Don’t Fall for Old Wives Tales When Treating Ingrown Toenails

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One common foot ailment that we at Gentle Professional Foot Care hear a lot of wacky home remedies for is an ingrown toenail. Cutting a notch in the side of a nail border that repeatedly grows inward, shoving a piece of cotton between the nail and the nail bed and overly trimming down the side of the nail are among the more ridiculous. The consequences of these “folk remedies,” however, can be no laughing matter. Injuries and infections are often the outcome of bathroom surgery and sketchy home treatments.

If you notice an ingrown toenail forming and you have had a joint replacement or have a pacemaker, are diabetic or have a medical condition that suppresses your immune system, you should contact our Venice office immediately. The potential harm that could be caused by an infection would have devastating health consequences in these situations. For other patients, you can try soaking the affected toe in warm water several times a day and trying to gently massage the nail out of the skin. If you notice any signs of infection, however—redness, pus or other discharge, swelling or fever—it’s time to let our podiatrist Dr. Charles A. Suleskey take over.

The foot doctor can perform a simple procedure in our Venice office to end ingrown toenail trouble. After gently numbing the affected toe, the foot and ankle surgeon will remove the corner of the nail that is ingrown. If this is a recurring problem, a chemical can be applied to the root of the nail to stop it from growing back. Patients are able to return to their normal activities immediately following the procedure.

Prevention: The Best Treatment

Of course, the preferred scenario is not getting an ingrown nail in the first place! The number one way to prevent ingrown nails from starting is by trimming your toenails properly. This means straight across and not too short and with no rounded edges. You should make sure the shoes you are wearing fit properly. Toe boxes that are too tight and press toes together can also encourage ingrown nails.

If you have more questions about ingrown toenails call us at: 941-493-7999.