Ingrown toenails are a common problem, but that doesn't make them any less painful and inconvenient. You might find that it's uncomfortable to walk wearing certain shoes, or you may experience a constant low-level throbbing pain. There's also a risk of infection, which can spread and become more serious. Following the steps below will help you to deal with your ingrown nail as quickly and effectively as possible, meaning you can get back to your day-to-day life without any pain.
Check for infection
An infected ingrown nail is a serious problem, and the infection can spread to the rest of your body if it's not dealt with promptly. Check for signs of infection by looking closely at the affected area. If it's bright red and hot to touch, has pus coming from it or is bleeding, then there's a high chance that it's infected. You should soak the area in warm water mixed with Epsom salts, and apply antibacterial ointment. These methods may remove the infection, but it's best to see your doctor to make sure. Don't take any chances with your health.
Prop your nail up
The pain of an ingrown toenail is caused by the pressure of your nail against your skin. You can relieve this pressure by gently propping up the nail using a small wad of cotton. This creates some space between the nail and the toe, which should make you feel more comfortable while you wait for treatment. The cotton can also soak up any moisture under the nail, which gives it the chance to heal and reduces the risk of infection.
See a podiatrist
If you suspect that your nail is infected, or it's causing you severe pain and the above methods aren't helping, it's time to see a podiatrist. They'll be able to assess the problem and recommend the best course of action. For an infection, you may be prescribed antibiotics and given a cream to apply to the affected area. In serious cases, the podiatrist may recommend full or partial removal of the toenail. During a partial nail avulsion, a local anaesthetic will be used to numb your toe while the sides or the nail are removed, and a special cream will be applied to prevent them growing back and causing the same issue again. A full nail avulsion is recommended if the nail is very thick and putting a lot of pressure on the toe. Your entire nail will be removed, leaving your toe free from pain.Share
14 December 2016
My son has always been an eager athletics competitor. He loves to run and jump, and especially loves to be the winner. He has been getting a lot of foot pain recently, and I wasn't sure if it was due to growing pains or if he'd been exercising too much. Luckily we found a great pediatric podiatrist who has been able to help him treat the pain and get some new foot inserts and shoes so that he doesn't keep having issues. This blog is all about podiatry for children and should be great for other parents with active kids.