speed up the healing process, your vet may recommend Epsom salt soaks at least 2 times a day once the ingrown nail has been removed. Vets also recommend that treated cats should use large pellet-type litter for their litter box temporarily until the wound is completely healed. NHV First Aid Spray may be used to reduce the inflammation and speed up the healing process while Omega 3 is a good supplement to maintain healthy nails.

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    How Do I Treat An Ingrown Toenail

    An ingrown toenail can be treated at home in its early stages , or in-clinic by a foot specialist. You should immediately see a foot specialist for treatment if you have any of the following:

    • Signs of infection
    • Diabetes or any other medical condition that may cause complications.
    • Bleeding.

    A chiropodist at our foot clinic can quickly and easily treat ingrown toenails at any stage. These procedures can involve:

    • Antibiotics: Oral or antibiotic ointment is applied to prevent or heal infection.
    • Softening the skin and lifting the edge of the nail from the skin, and then propping the corner of the nail up over the skin edge until the skin heals.
    • Partial nail avulsion: The toe is first numbed with a local anesthetic. A narrow vertical strip is then removed on the affected side of the nail from the edge to the base of the nail. Antibiotics and a dressing are applied to the exposed nail bed to prevent infection.
    • Removing or cutting open infected areas to allow the pus to drain .
    • Phenol: This is a chemical that is applied to the area beneath the cuticle to prevent nail regrowth

    See our Ingrown Toenail Treatment Services page for more information on how we can treat your ingrown toenails.

    While waiting for an appointment with a chiropodist to treat an infected ingrown toenail, the following may help to manage the infection and reduce pain:

    To book an appointment to treat your ingrown toenail, use the online booking form below or call us at 416-769-FEET no referral required!

    Home Care: Keep It Simple

    If your symptoms are minor and you don’t have a complicating medical condition such as diabetes, you can start at home with conservative measures.

    Soak the foot in lukewarm water two or three times a day for 15 minutes . You can add Epsom salts if you wish, although there’s no scientific evidence that this will improve pain relief or healing. Massage the skin at the side of the toenail , gently pushing it away from the nail. After each soak, dry your foot thoroughly. Wear sandals or other low-heeled open-toed shoes whenever possible. When you wear close-toed shoes, make sure the toe box allows room for the toes to move freely. When the toenail grows out, cut it across in a line that mimics the curving line of the toe tip do not round the corners down.

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    How Is An Ingrown Nail Treated

    • Medicines:
    • Acetaminophen decreases pain and can be bought without a doctor’s order. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly.
    • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor’s order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
    • Antibiotics help treat or prevent a bacterial infection. They may be given as an ointment, pill, or both.
  • Partial nail avulsion is a procedure used to remove the part of the nail that has grown into your skin. A liquid solution or electric charge may be applied to your nail. This keeps your nail from growing into the skin again.
  • Matricectomy is a procedure where part of your nail matrix is destroyed so that a small section of your nail stops growing. Your nail matrix is the area that your nail grows from. It is the pale or white color at the base of your nail. Most of the matrix cannot be seen because it lies underneath the skin. A chemical, laser, or instrument may be used to destroy the nail matrix.
  • Foot Health: What To Do About An Ingrown Toenail

    INGROWN TOENAIL SURGERY – How To Remove An Ingrown Toenail Forever POV

    Warm soaks and proper nail trimming may do the trick, but sometimes it’s best to see a foot specialist right away.

    The medical term for this painful condition is onychocryptosis. It develops, usually on the big toe, when a corner of the toenail curves down and digs into the skin. The symptoms may include soreness, swelling, redness, and warmth. If the toenail breaks the skin, bacteria may enter and cause an infection. Eventually, skin may start to grow over the ingrown part of the nail.

    You can do several things at home to treat an ingrown toenail. However, if you suspect an infection, or if you have diabetes, circulation problems, or numbness in the toes, skip the home remedies and see your clinician or a foot specialist immediately.

    Preventing ingrown toenails

    • Wear low-heeled shoes that provide enough room at the toes, with stockings or moisture-wicking socks that allow your toes to move freely.
    • Keep your feet clean and dry.
    • Use a toenail clipper . If your toenails are especially thick, try a spring-handled tool called a toenail nipper.
    • Cut your toenails across, going with the curve of the toe don’t round the corners down as you might a fingernail . And don’t cut toenails too short. You should be able to get your fingernail under the end of the toenail.

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