Ingrown Toenail Removal

The ingrown toenail occurs when the nail edge is damaged, causing it to no longer fit properly into the side groove. As a result, the nail curves downward, causing pain, swelling, redness, and drainage. 

Trimming toenails too short, particularly on the sides of the big toes, or wearing improperly fitted shoes can further increase the likelihood of an ingrown toenail. 

Proper understanding and management of this condition are essential for optimal Ingrown Toenail Removal.

Common Causes of Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown nails can happen for different reasons, but the two most common causes are shoes that don’t fit well and cutting nails incorrectly. 

Tight shoes squeeze the sides of the nails and make them fit poorly in their natural place. Also, when nails are ripped or torn, the sharp edge can dig into the corner of the nail bed. 

This can irritate the skin around the nail, causing swelling, pain, redness, and sometimes infection.

Symptoms of Ingrown Toenail

Ingrown toenails can cause initial hardness, swelling, and tenderness. As the condition progresses, it may become red, infected, and extremely painful. 

Ingrown toenails are a common and painful problem, especially among teenagers, with the big toe being most affected. 

This happens when the skin on one or both sides of the nail grows over the nail edges or when the nail itself grows into the skin. It can lead to redness, pain, swelling, and potential infection, sometimes accompanied by a small amount of draining pus. 

How to remove Ingrown Toenail

Here are different methods commonly used to remove an ingrown toenail:

  1. Nail avulsion: This involves the complete removal of the entire toenail.
  2. Wedge excision: The procedure involves removing the specific portion of the toenail that is growing into the skin, along with the surrounding tissue in the corner.
  3. Nail-bed ablation: Either a part or the entire toenail is removed, and a chemical, such as phenol, is applied to the tissue where the toenail grows from. Surgery or electrocautery may also be used.
  4. Zadek’s procedure: The entire toenail is removed, and the area of tissue where the toenail grows from is cut away.

How do i Numb my Toe to Remove Ingrown Toenail

You can apply a numbing cream or spray to help alleviate pain, but it won’t address any underlying infection. Alternatively, if you’re undergoing surgery, the doctor will administer a local anesthetic to numb your toe before the procedure.

Ingrown Toenail Removal

Home treatments for Painful Nail

If you have a mildly inflamed ingrown toenail (just a bit red and sore), try soaking your foot in warm water and putting a small piece of dry cotton under the nail’s corner. This might be enough to relieve the discomfort. 

However, if the ingrown toenail worsens and the inflammation (pain, swelling, and drainage) increases, you can consider applying an antibiotic ointment. 

It’s important to consult your doctor for proper treatment, as they might prescribe oral antibiotics if necessary. 

In more severe cases, surgical removal of a portion of the nail is often required to address the problem effectively.

Surgical Treatment

When home remedies don’t work for an ingrown toenail, your healthcare provider may suggest the following options:

  1. Lifting the nail: The healthcare provider will carefully lift the ingrown edge of the nail and place cotton, dental floss, or a splint underneath it. This helps separate the nail from the skin, allowing it to grow above the skin edge in a few weeks to a few months. You will need to soak the toe and replace the material daily. A corticosteroid cream may also be prescribed.
  2. Taping the nail: The healthcare provider will pull the skin away from the ingrown nail using tape.
  3. Placing a gutter splint: The healthcare provider numbs the toe and inserts a small tube under the embedded nail to provide relief and help it grow above the skin edge.
  4. Partially removing the nail: If the ingrown toenail is severe with inflammation, pain, and pus, the healthcare provider may numb the toe and trim or remove the affected part of the nail. It may take a few months for the toenail to grow back.
  5. Removing the nail and tissue: If the problem recurs on the same toe, the healthcare provider may recommend removing a portion of the nail along with the underlying tissue. This procedure prevents the regrowth of that part of the nail. The toe will be numbed, and various methods like chemicals or lasers may be used.

Care After Surgical Remove of Ingrown Toenail

  • Apply an antibiotic ointment twice daily after the procedure to promote healing.
  • Shower the day after surgery, but avoid baths, swimming, or soaking the toe for two weeks.
  • Keep the toe clean and dry, and replace the bandage if soaked with blood or fluid.
  • Take ibuprofen and acetaminophen for pain relief as directed.
  • Wear loose-fitting shoes or sneakers for two weeks and avoid high-heeled or tight-fitting shoes.
  • Refrain from strenuous activities and physical education for one to two weeks.
  • Watch for signs of infection and contact your doctor if you experience increased pain, swelling, redness, or drainage.
  • Trim your nails straight across to prevent future ingrown nails, and seek early treatment if needed.

Preventing Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown Toenail

To avoid getting an ingrown nail, it’s important to trim your nails properly. First, cut them straight across, ensuring the corners are slightly longer than the end of your toe. 

If you notice that children or teenagers tend to fiddle with their toes while in bed, they can wear socks at night to prevent any peeling or picking at their toenails. Taking these simple steps can help keep ingrown nails at bay.

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