Foot Health

The Ultimate Guide to Treating Ingrown Toenails - Soaking, Surgery, and More

An ingrown nail is a frequent foot issue that occurs when the nail grows into the skin at the side of the toe. This often causes pain, redness, swelling, and even infection.

Dr. Hassan Portrail
Dr. Mohammed Hassan
8 May 2023
Treating Ingrown Toenails

What is an Ingrown Toenail and How Can a Podiatrist Help?

An ingrown nail is a frequent foot issue that occurs when the nail grows into the skin at
the side of the toe. This often causes pain, redness, swelling, and even infection. To
reduce swelling and ease any associated pain, soaking your feet in warm water for 10-
15 minutes can help. For serious pain and infection related to an ingrown nail, it is
essential to seek the advice of a podiatrist, as surgical treatment may be needed.

How to Properly Soak Your Feet for an Ingrown Nail Procedure?

Having a successful treatment of an ingrown nail can depend on properly soaking your
foot in warm water. Doing so helps soften the area surrounding the nail, allowing for a
simpler removal of the inflammation surrounding the ingrown nail. Additionally, soaking
can help decrease swelling and associated pain.

When is Surgery Necessary for an Ingrown Nail?

If suffering from pain and discomfort caused by an ingrown nail, it is critical to know
when surgery may be necessary. Surgery is usually the last option, but it is sometimes
necessary to provide relief from the pain and discomfort due to an ingrown nail.

The Different Types of Procedures for Treating an Ingrown Nail.

When managing an ingrown nail, it is important to assess its severity and determine the
best method of treatment. Generally, there are two types of treatments for ingrown nails - conservative treatment and the removal of the offending nail border. Conservative
treatment includes cleaning and soaking the affected area, trimming the nail, and
applying antiseptic ointments. In cases where other treatments fail, removal of the ⅛
portion of the offending nail may be recommended. This method involves using a local
anesthetic to numb up the toe and then remove the border.

What Pain Relief Options are Available After Treatment?

Post-operative pain relief is crucial for successful healing. After undergoing any
treatment for an ingrown nail, such as removal surgery, it is necessary to take the steps
to minimize pain and ensure a quick recovery. Taking ibuprofen will help to reduce pain
and improve inflammation.

Am I Able to do normal activities after ingrown nail procedure?

If you have recently gone through an ingrown nail procedure, you may be wondering if it
is safe to continue with normal activities. The answer is yes - as long as you take a few
precautions, most activities can be done after an ingrown nail procedure. However, the time needed to recover may vary depending on the severity of the condition and the
type of procedure elected for treatment. Generally, wearing open toed shoes and
keeping the toe covered with a band-aid is recommended as it helps keep the area

What is the normal healing time after the ingrown nail procedure?

After undergoing a procedure for an ingrown nail, you may expect a period of 7-10 days
for the initial stages of healing. While the affected area may form some scabs at first,
they will eventually start to flake away. To ensure a successful recovery, it is essential
to keep the area around the toe dry and clean. Betadine is an excellent antiseptic to
prevent infection and should be used around the area to aid the healing process.

When the toe begins to heal, will I experience pain?

The answer depends on the individual, as pain is a personal experience. However, it is
likely that one's discomfort will lessen, as the toe's associated inflammation and
infection are improving.

When can I use normal shoes?

After two weeks of healing from surgery, the patient can put on a closed toed shoe.
Although this is a suggestion and not a requirement, one is also able to wear a normal
shoe as long as the toe is covered with a band-aid if they feel comfortable.