How To Treat Painful Ingrown Toenails

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When an ingrown toenail progresses to the point where it is penetrating the tender skin on the edge of your toe, the symptoms are obvious: tenderness and pain on the side of the toenail, swelling and discoloration around the nail, and possible bleeding and oozing that could indicate a bacterial or fungal toenail infection. You may be able to treat an ingrown toenail yourself if it hasn’t progressed too far, but in more severe cases see your foot doctor for the best results. 

Some treatments for ingrown toenails include the following: 

  • Lift the nail edge—If you can tolerate the initial pain, one effective method for redirecting the nail away from the tender skin is to carefully lift the nail edge with a file and insert a small piece of cotton in between the nail and skin. This will help the nail to grow out and over your skin, but it will take a week or two and you will need to periodically replace the cotton. 

  • Simple surgical procedureFor severely curved toenails and in cases where an infection is spreading, you will need to see your foot doctor to trim the border of the nail and remove any infected tissue. This is done with a local anesthetic in the office. A specially-formulated solution is then used on that part of the nail to slow the growth and keep it from continuing to push into the skin.  

A proven way to prevent many ingrown toenails from happening is to be careful when cutting your toenails to trim them straight across. Wearing shoes with a wide toe box is also helpful to give your toes room to move without scrunching them together. 

For expert help treating your ingrown toenails see your foot doctor. Call Achilles Foot and Ankle Surgery, PC located in Martins Ferry, Ohio and St. Clairsville, Ohio, as well as Wheeling West Virginia. With access to advanced technologies, Dr. Bruce G. Blank and his staff can help you manage all of your foot and ankle conditions including heel pain, ankle sprains, toe deformities, fungal toenails, and plantar warts. Call 740-633-4188 or make an appointment online today.