Why Home Treatment is Not a Good IdeaReal Treatment for Ingrown Toenails (It’s Not as Bad as You Think!)
There is a fair amount of free advice out there for how to treat an ingrown toenail at home. Unfortunately, you know what they say about free advice.
Let’s run briefly through some of these non-recommended methods:
- Placing cotton beneath the nail. This doesn’t seem like such a bad idea on the surface, as you are trying to guide the nail away from the skin. However, swollen areas tend to absorb more moisture and bacteria. Placing foreign objects right up next to the area can act as a “kindling” of sorts for infection, giving bacteria even more places to congregate.
- Cutting a V-shaped notched into the nail. Where does this even come from? Cutting a notch is not going to magically make your toenail retreat on the sides. It’s like cutting a notch into the side of a table: nothing happens, and you just end up with a goofy-looking table. Also, a table is not full of nerves and liable to bleed if you cut too far into it.
- “Bathroom Surgery.” Under NO circumstances should you EVER attempt cutting or digging into your nail to remove an ingrown toenail. The risks for infection are much too high, and it’s going to hurt a ton more than if you just come to see us in the first place. Most patients who try this method end up seeing us anyway, so please save yourself the torture.
- OTC medication like “OutGro” or other so called pain relievers. Treating with this option is like removing the battery from a smoke detector to stop a fire.
Ultimately, seeing us for professional ingrown toenail treatment often saves so much time, trouble, and pain that it’s pretty much a no brainer. And if you have a condition such as diabetes or poor circulation that provides an even higher risk of complications or infection, calling us should always be your first step.
Real Treatment for Ingrown Toenails (It’s Not as Bad as You Think!)
We absolutely understand the hesitation you might feel about coming in to have an ingrown toenail fixed. If it already hurts when you touch it.
Most patients are pleasantly surprised by how comfortable and simple it is to treat an ingrown nail. Please look at the stories my patients have posted as reviews. There is no need to play the tough guy role with this problem.
Because the nail is much wider than what it appears, the bathroom surgeon only removes a small fragment leaving a spike of nail that creates a bigger problem in the future.
A big benefit of professional treatment is that your toe can be properly numbed and the supersized border of the nail can be removed so it does not come back. This procedure will provide substantial relief even after the local anesthetic wears off. Your toe will feel a lot better the very next day than it did before you came in.
If the nail is healthy, only the offending border needs to be removed. However, if a nail is thick, discolored, or otherwise unhealthy—or if ingrown toenails keep repeatedly returning—it may be necessary to remove the nail entirely.
While the idea of not having a toenail might seem strange, it does not cause any additional problems than having a nail.
A nail-less toe can do just about everything one with a nail can. You can even apply nail polish to the skin, and have an outline from the previous nail to paint within the lines. We do recommend acrylic polish vs gel but we do not recommend bonding any fake nails to your skin. Removal may not be very fun.