Try these home treatments for a few days and see whether the situation improves. If the pain gets worse, or you find it difficult to walk or perform other activities due to the ingrown toenail, consult a doctor or a podiatrist for further treatment. In the presence of a reactive granuloma, you should also avoid the above home treatments, as well as topical antibiotics, and you should contact your doctor or a podiatrist.
In the most serious cases, a more invasive intervention will be used, which involves the surgical removal of part or all of the toenail. After the surgery, you will have a bandaged toe and you will probably have to keep the foot raised for about 1-2 days and wear special footwear to allow the nail to heal properly. According to specialists, partial nail removal is effective in 98% of cases in preventing future ingrown toenails.
Where all the nail needs to be removed, there is a risk that the same nail will grow back deformed, which is why this operation is only done in particularly severe cases. If the nail is removed completely, it will take about four months for it to grow back completely.
Another possibility, only recently introduced, is to apply a brace on the nail, in order to mechanically correct the growth. This system avoids the surgical operation and offers good chances of success.
How to Prevent an Ingrown Toenail
The nails should be cut horizontally so that the lateral tips of the nail remain uncovered, avoiding cutting following the curve of the finger. To facilitate cutting, you can first soak the foot for about 10 minutes. Podiatrists suggest you wear comfortable, breathable and open shoes, as much as possible because they leave more space for the toes. When you are at home, avoid wearing socks and shoes as much as possible. Also, you should keep your feet dry and clean at all times, as well as change socks often in order to avoid bacterial proliferation.
What can a Podiatrist do for an ingrown toenail?
Where there signs of an infection, onychocryptosis must be treated by a health professional, usually a podiatrist. An ingrown toenail is NOT be confused with a merely aesthetic problem and therefore it should only be treated by qualified and trained healthcare professionals.
The podiatrist will treat an ingrown toenail in two phases:
- the first phase is aimed at treating the acute problem, through the painless removal of the portion of the nail that is affecting surrounding tissues
- the second phase is rehabilitative and aims at restoring adequate nail space for nail regrowth, avoiding recurrence and resolving the problem definitely.
If this is not enough, the practitioner may perform a partial onychectomy with acid, which stops regrowth in the most risky area, reducing the probability of contact and infection.
Medelit can arrange visits with qualified podiatrists who have been selected according to their high levels of specialization and expertise. Our podiatrists provide home visits and will arrive fully equipped with all that is necessary for the treatment of your ingrown toenail. Generally, the problem is solved within one treatment session, during which the podiatrist will dedicate all necessary time to treat your infection. In this way, there will be no need for you to move from the safety and comfort of your own home, which is especially important if walking has become difficult to you due to pain or swelling.