Ingrown Toenail Surgery
If after trying these ingrown toenail remedies with no success and the toe has become infected and sore to the point that you cannot do anything with it yourself, then you may have to have part of the nail or possibly even the whole nail removed so the infected area can be cleaned and the infection can be drained. This will normally be done in the doctor’s office or in the emergency room.
The extent of the ingrown toenail surgery is dependent upon on how bad the infection is and if it has been recurring. If it has been 5 years or more since you last had a tetanus shot, you will have to have another one because of the open wound. The doctor will inject an anesthetic into the toe to numb it before draining the pus and removing skin that has grown around the end of the toenail.
If this is a recurring problem, the doctor may want to kill some of the skin cells to keep them from growing back by using chemicals, extreme cold or lasers. Another treatment performed for recurring ingrown toenails is called a lateral matriectomy; a specialist will remove some of the tissue under the nail (nail bed) to keep the nail from growing back into it.
Draining the abscess will take care of the infection so antibiotics are normally not needed, then the toe is covered with ointment and gauze or a bandage. You should keep this dressing on for 2 days then remove it and wash with soap and water. Put triple antibiotic salve (from the drug store) on the toe and cover it again with gauze or a bandage, this should be done twice a day until the toe is healed.
Along with taking any pain medication the doctor may have prescribed, you may also want to keep your foot propped up to help reduce the pain. You can also try wearing open- toed shoes or sandals for awhile.
Ingrown toenail treatment
You can typically perform ingrown toenail treatment yourself at home but if you are having pain that is getting worse and you notice more redness and pus, it’s time to go see your doctor. One thing you can do at home to treat your ingrown toenail if you notice it before it gets too far along is to put a piece of cotton under the nail in order to separate the nail from the overlaying skin. This may allow the nail to grow above the edge of the skin. This could be done over a few weeks time. Increasing the size of the rolled cotton strip daily will help to allow the nail to grow out and over the ingrown area.
If this doesn’t work, you will probably have to remove part of the nail and the skin that the nail was starting to grow into. It is best to try soaking in very warm water with Epsom’s salt, maybe even three or four times a day for a few days to get the area clean and soft enough before treating the problem. There are a variety of tools to use for ingrown toenail treatment but a good ingrown toenail clippers and tweezers should work for everything you will need to do, just make sure the tools are all sterile before use and to wipe the toenail area down with an alcohol swab before and after you are done.
It will hurt but the pain can be reduced by numbing creams and ice. It is best to take care of it as soon as you can as the problem and the pain will only get worse if not treated. Each toe is different but what you need to do is snip off the part of the nail that is growing against the skin, you may need to pull the piece or of nail and some dead skin out. Then wash the area thoroughly. Keep bandaged for a few days with triple antibiotic ointment. Change the bandage a few times daily to keep an eye on it and if it seems to be getting any worse, you will need to see your doctor.
Ingrown Toenail Symptoms and Causes
Some of the symptoms and causes of an ingrown toenail… besides the obvious pain are tender, swollen and sometimes hard skin next to the nail, tenderness and pain in the toe, along one or both sides of the nail and redness, with swelling surrounding the toenail. The area may bleed and ooze pus which can be smelly. Ingrown toenails occur when the nail grows down or into the side of the fleshy tissue of the toe (usually the big toe) this is most often caused by shoes that are too small and that crowd the toenails.
The damp atmosphere inside of the shoe can cause the skin of the toe around the nail to soften and expand, the toenail may begin to curve slightly making it much easier to begin to grow into the soft skin. Some people have inherited nail deformities and abnormally shaped nail beds which make them much more susceptible to getting an ingrown toenail.
Toenails not being cut correctly (not straight across or being cut too short) or by not keeping your feet clean and dry. Tearing or picking at the corners of the nails can also increase the chances of getting an ingrown toenail. The toenail itself can sometimes have an unusual curve causing it to grow into the tissue of the toe, and sometimes it can be caused from injuring the toe. If undetected and untreated the ingrown toenail can cause infection, eventually even to the bone. Diabetes or impaired blood circulation can accelerate the infection in the toe. You can try to treat the ingrown toenail yourself but if this is not possible then you may have to see a doctor.
What Is An Ingrown Toenail?
The medical term for ingrown toenail is onychocryptosis. An ingrown toenail is a fairly common problem, it usually happens to the big toe as a result of injury, shoes that do not fit well, or improper nail care. The corner or the side of the toenail will grow sideways or down into the skin of the toe, (usually the big toe). Anyone can get an ingrown toenail, but adults tend get them more than children do. People with thick nails or who have curved nails are more likely to get an ingrown toenail. This is more common in older adults.
This growing in of the nail will irritate the skin creating pain, swelling, and redness; sometimes there may even be extra warmth in the toe if it is getting infected. If the ingrown nail grows deep enough to break the skin, bacteria may enter and will cause an infection. If the ingrown toenail is not treated, the infection will get worse, it may start to drain and have a foul odor. If this is not yet the case, a nail that is curved downward or pushing outward into the skin of the toe has a very good chance of progressing into an ingrown toenail and an infection.
The chances of problems are even greater if the person has diabetes or poor circulation. In most cases people can avoid this by taking action themselves. If you cannot reach your toe or you can't find someone that will help you to treat your ingrown toenail you will have to contact your doctor. An ingrown toenail is nothing to ignore, it will continue to get worse and the infection could eventually get into the bone.